Eating a Modern Franciscan Jubilee Tradition

by Sister Julie Ann on June 27, 2010

A daughter of a baker, Sister Virgine Van Thull, OSF, watched the fine art of bakery as a child. Later in Community, she was encouraged to develop a natural talent for decorating tier cakes. Sunday, June 27, 2010, she completed her 23rd year of frosting and adorning  Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity jubilee cakes with the support and help of others.

Our Franciscan Sisters who were the honored recipients of a rose-adorned ceremonial cake were:

50 years

Sister Antonice Lauer, Sister Margey Schmelzle, Sister Ann Mary Hart, Sister Emy Beth Furrer, Sister Rosita Bunge, Sister Mary Victoria Koenig, Sister Marcolette Madden

25 years

Sister Dora Lee Monian, Sister Carol Ann Gambsky

Franciscan Jubilee Cake

Sister Virgine Van Thull, OSF with the help of others decorated this beautiful tier cake for the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity celebrating their 25 and 50 years of profession.

At one time a Motherhouse  kitchen employee used her own  supplies from home to decorate cakes marking the Sisters’ anniversaries.  When Sister Virgine was asked to begin the task, turntables, cake stands, decorating tips and couplers were  purchased and soon became familiar convent bakery tools.

There are probably many reasons why we didn’t always have cakes to celebrate jubilees in the early years of our community. (Food channels were unheard of.) Here’s some ‘cake’ trivia that when mixed together might give further explanation:

  • The terms “bread” and “cake” are of Anglo Saxon origin, and it’s probable that the term cake was first used for smaller breads. Cake really developed from sweetened bread.
  • Yeast was used in bread making. When beaten eggs proved to be a raising agent, yeast fell  into disuse increasing the possibilityof  more creative ‘cake’ recipes.
  • By the early 19th century current day leavening agents, such as baking soda and baking powder were introduced. Specialty cakes  multiplied.
  • Accurate temperature controlled ovens also increased positive results and further experimenting  in cake making.

12 thoughts on “Eating a Modern Franciscan Jubilee Tradition”

  1. Lois rizzo says:

    Congratulations to all who celebrated their Jubilee!
    I really enjoyed reading the history of today's special occasion cakes as we know them today.
    and Lastly, this is one beautifully decorated cake.. Sure wish I could have tasted it. Cake is my favorite.

  2. Personally, I like the cake with ice cream. And at the convent, it is always served with vanilla ice cream unless someone makes a request to skip the calcium and just eat sugar?! If you look closely some of the cake was poured in heart molds.

  3. Lois Rizzo says:

    Yes, Sister Julie Ann, cake with vanilla ice cream is so good. and I do see those heart cake molds.
    Those pretty red roses all over the cake sure set the mood for a festive celebration.

  4. srsharon says:

    CONGRATULATIONS to all Golden & Silver Jubilarians. We were with you in spirit, prayer and in celebration from afar in NE. Sr. Virgine and HELPERS, the cake is very beautiful and FESTIVE as Lois just commented. Thank YOU and I'm sure it was very delicious! SR. VIRGINE, it brings back MANY memories of my first few years out on MISSION when we were with you at St. Mary's, Algoma, WI and a Jubilarian, SR. ROSITA was with us also when your dear mother came often from the family bakery ( Van Thull's ) to bring us pans of rolls and remember how we pulled out those long johns filled with white cream from the freezer after school. YUMMY. She was sooooo generous! JUBILARIANS, CELEBRATE all YEAR! Gratefully, Sr. Sharon Paul

  5. Srosangela says:

    Our Jubilarians look younger all the time!! Congratulations to all of you. Nothing can compare to Jubilee celebrations at the Motherhouse. The beautiful decorated cakes by Sister Virgene add a lot too. The pictures show the joyful radiance of all those celebrating.

  6. S. Annette says:

    Congratulations Sisters on your Siver and Golden Jubilees. It is so good to be at the Motherhouse and join in your celebration. May god continue to bless each of you and draw you ever closer to His heart.

  7. sisterannemarielom says:

    This type of article helps to spread the spirit of the celebration to those of us unable to attend. The talent of Sr.Virgine is well displayed. The history of cake was as good as the Food Channel! Congratulations to all who celebrated and all who supported the celebration. Greetings from St. Bonaventure University in NY.

  8. Sister Chiara says:

    Congratulations to all the Jubilarians! It was wonderful to join you in your celebration! God Bless you all!

  9. Sr. Monica, novice says:

    The cake was very beautiful! I was very impressed! Congratulations to all Jubilarians!

  10. The last of the jubilee cake was served. Relatives are now safely on the road or in the air before the July 4 weekend. Jubilarians wear the anniversary glow on their faces!

  11. Veroneleeman says:

    Yes, and it was as good as it was beautiful. I also agree about the special glow that jubilarians have! Sister Verone

  12. Sannmary says:

    Thanks S. Virgene for making our Jubilee special. The cake was as delicious as is was beautiful. It was a wonderful day.

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