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Archives Religious Orders: Giving Love, Healing, Education

Aug. 3, 2022

By Mary Beth Bracy
Contributing Writer

As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Diocese of Ogdensburg, it is a joy to recognize the invaluable contribution of the many dedicated religious who have served from our earliest days to the present. Their dauntless service in education, healthcare, and pastoral work have fortified our Church and blessed the lives of the faithful in a myriad of ways. This begins a series of articles which provide glimpses at the expanse of their impact – yesterday, today, and going forward.

Historical Contributions
In 1863, the Grey Nuns of Ottawa, Ontario (Canada), were invited to establish a school at the Ford mansion in Ogdensburg. They operated the Academy of Notre Dame des Victoires for girls, and a co-ed elementary school. Demand for parochial education grew, and Catholic schools sprung up in several areas of our diocese, including Mohawk Hill and Croghan. Bishop Edgar P. Wadhams was enthusiastic about bringing more religious to our diocese. In 1872, he arranged for the Clerks of Saint Viator to open a boys’ school in Averill Hall, Ogdensburg.

That same year, the Sisters of Mercy began a school in Malone.

Then, in 1874, the Augustinian Order came to Saint James Church in Carthage. The Franciscan Friars of the Order of Recollects Minor came to minister to the Germans in our diocese in 1877 and educated young boys interested in the priesthood. In 1878 Sisters of Saint Francis opened a convent school for girls. Following, in 1882, Missionary Sisters of Saint Francis began staffing a parochial school in Redford. According to the book published in honor of our diocese’s centennial, “At the close of the first decade of the diocese, there were 1,681 children in Catholic parish schools” (“A History of Catholicism in the North Country,” Sister Mary Christine Taylor, S.S.J., Ph.D., pg. 34).

In addition to education, diocesan religious have cared for the sick and orphans. The Ogdensburg City Hospital and Orphan Asylum, run by the Grey Nuns, was incorporated in 1886. When D’Youville Academy in Plattsburgh celebrated its Silver Jubilee, 41,385 children had walked its halls. In 1887, a separate school for boys was founded in Plattsburgh to help meet the needs of the numerous students, and it was operated by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Later, in 1897, the Sisters of Mercy’s prayers were answered and they began caring for victims of tuberculosis when the Sanatorium at Gabriels was opened. Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart began ministering to those with tubercular cases at the extension of Ogdensburg Hospital that year.

Around 1900 our diocese had “187 religious women serving 3,400 children in the 16 parochial schools and caring for the 4 hospitals in the diocese” (“A History of Catholicism in the North Country,” pg. 61). Sisters of the Holy Ghost came to staff a school in Tupper Lake in 1903. This same year the Brothers of Christian Instruction came to teach at Mount Assumption Insitute in Plattsburgh. In 1910, the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart began staffing the newly opened Champlain Valley Hospital. Many other orders served in our diocese over the years, including Marianite Sisters of the Cross, Pallotines, and Jesuits.

Orders Serving in our Diocese Today

Sisters of Mercy
Sister Mary Camillus O’Keefe, RSM, Coordinator of the Sisters of Mercy (RSM), reflected upon their service in our diocese. “For over 100 years, the RSM have been extending love, healing and education to the people of the Diocese of Ogdensburg. Our missions have extended compassionate care and teaching to all especially the poor, the sick, and the uneducated. As a result of many developments in the fields of education and health care, the Sisters have redirected their mission to meet the evolving needs of the people.”

Their order, Sister Mary Camillus commented, labors both domestically and abroad.

“We serve in the diocese as members of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas whose membership includes the United States, South America, Central America, the Philippines, Guam and the Caribbean,” she said. “Currently, there are seven RSM in the diocese. One is located in Saranac Lake, one in Plattsburgh, one in Watertown and four in Lake Placid.”

The RSM have assisted in our diocese since its beginning 150 years ago.

“Our first mission in the diocese was in 1872 when we opened a school in Malone,” Sister Mary Camillus recalled. “Over the years, sisters have served in schools in Malone, Hogansburg, Brasher Falls, Rouses Point, Lake Placid, Keeseville, Watertown, Brushton, Mohawk Hill, Chazy, Saranac Lake, Ausable Forks, Plattsburgh, and Massena. In health care, the Mercy Sisters ministered in Gabriels, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Watertown and Lake Placid. In Social Services, a Sister has served in Lake Placid.”

