Sister Joyce Kahle celebrated her 50th anniversary of religious life June 7 during the evening Mass at Bellarmine Chapel in Cincinnati, surrounded by family, Precious Blood Sisters, former classmates and friends.
She has been a member of the Bellarmine community on the campus of Xavier University for 20 years and attends the Sunday evening liturgy. Well known for its lively style, the Mass attracts Catholics of all ages from across Cincinnati.
In addressing the congregation, Sister Joyce thanked them for their prayer and support. She recalled how they sent her off in prayer in 2005 when she was missioned to India to care for the survivors of the tsunami. Parishioners also stood by her and all women religious during a lengthy Vatican investigation into the activities of Catholic sisters in the United States. Bellarmine parishioners wrote letters on behalf of the sisters to newspaper editors and Catholic bishops in the United States.
“It is with great joy that I celebrate with you tonight,” Sister Joyce said to long applause “You have just been a wonderful congregation.”
After sharing some of the history of the Sisters of the Precious Blood and Maria Anna Brunner, the community’s founder, Sister Joyce led the Precious Blood Sisters in a renewal of their vows. About a dozen sisters attended the celebration.
In his homily, Father James Schutte spoke of the Year of Consecrated Life and recognized the men and women religious in attendance.
“Thank you for saying yes to the body of Christ as food for your calling, and for living in close union with the Lord who loves you and us so wonderfully and so deeply,” he said. “Thank you for loving us in his name and for serving the body of Christ with the ministry given you and with the charisms of the religious orders and congregations that you profess.”
Several parishioners shared hugs and laughs with Sister Joyce after the Mass.
Thirteen Precious Blood Sisters are marking milestone anniversaries of religious life this year. They will be recognized at a community-wide celebration later this month at Salem Heights, the Sisters’ central house in Dayton. Other celebrations will be held at the sisters’ parishes and places of ministry.