Bishop Malooly celebrated Mass May 23 at Holy Family Church in Newark for the following religious sisters, a brother and priests observing milestone anniversaries as members of their orders.
Oblate Father Joseph D. Bowler began his teaching career in 1944 at Northeast Catholic High School in Philadelphia and DeSales Catholic High School in Lockport, N.Y. He spent two years in Monte Carlo as parochial vicar at St. Charles Parish. He has taught in Oblate high schools in Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware and Maryland. Father Bowler has been chaplain of the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales in Childs, Md., the Visitation Sisters in Wilmington, and at a hospital in Florida. He also was a pastor in Pennsylvania and served on the Oblates’ Mission Appeals Team. He retired in 1999 and currently resides at Annecy Hall in Childs.
Sister Edith Collins of the Little Sisters of the Poor has ministered in the Diocese of Wilmington since 1994. She joined the Little Sisters in 1945 in her native Dublin, Ireland, and professed final vows in France in 1952. She has served in many of the congregation’s homes, including those in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Maryland.
Father Hugh E. Duffy, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, lives at Annecy Hall in Childs, Md. He began his ministry on the faculty of Father Judge High School in Philadelphia, and he also spent 12 years at the Oblate novitiate in Childs. He also has lived on the Belvedere Plantation in Nottingham, Pa.
Sister Gertrude McConnell was born in Massachusetts and raised in a Protestant family that converted to Catholicism in 1938. She entered the Little Sisters of the Poor and made her first profession in France in 1948, where she spent the next 18 years serving the elderly in the congregation’s homes. Since returning to the United States in 1966, she has ministered in Little Sisters’ homes in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana and Virginia. She has been in the Diocese of Wilmington since 1988.
Oblate Father Francis J. Pileggi lives at Salesianum School in Wilmington, where he proctors study halls. He also celebrates Mass at parishes in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Sundays. Born in Willow Grove, Pa., he grew up in New Castle and graduated from Salesianum in 1951. He made his first profession of vows in 1952 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1961 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington. Father Pileggi spent most of his career in education, including a long tenure at Northeast Catholic High School in Philadelphia. He also has served as director of the DeSales Guild of Philadelphia and associate pastor of several parishes.
Brother John J. Carroll of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales is on the staff at Buckley Hall in Childs, Md. He has served at Ob-late residences and facilities, including Father Judge High School in Philadelphia and Brisson Seminary in Center Valley, Pa. From 1993 to 2002, he worked at the Oblate residence in Washington, D.C.
Father John P. Spellman has been on the faculty at Salesianum School since 1975. Ordained an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales at St. Anthony of Padua Church in 1966, he spent eight years at Father Judge High School. He also has ministered at three other Oblate high schools. Father Spellman was in the Navy from 1972-75 and served as a chaplain in the Naval Reserves for 30 years, retiring as a captain in 1998.
Sister Pauline Kelly, a native of Oakland, Calif., entered the Little Sisters of the Poor in 1959, a year after graduating from high school. After her first vows in 1962, she served in Philadelphia. She has begged on behalf of the Little Sisters across the United States, ministering at homes in Baltimore, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Richmond, Va., Chicago, Denver, Gallup, N.M., San Francisco and Washington, D.C. This is her second stint in the Diocese of Wilmington.
Felician Sister Barbara Ann Kemmerer teaches middle school at Immaculate Conception School in Elkton, Md., and lives at Our Lady of Grace in Newark. The Reading, Pa., native was taught by Felicians in elementary and high school and spent many days helping the sisters around the convent. She has spent most of her 50 years in religious life in elementary education as a teacher and principal in various New Jersey dioceses, and she has worked in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Sister Barbara Ann also has ministered at Covenant House in New York City and with Native Americans in Fort Norman in the Northwest Territories.
Father John M. Mokluk, a native of Philadelphia, joined the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales in 1960 and professed first vows two years later. He was ordained in 1970 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia until 1995, teaching theology and Spanish at Father Judge and Northeast Catholic high schools. He then moved to Salesianum School as a teacher. Now retired, he remains in ministry at Salesianum.
Sister Rosalie Pronsati joined the Religious Sisters of Mercy after her graduation from Archbishop Prendergast High School in Drexel Hill, Pa., in 1962. She has spent her career in education as a teacher and administrator and has taught reading and math at Christ the Teacher School in Glasgow since 2007. Sister Rosalie also has worked in the dioceses of Atlanta, Richmond, Va., Allentown, Pa., and Camden, N.J.
Oblate Sister of St. Francis de Sales John Marie Schauber began her ministry and spent more than 30 years at Mount Aviat Academy in Childs, Md., as a teacher and principal. She also worked in Drexel Hill, Pa., and now serves at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pa., where she teaches education and works in campus ministry. Sister John Marie also offers spiritual direction to staff and students.
Holy Cross Brother Michael A. Smith is headmaster emeritus and a member of the board of directors at St. Edmond’s Academy in Wilmington. From 1991-2004, he was headmaster of the all-boys elementary school. Under his leadership, St. Edmond’s expanded to add the Rollins Center for the Performing Arts and grew to include pre-kindergarten to third grade. Before coming to St. Edmond’s, Brother Smith was a member of the administration and faculty at the University of Notre Dame. He also worked in schools in New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Sister Rosanne Tanzola retired from Padua Academy in 2006 and lives in Newark. A member of the Sisters for Christian Community, Sister Rosanne has served in education, pastoral ministry and consulting. She joined the Padua faculty in 1990, teaching religion and leading diversity training. She also led workshops and adult classes on justice and peace. She spent 18 years in the Diocese of Richmond, Va., teaching in the diocesan seminary and ministering at the College of William & Mary and St. Bede’s, Williamsburg. She also served as pastoral minister to a priestless parish. In the Philadelphia archdiocese, Sister Rosanne served on the faculty of Gwynedd-Mercy College and St. Joseph’s University. She spent the first 20 years of religious life as a Sister of Mercy.
Sister Mary Vandergeest, a native of Philadelphia, has served in various positions in the Diocese of Wilmington during her 50 years as a Sister of St. Francis of Phil- adelphia. After making her profession of vows, she taught at St. Mary and St. Anthony of Padua schools in Wilmington. For a short time, she worked with the Ministry of Caring in Wilmington at the Mary Mother of Hope House. Sister Mary returned to Wilmington in 2000 and now serves as the executive director of the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation. She also has worked as a principal in the archdioceses of Baltimore and Philadelphia.
Benedictine Sister Eleanor Murray works in the finance office at St. Gertrude Monastery in Ridgely, Md., where she lives. The Wilmington native attended St. Paul’s School, Padua Academy and the University of Delaware. Before joining the Benedictines, Sister Eleanor taught at both St. Paul’s and Our Lady of Fatima in New Castle. After joining the congregation, she worked at the Little Viking Day Care Center and at St. Elizabeth Elementary School, and while there she also served on the parish’s Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults team. Sister Eleanor has also taught in Richmond, Va.