They continue to minister to God’s people in many ways. “Currently, a Mercy Sister is serving in Lake Placid in spiritual care. Another Sister serves as a volunteer tutor in Plattsburgh and the RSM sponsor and participate in addressing the needs of the elderly in the Adirondacks,” Sister Mary Camillus recollected. “Our charism of Mercy has always sustained us as we use this special gift for the good of others.”


Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
Father Raymond Diesbourg, MSC, pastor of the Roman Catholic Community of Cape Vincent, Rosiere, and Chaumount, is superior of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC). He shared about the rich history of their order and charism.

“[We] are a community of priests and brothers founded in France in 1854 by Father Jules Chevalier, a priest of the Diocese of Bourges. He believed that if people truly knew the love of God, their lives would be changed. And so the goal or aim of the MSC is to help people experience and appreciate the love of God, especially as this love is revealed in the Heart of Jesus. Currently there are 1,566 men communicating God’s love in over 50 countries.”

“MSC first arrived in the Diocese of Ogdensburg from France via Montreal in 1876 to minister to French-speaking Catholics of the Watertown area,” Father Diesbourg continued. “After purchasing a property on the north side of (Watertown) to be used as a community residence, the MSC then began to staff Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish. Several years later a seminary building was added to the residence for the training of young men to become MSC priests and brothers. More French-speaking MSC came from Canada to assist in the growth of the community and its ministry.”

The MSC reflect their devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in their motto “May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be loved everywhere!” Father Diesbourg explained, “That continues to sustain and inspire them to focus on God’s love in whatever situation they find themselves. So in their preaching, counseling, teaching or any other ministry, they emphasize how much God’s love can make a difference for people’s lives. This same idea is expressed in Saint John’s First Letter: ‘We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us’” (I John 4:16).

The impact of MSC in our diocese is significant.

“Since arriving in the diocese, some 85 MSC have worked in a variety of ministries,” noted Father Diesbourg.

“They have served as pastors and parochial vicars in the parishes of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and Saint Anthony’s in Watertown, in Evans Mills, Theresa, Adams, Chaumont, LaFargeville, Cape Vincent, Rosiere, Rutland and most recently in Black River. They have been chaplains at Mercy Hospital (now Samaritan Medical Center), in several state prisons, for the Sisters of Saint Joseph Motherhouse, Gabriels’ Sanatorium and at the Saint Lawrence Psychiatric Center in Ogdensburg. They have taught at Sacred Heart School and Immaculate Heart Central, both in Watertown, and served on the staff at Wadhams Hall in Ogdensburg.”

Currently there are six MSC in the diocese. Two are retired and helping in parishes as senior priests, Fathers Pierre Aubin and David DeLuca; three are serving as pastors and parochial vicar, Father Ray Diesbourg, Father Frank Natale and Father Joseph Kanimea; and Father Corneille Boyeye is a psychiatric center chaplain. The MSC have also participated as members of many different diocesan committees and commissions through the years.
Father Diesbourg added an interesting historical side note. “The first MSC pastor, Father Joseph Durin, in 1880 requested permission of Bishop Wadhams to bring three Sisters of Saint Joseph from Buffalo to start a French school at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish. The Bishop granted the request with the condition that the Sisters would withdraw in the event the MSC withdrew. Both religious orders are still here 142 years later, with no plans for either group to withdraw!”


Sisters of Saint Joseph
Sister Shirley Anne Brown, major superior of the Sisters of Saint Joseph (SSJ), shared, “We currently number 35 members. The majority of our sisters are located at the Motherhouse in Watertown. From that location they minister at Immaculate Heart Central (IHC) High School and IHC Elementary School, Jefferson Community College, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church and Blessed Sacrament Parish, special education programs as well as outreach to Urban Mission, vocation work throughout the diocese and Faith and ecology groups throughout the diocese. We have sisters at Saint Mary’s in Ticonderoga, Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Ogdensburg, and the Chancery in Ogdensburg, Copenhagen and Carthage.”

The SSJ were invited to our diocese soon after it was founded.

“[We] came to the diocese in 1880 under the sponsorship of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. At their request, we were to begin schools to educate the youth. Our first schools were in Watertown, Carthage, Port Henry and AuSable Forks,” Sister Shirley Anne explained. “As the only diocesan order, we are grateful to have served the mission of the diocese for 142 years of the 150 years that are being celebrated.”

