100th Anniversary of Catholic Education in Guernsey County 1911-2011
Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity, Sister Maureen Anne Shepard presented this address on the 100th Anniversary of Catholic Education 1911-2011 at a weekend of celebration in Cambridge, OH on June 4-7, 2011.
On behalf of Sister Louise Hembrecht, Community Director, our General Administration, and all the Sisters, especially those who have ministered in Guernsey County, we thank you and congratulate you on your commitment during the 100 years of Catholic education.
What an awesome and wonder-filled journey we are making in Catholic education here in Guernsey County! We, Franciscan Sisters, are blessed to be companions with dedicated bishops, pastors, priests, parishioners, parents, grandparents, other relatives, lay teachers, and other religious. Together we have accepted and accept our roles and our responsibilities and made and make the sacrifices necessary to further the teaching ministry of Jesus.
For 100 years we have nurtured the intellectual, social, faith, and moral lives of many in Guernsey County. Our journey together in developing the intellectual, faith, and moral potential of each student (child and teen) has taken us through the changing and challenging times. In society our journey continued through two world wars, the Great Depression, the turbulent 60’s, the Space Age, the technological age, and high and low unemployment. In the Church our journey together has spanned the times of the Baltimore Catechism, the establishment of the Steubenville Diocese, the Second Vatican Council, the in-depth study of Scripture, the ecumenical movement, social justice action, and the formation of Christ our Light Parish.
What kept, what keeps Catholic education going in Guernsey County? It is a vibrant faith community grounded in a faith lived at home, a faith shared with neighbors and friends, a faith fostered in schools, a faith strengthened by the celebration of the sacraments, and a faith lived in society, including our workplaces and our response to persons in need.
Who is the center of our faith community? Jesus Christ is our way, our truth, and our life.
As Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, we give praise and thanks to our loving God for being called to serve with and for the people here in Guernsey County through our ministries of education and pastoral care. We give praise and thanks for the overwhelming support of the people of past and present generations. And we give praise and thanks for a faith community that fosters vocations to the priesthood, religious life, Christian marriage, and single life dedicated to Jesus Christ. We are truly blessed to journey with you in our faith community with Christ as our Light.
Now I ask the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity who are present to come forward. Together with the Sisters who have gone before us, we extend a blessing to you as we sing our traditional blessing, the Blessing of St. Francis. (Photos: Franciscan Sister Myra Jean Sweigart)