Religious women in the archdiocese were recognized April 18 at an event that organizers believe to be unique to the Archdiocese of Denver.
The annual Religious Sisters Appreciation Day, hosted by the Denver Serra Club at Risen Christ Parish, honored 74 sisters by showering them with gifts and gift cards, flowering plants, and cash donations. Some 30 cloistered sisters, who live a private monastic way of life, received gifts as well.
“What we do is unique,” according to Jim Hilger, chairman of the appreciation day, a 20-year tradition.
It is truly a great gift to the religious of the diocese, said Religious Sister of Mercy Sister Sharon Ford, director of consecrated life.
“We are grateful for all the Serra Club did to make Saturday such a grand event,” she said. “It was so nicely decorated, a wonderful liturgy, delicious food, and great company. The gifts were extraordinary. Everyone had a great time.”
“I don’t think there is any other diocese that receives such a gift,” she added.
Hilger hopes other dioceses will start up the annual tradition.
“This year’s event benefitted over 110 religious sisters,” he said. “Thanks to our generous donors, we were also able to benefit the cloistered sisters in the convents of northern Colorado.
“Our Denver Serrans and friends benefit from this day as much as the sisters.”
The Denver Serra Club is part of an international network of clubs that foster and promote vocations through prayer, awareness, affirmation and support.
The day included Mass celebrated by Father Doug Grandon, followed by a social hour and luncheon. Each sister received a cash gift ranging from approximately $150 to $650. In addition, they were awarded merchandise, gourmet food bags, a quilt, opera tickets; and gift certificates to religious stores, department stores and restaurants. Three sisters received a special gift—a plane ride over the Denver metro area—from pilot and Serra Club member Sam McGlamery.
There are nearly 200 religious sisters in the archdiocese overall, according to Sister Ford.