The reach of the SSJ and their service is nothing short of amazing. Sister Shirley Anne elaborated, “During our 142 years we have served at the wishes of the Bishop and the needs of the Diocese in ministries; elementary, secondary and collegiate education; parish religious education programs; special education programs; Native American ministry; pastoral ministries; social work; care of orphans; family life ministry; Catholic Charities; counseling; spiritual direction; Faith and ecology initiatives; and outreach to the poor and marginalized. We have served throughout the diocese. In Saint Lawrence Deanery in Massena, Norwood, Norfolk, Madrid, Ogdensburg, Canton, Morristown, Hammond, Rossie, Gouverneur, Star Lake. In Franklin Deanery in Fort Covington, Constable, Chateaugay, Brushton, North Bangor, Malone, and Chasm Falls. In Clinton Deanery in Champlain, Ellenburg, Dannemora, Lyon Mountain, Mooers Forks, Plattsburgh, Peru and AuSable Forks. In Essex Deanery in Elizabethtown, Westport, Witherbee, Mineville, Port Henry, Crown Point, Ticonderoga and Schroon Lake. In Jefferson Deanery in Cape Vincent, Rosiere, Brownville, Carthage, Watertown, Copenhagen, Lowville, Port Leyden, Evans Mills, Black River and Adams, Sackets Harbor. In Hamilton-Herkimer in Newcomb and Indian Lake. In Adirondack Deanery in Lake Clear, Saranac Lake, Lake Placid and Tupper Lake.”

The mission of the SSJ continues to touch the lives and hearts throughout the North Country and beyond. “The charism of SSJ is reconciliation and all-inclusive love. In every age including our current age, there is a great need to bring reconciliation and harmony at all levels – family, Church, community, nation and world. Likewise is the need for all-inclusive love – in family, races, cultures and immigrants and refugees and many others.”


Daughters of Charity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Many know Sister Mary Ann Gour, FCSJ, who serves as the chaplain of Hospice of the North Country. She works out of their Plattsburgh office, which covers all of Clinton County, and out of the Malone office, which covers the northern part of Franklin County, including the reservation.

“I am currently the only sister of my Congregation living and doing ministry in New York State,” she said. “I live in Plattsburgh.”

Sister Mary Ann explained the importance of the Daughters of Charity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus’ (FCSJ) way of life.

“As daughters of the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, our charism is our awareness that we are personally loved by God,” she said. “Our mission is to enable people to become more aware that they are personally loved by God through the compassionate way by which we minister to others.”

FCSJ celebrates a long history that has reached many souls.

“My Congregation which is International – France, USA, Canada, Lesotho, Republic of South Africa, Madagascar, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso (West Africa), Brazil, Tahiti – was founded in La Salle-de-Vihiers, France on December 18, 1923. Our founder was John Maurice Catroux, pastor of La Salle-de-Vihiers and our foundress was Rose Giet (Sister Marie), a parishioner,” Sister Mary Ann said. “We were founded to meet the local needs of the parish (faith education and care of the sick).”

Their Sisters aren’t strangers to the Champlain Valley. “We came to Newport, Vermont (Diocese of Burlington), in 1905 and then to Champlain, New York (Diocese of Ogdensburg) in 1906 to open and staff Saint Mary’s School and later to staff Saint Alexander’s School in Morrisonville. For many years, I was a fourth-grade teacher at Saint Mary’s School in Champlain. Later I was the principal of the elementary school.”

The spiritual heritage of the sisters continues to bless many today.

“Faithful to our initial grace, our mission today is expressed in our common project of evangelization: Through total adherence to Jesus Christ we reveal that He is alive,” Sister Mary Ann said. “By the cordiality and simplicity of our relationships with others we witness that He is near. By our willingness to respond to the needs of others we announce that His love is universal.”


Sisters of Charity of Saint Louis
Sister Bernadette Ducharme, SCSL, superior of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Louis (SCSL), recounted their service of love in the North Country.

“The SCSL are presently residing in Plattsburgh, New York, in Holy Family Parish,” she said. “Sister Claire Michel Fortier, SCSL and I are retired and living at Victory Place (formerly the Sisters’ convent) at 4907 South Catherine Street, which now is an Adult Retirement Living Facility. Sister Claire Michel has a jovial presence among the residents, and you will find her praying for others in her room or little chapel. I help out where I can in the parish, at Victory Place, and volunteer to do Meals on Wheels.”

Time and obstacles haven’t slowed the Sisters down.

