Vocation appreciation: 100-plus sisters honored

Sisters who won a plane ride over metro Denver with pilot and Serra Club member Sam McGlamery: Sister Pearl McGivney, Sister Cathy Mueller and Sister Mary Ellen Roach. Photo by Corie DuChateau

Sisters who won a plane ride over metro Denver with pilot and Serra Club member Sam McGlamery: Sister Pearl McGivney, Sister Cathy Mueller and Sister Mary Ellen Roach. Photo by Corie DuChateau

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.

COMING UP: Colorado bishops issue letter on the Hyde Amendment and other pro-life Congressional policies

Sign up for a digital subscription to Denver Catholic!

We, the Catholic bishops of Colorado, urge Congressional Representatives to support the Hyde Amendment and the Walden Amendment. We also ask the Faithful to sign The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) petition to lawmakers encouraging them to preserve the Hyde Amendment, which can be accessed at: NoTaxpayerAbortion.com, and to contact their Congressmen and women to support the Hyde and Walden amendments.

The House Appropriations Labor and Health and Human Services subcommittee recently passed a spending bill that strips protections for pre-born children, healthcare providers,and American taxpayers by excluding pro-life provisions, including the Hyde and Weldon amendments.

The Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortion in most cases, except for rape and incest, has received bipartisan support since its inception in 1976 – including by pro-abortion administrations. Hyde is critical in saving lives. The Charlotte Lozier Institute estimates that approximately 60,000 pre-born babies are saved every year because of the Hyde Amendment.[1] This is the first time in 40 years that the Hyde Amendment was not included in the annual appropriations bill[2] and failure to include pro-life amendments will only further increase divisions in our country.

The Weldon Amendment prevents any federal programs, agencies, and state and local governments from discriminating against health care practitioners and institutions that do not provide abortion services. It ensures that pro-life individuals and organizations can enter the health care profession without fearing that the government will force them to perform a procedure that violates their well-founded convictions. It has also received bipartisan support and was added to the appropriations bill every year since it was first enacted in 2005. [3]

Congress’ recent actions endanger the lives of pre-born children and infringe on the rights of millions of Americans who do not wish to participate in the moral evil of abortion. A recent Knights of Columbus/Marist poll found that 58 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortions[4] and a 2019 Gallup poll shows that 60 percent of Americans think abortion should either be illegal or only legal in a few circumstances.[5]

The government should neither use taxpayer funds for the killing of pre-born children nor compel medical practitioners and institutions to violate their well-founded convictions. Congress must uphold these long-standing, common-sense bipartisan policies that promote a culture of life in our nation.

Human reason and science affirm that human life begins at conception. The Church objects to abortion on the moral principle that each and every human life has inherent dignity, and thus must be treated with respect due to every human person. There has never been and never will be a legitimate need to abort a baby in the womb.

It is critical that Congress continue its long-history of supporting policies such as the Hyde and Walden amendments, and that all Colorado Catholics and people of good will make their voice heard in supporting these life-affirming policies.

Sign the petition to Congress here: www.NoTaxpayerAbortion.com

Contact your Congressional Representatives here: https://cocatholicconference.org/news/

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop of Denver

Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo

Most Reverend James R. Golka
Bishop of Colorado Springs

Most Reverend Jorge Rodriguez
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver