Ten members of religious orders celebrated jubilee years in the Diocese of Wilmington.
70 Years Professed
- Sr. Eleanor Horneman, OSF
Eleanor Horneman, born in Baltimore, entered the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia in 1946. She served as an educator and administrator in the dioceses of Trenton, N.J., and Baker, Ore., and the archdioceses of Baltimore and Philadelphia. Following careers in teaching, collegiate administration and congregational leadership, she served as parish liturgist. She was awarded the Papal medal, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice and, now retired, she resides in the Diocese of Wilmington.
65 Years Professed
- Sr. Gerard Falkowska, OSB
Sister Gerard, a native of Wilmington served as principal of St. Elizabeth Elementary School for more than 30 years. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in administration from Villanova University. In addition to her dedication to education, Sister was very much committed to Pacem in Terris, an organization dedicated to peace on Earth. In 1998, Sister was chosen for the “Peacemaker Among Us” award in Delaware.
Sister Gerard is currently sub-prioress of her Benedictine community and looks after the sisters and the monastery needs when the prioress is unavailable. She can often be seen decorating the chapel and the dining room, or writing anniversary cards to the priests in the diocese. As sub-prioress, Sister Gerard is a member of the community council and she is responsible for taking the minutes of each meeting.
65 Years Professed
- Sr. Mildred Haipt, OSU
Mildred Haipt is an Ursuline Sister who grew up in Bloomfield, N.J. She entered the Ursulines one year after graduation from Fordham University.
Early on, Sister Mildred taught in high school at Ursuline Academy in Bethesda, Md., Ursuline Academy in Wilmington and the Ursuline School in New Rochelle, N.Y. Her graduate studies were completed at Fordham University and at the University of Maryland.
Sister was at the College of New Rochelle for 35 years. During that time, she also taught overseas at Assumption University in Thailand. After retirement, Sister Mildred returned to Wilmington. She currently serves part-time at Serviam Girls Academy, a middle school for girls in New Castle.
60 years professed
- Rev. Francis J. Blood, OSFS
Father Francis J. Blood, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales for 60 years, was born in Philadelphia in 1938. He attended St. Joan of Arc Grammar School and graduated from Northeast Catholic High School in 1957. Following graduation, he entered the Oblate novitiate and made his first profession of vows in January 1959.
Father Blood earned a bachelor of arts in government and a masters of art in counseling from Niagara University, and a master of arts in administration/supervision from University of Central Florida. He continued his theological studies at De Sales Hall, Washington, D.C., and was ordained to the priesthood on May 27, 1972, at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Philadelphia.
In the Diocese of Wilmington, Father Blood served as the director of pastoral care at St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington. He also has been a senior priest at Immaculate Conception in Elkton, Md.
He was the activities director at Northeast Catholic High School (Philadelphia) and a member of the admissions staff at De Sales University (Center Valley, PA). His teaching assignments included Bishop McDevitt High School (Harrisburg, Pa.) and Father Lopez High School (Daytona Beach, Fla.). In addition, he was a pastor at parishes in North Carolina and Florida, academic dean at De Sales Hall in Washington, and chaplain at Cooper Medical Center in Camden, N.J.
Father has lived at the Oblate Community at Annecy Hall, Childs, Md., since 2018.
60 Years Professed
- Rev. Joseph E. Tustin, OSFS
Oblate of St. Francis de Sales Father Joseph E. Tustin was born in Philadelphia in 1939. He attended St. Anne Grade School and graduated from Northeast Catholic High School in 1957. Following graduation, he entered the Oblate novitiate and made his first profession of vows in August, 1959.
Father Tustin earned a bachelor of arts in philosophy from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.) and a master of divinity from De Sales School of Theology in Hyattsville, Md. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1967 at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.
Father Tustin served on the faculty at Father Judge High School and Northeast Catholic High School, both in Philadelphia, PA, and he was on the staff at Villa Maria Retreat House in Wernersville, Pa. He was an associate pastor or pastor at several churches in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
He retired to the Oblate Community at Buckley Hall, Childs, in 2015.
55 Years Professed
- Sr. Dolores Huhman, RSM
Sister Dolores Huhman, a Sister of Mercy, was a longtime teacher. She ministered in Philadelphia and also in North Carolina and Danville, Va.
After her teaching career, she served in religious education in Jacksonville, N.J. Sister Dolores continued as a director of religious education 24 years. For nine years, Sister Dolores was a parish pastoral services director in Boothwyn, Pa., where she continued to minister with RCIA, Scripture, liturgy and parish events.
She currently works at St. John the Beloved Parish in Wilmnington and was previously on the staff at Christ the Teacher Catholic School in Glasgow. She likes to share her story about vocations at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.
55 Years Professed
- Rev. John M. O’Neill, OSFS
Father John M. O’Neill, a professed Oblate of St. Francis de Sales for 55 years, was born in Wilmington in 1944. He attended St. Elizabeth Elementary School and graduated from Salesianum in 1962. He made his first profession of vows in August 1964. Father O’Neill earned a bachelor of arts and master of arts in philosophy from Catholic University of America. He continued his theological studies at De Sales Hall, Washington, D.C., and was ordained to the priesthood on June 9, 1973, at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington.
Father O’Neill’s career in education took him to Toledo, Ohio; Niagara Falls, N.Y.; Fort Myers, Fla.; Warminster, Pa.; and Fairfax, Va. He also spent time in education as a guidance counselor assistant provincial and academic dean. He also served in parish ministry as an assistant pastor and pastor in Virginia, Florida and Pennsylvania, and he was assistant to the president at De Sales University in Center Valley, Pa.
Father O’Neill retired to the Oblate Community at Buckley Hall, Childs, in 2017.
50 Years Professed
- Sr. Helen Jacobson, OSF
A Sister of St. Francis of Philadelphia, Sister Helen resides in Wilmington and serves as congregational archivist at the motherhouse in Aston, Pa.
Born and educated in Baltimore, she entered the congregation in 1966 and ministered mainly in secondary education from 1970-91 in Baltimore and Pensacola, Fla., where she was also co-director of youth ministry for the diocese. Sister established and maintained an archives for St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Md., from 1992-2003, when she was appointed to her current position.
50 Years Professed
- Very Rev. Mark S. Mealey, OSFS
Father Mark S. Mealey celebrates this year the 50th anniversary of his religious profession as an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales and the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.
Born in Philadelphia in 1950, Father Mealey attended Maternity BVM Parochial School and graduated from Father Judge High School in 1968. Following graduation, he entered the Oblate Novitiate at Childs. Father Mealey received his B.A. in social studies from Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales (now De Sales University), M.A. in History from West Chester University, Ph.D. in Canon Law from the University of Ottawa, and J.C.D. in Canon Law from St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada.
He did his theological studies at De Sales Hall in Washington, D.C., and was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 1979, at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.
Father Mealey has been a parochial vicar at St. John Neumann Parish in Reston, Va., and he has worked in the chancery and Tribunal offices in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Diocese of Wilmington. He’s been a judicial vicar, episcopal vicar for pastoral services, and vicar general for the Diocese of Arlington, Va. He is currently the judicial vicar for the Diocese of Wilmington.
50 Years Professed
- Sr. Sharon Marie Robinson, OSF
A Sister of St. Francis of Philadelphia, Sister Sharon is presently administrator assistant/school business manager at Holy Angels School in Newark.
She was born and educated in Baltimore. She entered the congregation in 1966. She taught in elementary schools in Wilmington and Baltimore. Sister Sharon served in the finance office for her congregation in Aston, Pa., and in the provincial office in Baltimore.