“Sister Louella Pelletier, SCSL, resides at Clinton County Nursing Home where she is active to the extent that she can be,” explained Sister Bernadette. “Her cerebellum atrophy does not prevent her from attending Mass on the weekends with the help of a parishioner as well as ministering with prayers, her many visits and activities with the residents. Sometimes she prays with them when they are on their last. Sister Louella is presently president of the Resident Council at the nursing home.”

“When the Sisters retired from ministry in the Diocese of Ogdensburg, many of them returned to Canada where they had families and were/are cared for with the other SCSL,” Sister Bernadette said.

Throughout their ministry, the sisters have tirelessly spent themselves for those in need.

“The Congregation of the SCSL participate in the educative mission of the Church exercised by forms of education adapted to the different cultures, with a special attention given to the young, the women and the persons who live in difficult situations,” Sister Bernadette said.

It was the inspiration of a priest in Plattsburgh that first brought the sisters here.

“Following the persistent request of Father Desjardins, pastor of the newly formed parish of Our Lady of Victory, five SCSL arrived from Canada on August 10, 1910 to open and take charge of a building which in its early years served as church, school and parish hall,” Sister Bernadette detailed. “This school was called Our Lady of Victory Academy (OLVA). In 1915, when the church was completed, renovations were done in the convent to receive boarders in addition to day students. As the number of pupils increased, in 1949, the new OLVA opened as a co-educational high school, a boarding school for girls, and a convalescent home for thirty ladies (1950-1965).”

Sister Bernadette described the many other roles of the Sisters over the years.

“The Sisters also staffed Saint John the Baptist School, which later became Our Lady of Grace from 1914 to 1980 in Keeseville, New York; Sallaz Academy in Redford, a high school from 1915 to 1964, and then an elementary school until 1970, when the students were transferred to the newly built Assumption of Mary School, where the Sisters continued to teach until 1973,” she said. “In 1958 the SCSL staffed Our Lady of Victory Secretarial School in Plattsburgh until its closure in 1993. In May 1965 the SCSL opened and staffed Sacred Heart Home, in Plattsburgh until 1986, when the Sisters retired. From 1984 to 1995, the Sisters served as coordinators of the Christian Formation Program in Saint Patrick’s Parish in Rouses Point.”

Looking back, Sister Bernadette recalled, “I ministered at John XXIII Newman Center and at Saint John’s Parish in Plattsburgh until such time as community service demanded more of my time. I also ministered at Seton Catholic until I retired when Covid 19 approached in 2020.”


Dominican Sisters of Hope
Sister Elizabeth Menard, OP, explained the history of the Dominican Sisters of Hope in the North Country.

“We first came in 1921,” she said. “The sisters (Grey Nuns) at Saint Peter’s who ran D’Youville Academy were leaving the school, and the Dominican Sister of Saint Catherine of Siena were asked if they would come. We said ‘yes’ even though our Mother House was in Fall River, Massachusetts. We said yes because our foundress actually grew up in Keeseville. When we knew that Plattsburgh was so close to Keeseville we said, ‘We can’t say no to that.’ That was the deciding point.”

The Sisters soon staffed many schools in the North Country.

“They would go and teach religion in Keeseville. They opened the school in Plattsburgh, probably four grades and then they added on. It became a high school for girls as well. At one point there were 22 sisters there,” Sister Elizabeth said. “The high school was completed by around 1933.When we had a high school we had a Sister (Sister Sybillina) who was excellent for English and Drama. And so, they began to have a huge production, a musical play, each year to try to raise funds to help them to continue in the ministry there.”

“The next place would have been, in around 1942 in Mooers Forks. And that is my hometown, that is how I got to know them. And there were four Sisters there and they were there because one of our sister’s parents bequeathed the house to us.”

The sisters taught at Mooers Central, Mooers Forks, Altona Central, and Ellenburg, explained Sister Elizabeth.

“And then gradually, they actually split,” Sister Elizabeth continued. “There became a small convent in Chateauguay and another convent in West Chazy. And West Chazy which took care of Beekmantown ‘school of religion,’ which included West Chazy and Chazy probably.”

For years, catechism classes were provided inside public schools.

“When Sisters could no longer teach in public schools, there had to be catechetical centers in each of the parishes,” Sister Elizabeth said. “The Dominican Sisters built centers in Altona, Mooers Forks, and possibly the one in Mooers. Daughters of Charity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus were in Champlain at Saint Mary’s Parish. They had a high school that went all of the way up. There were Mercy Sisters, I believe, who were at Rouses Point and they were also at Saint John’s in Plattsburgh.”

