Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

What I Have Seen and Heard (April 6, 2006)

Published April 6, 2006

On July 2, 1956, Pope Pius XII issued the apostolic decree that created the independent Diocese of Atlanta, separating us from the Diocese of Savannah.

During the rest of this year, we will celebrate our 50th anniversary with a series of events intended to allow this happy occasion to touch as many people as possible. Our celebration will highlight many of the people, institutions, and events that have marked our history as the People of God in North Georgia.

The theme that I selected for our 50th Jubilee was taken from the prayer for the preparation of the Paschal Candle at the Easter Vigil: “All Time Belongs to Him!”

Everything that we have accomplished, endured and planned during these past 50 years has come to us as a Grace from Christ. He is the author of all of our achievements, and for that we should all be most grateful.

Last Saturday I shared in a moment of festivity for about 40 women Religious who gathered at St. Peter Chanel Church in Roswell to honor sisters who were observing 60, 50 and 25 years of Consecrated Life. In fact, we honored all of the sisters who serve in this Archdiocese of Atlanta for all of the years that they have given in devoted ministry in our midst. These special jubilee years are merely a way of highlighting the extraordinary dedication of the women Religious in our midst, no matter how many years they have been sisters in service to this local Church.

The total number of years that were given recognition last Saturday was somewhere around 650—an impressive figure to be sure. But countless are the number of years that sisters have given to the promotion of the Gospel and the ministries of charity, catechesis, education, medical comfort, evangelization, and prayer that sisters have provided for the people of the Archdiocese. We are blessed in the many different Religious communities who are present here in North Georgia. And one of our Jubilee celebrations will highlight the presence and the gifts of all those in Consecrated Life here in the Archdiocese.

Saturday’s event was enhanced by a wonderful luncheon that was prepared and served by a group of ladies who call themselves “Sisters for the Sisters” (there may have been a husband or son who was enlisted in this project as well). The kindness of these people toward our jubilarians was an indication of the esteem that Catholic people both here and everywhere have for women Religious.

I thank all those who made Saturday’s celebration such a success and so popular. As I left the parish, the sisters in attendance were taking delight in greeting and congratulating one another on this happy occasion. I know that I speak for all of us in thanking our sisters for the witness of Faith and Charity that they have offered and continue to provide for us all.

If you happen to encounter any women Religious during the next week or so, please join me in thanking them for all that they have done for the life of the Church in the United States and especially here in North Georgia.