When Francis Cardinal George was told that the Sisters of St. Casimir would be moving to Lemont, IL, he expressed that he would like to celebrate the Eucharist with all the Sisters before the first Sisters left for their new home. The Sisters appreciated this gesture and were delighted when the Cardinal came to the Motherhouse on Saturday, May 24.
The liturgy was fitting for the day: beautiful Easter music filled the air. Sister Theresa Papsis played the organ and Anna Belle O’Shea, the flute. Cardinal George sang the Eucharistic Prayer. Though there was a hint of sadness that some of the Sisters would soon be leaving the Motherhouse, there was a sense of joy in being together and receiving a special blessing for the journey.
After the festive dinner following the Mass, Cardinal George blessed over 30 prayer shawls. These were crocheted or knitted by the SSC Prayer Shawl Ministry which includes Sisters Andreata Naudziunas, Salvatore Ciuckyte, Nancy Streitmatter; Paula Schultz, Wendy Lynn, and Joanne (the niece of Sisters Clement and Margaret Mary Mazgelis). The collection of prayer shawls also included some from the Prayer Shawl Ministry of Our Lady of Loretto Parish (Hometown, IL). The shawls will be given to the Sisters who will be moving to Franciscan Village in July.
One special shawl, beautifully knit by Sister Andreata, was presented to Cardinal George. Her beautiful message of comfort and healing for the Cardinal was read aloud. Before the Cardinal left, Sister Grace Carol Wastak led the Sisters in praying to Mother Maria for his healing and continued strength.