Later, the Dominican Sisters were asked by the diocese to open a school at Saint Augustine’s Parish in Peru.

“Again, we said we would start with first four grades and add a class each year, until we had enough sisters, and go up to eighth grade,” Sister Elizabeth said. “And then we began the high school.”

Then, the schools gradually closed one by one: Mooers Forks, then Chateaugay, and West Chazy. The Sisters in the rural areas joined the Sisters who were in Plattsburgh. “Saint Peter’s High School (D’Youville Academy) closed in the 1960s, the numbers were getting smaller. Saint Augustine’s School in Peru closed in 2008.

“Most of our Sisters have served as either teachers or catechists,” Sister Elizabeth said. “A lot of them were full time catechists. They did all of the parish programs in the area.”

In 1986, Sister Barbara McCarthy, O.P. received an assignment at Saint Alphonsus Church in Tupper Lake as pastoral associate. Sister Elizabeth went to Tupper Lake in 1992 and coordinated the catechetical programs for both Holy Name and Saint Alphonsus Churches from K – 12, including Confirmation and all of the sacramental programs.

Sister Elizabeth described the purpose of their Order.

“The Dominican charism is always truth,” she said. “Saint Dominic believed in truth. He spoke the truth and the reason why he started the Dominican Fathers is that he wanted the truth to be taught about the Gospels and the Scriptures. So we became what they call the Order of Preachers.”

The order later began teaching.

“As soon as we were founded here, there were teaching sisters that came almost immediately,” Sister Elizabeth said. “Truth and he wanted us to study. He made sure that his men – and convents as well – were able to know the truth and be able to teach it or preach it. Those were the two aspects of what we would consider his charism.”

Three groups joined together in 1995 (Fall River, Ossining, and Newburgh) as the Dominican Sisters of Hope.
The other Dominican Sisters of Hope in our diocese today are Sister Barbara Langlois, O.P., Sister Debbie Blow, O.P., and Sister Stephanie Frenette, O.P.


Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood
The Institute of the Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood was founded by Mother Catherine Aurelia Caouette in Saint Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada on September 14, 1861 (161 years ago). She was declared Venerable by the Church in December 1, 2016.

The Watertown Foundation of the Monastery of the Precious Blood was founded by the late Monsignor Robert McCarthy and Mother Mary Reparatrice Kelly in 1963. Both prayed and worked tirelessly to open the house, remaining fervent and faithful despite many obstacles. In 2023, the Sisters will celebrate their 60th Anniversary in Watertown.

The Sisters shared that they “live a life wholly dedicated to the prayer of adoration and reparation to give glory to God the Father through the worship His Son in the mystery of His Precious Blood. They pray for our Church and Priests, salvation of the all souls and mercy for the world.”

They labor to spread devotion to the Precious Blood through prayer, the distribution of Altar Bread, and disseminating materials.

“We have a Card Shop in which we enroll members in the Precious Blood Treasury of prayers and masses. We also distribute Precious Blood devotionals, prayer cards and literature.”

This includes Confession Guides and Daily Offering prayers in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, which they have sent to all 50 states and the seven continents.

“These prayers have been passed on from one generation to the next in many families,” noted the Sisters. “These prayers and Confession Guides are a perfect means of helping people to come ‘home’ to the Church.”

The sisters have pamphlets available about their charism, which explain their vocation of love and constant prayer in service for the Church. “Contemplative prayer is a gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church and to the whole world... As the recipients of the spiritual heritage of our Mother Foundress, we are called to a life wholly dedicated to the prayer of adoration and reparation. The principle end of our Institute is to give glory to the Father through the worship of His Son in the mystery of His Precious Blood and to honor Mary Immaculate in her conception.

“While our physical presence among the People of God is limited, our apostolic zeal for souls, purchased with the Saving Blood of Christ, finds its effectiveness in our life of prayer, contemplation and union with God.”


Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sister Cindy Sullivan, BVM is a unique treasure in our diocese, as the only member of her order who has served here.

