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ASC Foundation Day

 Sister Kate Reid, ASC

By Sr. Kate Reid, ASC

The anniversary of our foundation as a religious community is a favorite feast among members of the ASC family. March 4, 2024, marked the 190th anniversary of our founding and called for a celebration among sisters of the Belleville-St. Louis area and associates from Southern Illinois. The recently established Hearts in Communion committee – Sisters Ann Fearday, Kris Schrader, and Sarah Harbaugh – took the lead in planning festivities for the afternoon of Sunday, March 3, at Benedictine Living Center in Belleville, IL.

Sister M. Alan Wurth created a version of Bingo designed to help the partiers remember and celebrate our history. The Bingo caller would shout the name of a person, place, event, or date important in ASC history. If that call was on our card, we covered it with a chip and hoped to get a BINGO. The game winner would then be asked to tell the crowd why the person, place, etc. of the winning call is significant to our ASC congregation. It was a brilliant way to have fun sharing highlights of our history… even though there were no prizes, except the chance to generate gratitude for memories that unite us.

Sister Barbara Hudock lead us in a prayerful reflection that invited us to recall people who have been rocks for us as we build on the foundation of our charism, living and loving in a communion of service for the good of God’s people. Barb then invited each of us to share a memory at our tables of four.

Gratitude wove its way among us and we knew again the strength and blessedness of our foundation.
In keeping with our Italian roots, the meal featured lasagna from Olive Garden, and a number of sisters provided sides of Italian breads, salads, and fruit plates. (Although not confirmed, the cake for dessert was likely from an Italian bakery).

Festivities continued Monday, March 4, with a Mass celebrated for sisters and residents at the Benedictine Living Center Chapel. Sister Joan Stoverink’s introduction to the Eucharist invited all to imitate the love and mercy of Jesus Christ as witnessed by St. Maria De Mattias in founding the Institute on March 4, 1834.

Sister Angela Schrage shared reflections on readings that had been chosen especially for our feastday. Her call to REVEAL CHRIST’S LOVE echoed Maria’s desire for each of us to serve God and those on the margins. Creative intercessions spoke of our need to be Maria’s Legacy, followed by our renewal of vows. Music by Srs. Janet Sue Smith and Barb Biver was inspiring and uplifting to all who love to sing. A blessed two days of celebrating was enjoyed by all.

Photos by Sr. Mary Alan Wurth

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