Photo by Joe Boyle
Cardinal Blase Cupich walks down the aisle of St. Bernadette Church in Evergreen Park at the conclusion of Mass after celebrating a service honoring priests and nuns for their years in religious life.
Sister Regina Jafzwinski said she has had a wonderful life as a member of the Sisters of Holy Family of Nazareth
“I’m glad to be here celebrating my years in the order,” said Sr. Regina, who attended the special Mass at St. Bernadette Church, 9343 S. Francisco Ave., Evergreen Park, on Saturday morning that was celebrated by Cardinal Blase Cupich. “It has not always been easy but it has been rewarding.”
Sr. Regina is celebrating her 70th year in the order. She now walks with the assistance of a walker but said she still has enthusiasm and has no regrets about the life she has chosen. She was among many priests and nuns who attended the Mass and who were marking anniversaries in the clergy.
St. Bernadette Church was chosen this year to host the Archdiocesan Jubilee Celebration for Religious annual Mass to honor priests and nuns who have dedicated themselves to a religious life. While many priests and nuns attended the Mass, parishioners also attended the service.
The Rev. Robert Tonelli, administrator at St. Bernadette Parish, gave the opening greeting at the Mass.
During his homily, Cupich referred to Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, who has garnered national media attention as team chaplain for the men’s Loyola Ramblers basketball team that made a surprising run by making it to the NCAA Final Four.
Cupich thought about Sr. Jean after she appeared in a front page story and photo in Saturday’s Chicago Tribune.
“What struck me is that she said she is still learning,” said Cupich about the 98-year-old nun. “As she grows older, she said she still has much to learn. She has so much to live for. She has the chance to meet so many people. It was funny that she told Charles Barkley, the former basketball player and now a broadcaster, that he is very good but that he should smile more.”
Cupich told the members of the clergy who attended the Mass that like Sr. Jean, their devotion and love of God is what sustains them.
“We measure our success not by wealth but by offering comfort,” added Cupich. “It is hard work when you are in the religious life. You have not fallen into that fantasy that by having more objects and wealth it makes us better.”
Cupich added that the members of the clergy should be proud of what they have accomplished.
“Like Sr. Jean said in the paper, we are all still learning,” the cardinal said. “And that is the message we all still have to follow. No matter what your anniversary, we still have to keep learning.”