“I am the only Sister of Charity BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary) in the diocese,” she said. “We are a community based in Dubuque, Iowa. I was born in Massena. I was in Quito, Ecuador for 43 years. From 1974 to 1978 I was in Quito as a Peace Corps volunteer. I joined the BVM’s in 1978. Ever since 1978, I would come back from Quito each summer and Father George Maroun would assign me a parish or two to speak in each year. So, actually I have been involved in the diocese as a guest missionary each summer since 1979. I returned to Massena in 2017. I have helped the mission office each year speaking in the schools and making appeals for the mission office. Bishop Terry invited me to be on the Mission Board. I am currently the Director of Meals on Wheels in Massena. Our charisms are Education, Freedom and Justice.”


Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod
Sister Jackie Sellappan, SCC, house superior of the Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod (SCC) in Cadyville, recounted that her order first came to our diocese in December 2009.

“They came in the heavy cold winter,” she said. “There was zero visibility in the snow. We opened a house in Watertown, and the sisters were all called to be pastoral associates. One sister was working as a chaplain in Samaritan Hospital, another sister was working as pastoral associate in a parish, and a third Sister was working in Saint Joseph’s Motherhouse in the infirmary. Then, afterwards we closed house in Norwich in 2012. When our Provincial came for a visit she asked Bishop Terry R. LaValley, because we were closing down that house and were left with only two sisters, if the Sisters could move into Watertown along with other Sisters. He said, ‘Yes, you are most welcome.’ He was so gracious to allow us to merge the communities together as one community. So, there were four of us. Two of us worked as pastoral associates (DREs, visiting the sick and shut-ins, office work). I was doing a lot of work, and I learned a lot from my predecessor – all the government works regarding BINGO, and all the different things that she taught me in two years’ time. She taught me a lot. I helped to run the Mount Carmel festival along with the priests and other parishioners. And people were so good, so good in our parishes.”

Sister Jackie went on a mission appeal in Morrisonville and Treadwells Mills in 2014. People asked me, “Sister Jackie, why don’t you stay here and help us?” Then, the priest also asked, so I said, ‘Why don’t you inform the bishop? If that’s where we’re called, we’ll extend ourselves.’ That word went out and the bishop so graciously accepted that invitation asking us to live in Cadyville. Sister Ellen Donahue, S.A., then Episcopal Delegate for Religious, was happy to work on this new project of bringing the SCC to Cadyville.

The Sisters went to Cadyville in September 2017. Three Sisters from India came and two joined Sister Jackie when she went from Watertown to Cadyville. One Sister stayed in Watertown. The diocese wanted them to open a house to help at Saint Joseph’s Nursing Home in Ogdensburg in 2021. For whatever reason, that didn’t work out, so the two Sisters moved back to Watertown. Since there weren’t enough places to accommodate the Sisters, Father Arthur J. Labaff and all of the area priests decided to allow two Sisters to work in Sacketts Harbor. One is a nurse and the other is a pastoral associate. Three are in Watertown (one is a CNA at Summit Village in Watertown), and three are in Cadyville.

“We stay in Cadyville, but I work at the three Churches in Holy Cross Parish. Sister Deepali Bankar works for Morrisonville, Saint Alexanders, Saint James, and Saint Augustine. Sister Rani Selvaraj works for us as pastoral associate at Saint Patrick’s in Rouses Point and Saint Mary’s in Champlain.

In Watertown, Sister Angelica Rebello is pastoral associate at Holy Family, Saint Anthony, and Saint Patrick’s. Sister Jessintha Xavier works at Samaritan Hospital as a chaplain. Sister Shin Treesa Devis works as a CNA at Summit Village Nursing Home in Watertown.

Sister Flavia D’Costa in Sackets Harbor, works for Watertown, Brownville, and Sacketts Harbor parishes. Sister Rosie Soosairaj works as a nurse practitioner at the Watertown hospital. The Sackets Harbor community is a joined community with Watertown. Although they are located in three places, the Sisters belong to the same order.

The SCC’s have 1600 Sisters in Africa, Asia, America, Europe in 17 countries. Their vision is “To make the good God known and loved” and their motto is “Living the Paschal Mystery joyfully.”

“The SCC are so happy for the Bishop’s accepting us into his diocese, even though today everything seems to be changing and different, still we experience his care and his love, he wants us to grow in Christ closely and dearly,” explained Sister Jackie. “He has a special respect for us, for our Congregation and so we want to express our gratitude for all that we have received from the Lord, first from Bishop Terry and his administration and the staff and the respective priests wherever we have worked, and the people at large for their love, concern, and care. We have grown because of all of these people who worked and helped us in many different ways to continue to proclaim and to tell the world that God is love. We are here as SCC to make the good God known and loved.”

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