PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Where there’s a will, there’s a way, as the old saying goes.
Determined to find a way to celebrate the jubilarians among the sisters and brothers in the Diocese of Brooklyn in the era of COVID-19, officials got creative and received a helping hand from technology to mark the milestone.
The contributions of sisters and brothers who are marking their 25th, 50th, 60th, 65th, 70th, and 75th years of service to God were celebrated by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio at a Mass at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph televised live Sunday morning on NET-TV, May 16.
“It’s important to celebrate the anniversaries of the religious in the diocese. We usually have a Mass and a big dinner for them. Unfortunately, COVID changed things,” Bishop DiMarzio said. “So this year, we’re having a Mass here at the co-cathedral and asking everyone to watch it on television,”
In addition to the Mass, the diocese, with the help of DeSales Media Group — the communications and technology non-profit operated within the diocese and parent company of The Tablet — put together a touching video tribute. The six-minute video honoring those members of the religious community celebrating special anniversaries was presented on NET-TV immediately following the Mass.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year’s celebration never took place. So this year, the jubilarians for 2020 and 2021 were both the focus of attention and admiration.
While none of the jubilarians was on hand at the co-cathedral for the celebration, the broadcast of the Mass and the video that played afterward assured that they could watch the events from the comfort and safety of home, according to Sister Maryann Seton Lopiccolo, S.C., episcopal delegate to the religious in the diocese.
“Last year, with COVID, everything was postponed. With this year’s celebration, I approached the bishop and I asked, ‘Can I do something a little bit more creative?’ And he agreed. I approached DeSales and they put together a beautiful video,” Sister Maryann said. “It’s another way to honor them, to let them know they’re not forgotten.”
There are 70 sisters and brothers in the diocese who marked jubilees in 2020 and 2021, totaling 4,315 years of service.
Bishop DiMarzio said the jubilarians’ hard work and dedication are remarkable.
“The anniversary of consecrated life is very important to the church,” he said.
Those living the religious life are devoted to service and largely shun the spotlight, said Sister Maryann, who marked her 50th year in 2020.
“When you’re living it and you’re in it, it’s one day at a time,” she said.
The video tribute can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKPJij0y5Pc