The Little Sisters of the Poor celebrated their 150th anniversary of coming to the United States with a Mass of thanksgiving April 9 at St. Nicholas of Tolentine, Jamaica.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio was the main celebrant. He was joined by Auxiliary Bishops Raymond Chappetto, Octavio Cisneros, Paul Sanchez and Neil Tiedemann, C.P.; retired Rockville Centre Bishop William Murphy, and Bishop Andrzej Zglejszewski, Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre.
Priests and family members joined in the celebration as they paid special reverence to St. Jeanne Jugan, founder of the order.
Queen of Peace Residence Mother Superior Celine Therese, l.s.p., was thankful so many people came to celebrate but continues to pray to keep all sisters true to their mission.
“We celebrate our arrival onto American soil and where the divine providence helped each one us to continue the mission of the Little Sisters,” she said. “We thank so many bishops, priests, family and friends for coming to support us. We are grateful to God for keeping us in the spirit of our Mother founder St. Jeanne Jugan. We ask her to pray for us to keep us faithful to our commitment and mission to the glory of God.”
Bishop DiMarzio thanked the Little Sisters of the Poor for their work and prayed for their vocations.
“The Little Sisters are so beloved in the diocese and they help to take care of the elderly and sick but so many others as well,” said the bishop. “We appreciate all the work they do and we pray they can continue.
“Today, we celebrate their history and service. The sisters continue the work of the Redemption as they live their lives for the sake of caring for others. In celebration and in thanks we show our gratitude to the Sisters.
“We ask their great work continue and we pray they are blessed with many vocations even more then they need so that their work and care can always continue. All understood the call of the Incarnation and the call to care for others.”
Sister Marguerite Dunseith, l.s.p., serves at Jeanne Jugan Residence in the Bronx.
“I grew up in Holy Child Jesus, Richmond Hill,” she said, “and I volunteered with the sisters growing up and in high school and they always inspired me.
“I entered three weeks after we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the Little Sisters. God is so good as He continues to put so many amazing people in our path throughout our history, which has allowed us to continue to grow.”
In the Diocese of Brooklyn, the Little Sisters of the Poor currently maintain Queen of Peace Residence in Queens Village. It opened its doors to senior residents in February 1970, as a newly constructed and modern home for the aged. The residents who filled its halls and rooms on that February day came from two existing homes: St. Augustine’s Home, Brooklyn, the first home established in the U.S. by the Little Sisters in 1868, and Sacred Heart Home, Manhattan which opened in 1870.