The following religious are celebrating jubilees this year in the Diocese of Wilmington.
Bishop Malooly will be the main celebrant of a 5 p.m. Mass to honor them on May 1 at Church of the Holy Child in Wilmington.
Sister Edith of St. Gertrude Collins of the Little Sisters of the Poor has served at the Jeanne Jugan Residence in Newark for the past 24 years. A native of Dublin, Ireland, she made her first vows in 1948 at St. Bridget’s Novitiate in Dublin. She came to the United States immediately after her final vows in 1952 and has been in the country ever since. Sister Edith, who will turn 99 on May 29, holds the weekly “Legion of Mary” meetings, the weekly knitting club and daily visits to the residents’ area at Jeanne Jugan. She also is present each day for the rosary and takes an active part in the divine office.
Father William J. Keech was born in Wilmington and graduated from St. Peter Cathedral School and Salesianum School. He entered the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales in September 1948. Father Keech holds degrees from Catholic University and Iona College. In the Diocese of Wilmington, he taught at Salesianum; was parochial vicar and pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish; and was director of deferred giving for the Oblates’ development office. He also served as a pastor in Florida and as director of vocations for the Oblates. Father Keech lives at the Salesianum Oblate Community.
Father Joseph J. McKenna graduated from Northeast Catholic High School in Philadelphia before earning degrees from Niagara University and Catholic University of America. The Oblate of St. Francis de Sales was a teacher at Father Judge and Northeast Catholic high schools in his native Philadelphia, and at St. Francis de Sales High School in Toledo, Ohio. Father McKenna also served in education as a vice principal, dean of students, department chairperson, athletic director and track coach. He was also the registrar at De Sales University and has served as a chaplain at Christiana and St. Francis hospitals in the Diocese of Wilmington. Father McKenna is retired and lives at Annecy Hall in Childs, Md.
Oblate of St. Francis de Sales Brother Michael J. Rosenello, a native of Camden, N.J., was a longtime member of the staff at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Wilmington, working primarily at Padua Academy. Brother Mike, a graduate of Northeast Catholic, helped build Padua and was a fixture at the school’s athletic and other events for decades. He also served as a staff member at the De Chantal Hall Oblate Community in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Villa Maria Retreat House in Wernersville, Pa. Brother Mike is retired and lives at Annecy Hall.
Father John A. Finn, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, was a hospital chaplain in the diocese at the Delaware Medical Center and St. Francis, both in Wilmington. The Philadelphia native graduated from Northeast Catholic and taught there, as well as at Father Judge in Philadelphia and St. Francis de Sales High School in Toledo, Ohio. Father Finn is retired and lives at Annecy Hall in Childs, Md.
Father William J. Hultberg, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, is a Wilmington native who attended Marshallton Elementary School and Salesianum. He is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Korea, and he entered the Oblates after graduating from La Salle College. With the Oblates, Father Hultberg ministered at various Oblate high schools and also served as an Army chaplain, addictions counselor, director of pastoral care, and assistant to the president at Caron Treatment Centers in Wernersville, Pa. He lives at the Salesianum Oblate Community.
Sister Vincent Schroeder, a Benedictine Sister of Ridgely, Md., grew up in Wilmington and attended St. Peter Cathedral School and St. Elizabeth High School. She earned degrees from the University of Delaware and Seton Hall University and taught at St. Elizabeth elementary and high schools; Sacred Heart in Wilmington; Our Lady of Fatima in New Castle; and St. Edmond’s School in Rehoboth Beach. She also taught in New Jersey.
A Philadelphia native, Brother Gerald M. Sweeney joined the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales after graduating from Northeast Catholic High School. He worked at Salesianum in the Diocese of Wilmington and at Oblate communities in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Brother Gerald is retired and lives at Buckley Hall in Childs, Md.
Sister Redempta Sweeney of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary ministered in the pastoral care department at St. Mark’s High School for 16 years. Since retiring, she has volunteered in the RCIA program at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Bear. Sister Redempta was a teacher and principal at the elementary and high school levels, and she spent 22 years in various capacities with her congregation, including director of novices and major superior.
Father Thomas J. Tucker, a Philadelphia native, graduated from Northeast Catholic and spent several years teaching at Salesianum. He also taught at Father Judge High School. Father Tucker is retired and lives at Annecy Hall.
Father Gerard J. Mahoney was a teacher at Salesianum and a parish minister at St. Anthony of Padua, both in Wilmington, during his ministry with the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. The Philadelphia native graduated from Northeast Catholic. His other teaching assignments included Father Judge in Philadelphia and Holy Name High School in Reading. He is retired and lives at Annecy Hall.
Father Edward J. Roszko, a Wilmington native, attended St. James School and Salesianum. He attended Niagara University, Catholic University and Notre Dame. He has been a teacher at various Oblate high schools, including Salesianum, and schools in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Father Roszko lives at Annecy Hall.
Father Gerald M. Dunne, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, is parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception in Elkton, Md. The Philadelphia native graduated from Northeast Catholic and De Sales University and has worked in the Diocese of Wilmington as a teacher at Salesianum and as a deacon at St. Francis Hospital. He also has taught in Philadelphia and been a parochial vicar in Virginia.
Sister Patricia Hutchison, a Sister of St. Francis of Philadelphia, was born at St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington and graduated from Corpus Christi grade and high schools in Elsmere. Following her graduation from Our Lady of Angels College (now Neumann University), she taught at Padua Academy. Sister Pat also ministered in the diocese as principal at St. John the Beloved and St. Paul’s schools. She also served at schools in Maryland and South Carolina and has worked in congregational leadership and at the Franciscan Federation in Washington, D.C. For the past 18 years, Sister Pat has served at Neumann as the director of the Neumann Institute for Franciscan Studies and as a teacher in the doctoral program in educational leadership. She lives in Holy Child Parish and is a member of the board at St. Francis Hospital.
Sister Jane LaManna currently works at the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia’s retirement facility at Assisi House. A native of Reading, Pa., she accompanies the sisters to their medical appointments. Sister Jane served 45 years in health care in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and was administrator of Assisi House from 2002-15.
Sister Julie McCole is the director of resident services for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia at Assisi House. Sister Julie was a teacher at the elementary and secondary levels, including at St. Mark’s High School, where she taught freshmen and sophomores. From 1985-87, she was a director of religious education on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, serving parishes in Easton, Chestertown and Galena. Sister Julie was director of the Emmanuel Dining Room from 2015-17. Sister Julie has served as vocations director for her congregation and in various capacities as a retreat presenter and spiritual director.
Sister Arlene McDonough, a Sister of St. Francis of Philadelphia, ministered in formation ministry and lived at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Wilmington while in the Diocese of Wilmington. The Reading, Pa., native also worked in parish ministry and congregational leadership. She is currently a counselor and lives in north Wilmington.
Sister Kathleen O’Donnell is currently a manager at Emmanuel Dining Room in New Castle. The native of Ireland joined the Sisters of St. Francis in Ireland and came to Philadelphia in 1966. She spent 28 years working in Oregon and also ministered in California, Wyoming and Washington. She also was missioned to Antigua, where she worked with the elderly and also in sacramental preparation. For the past 12 years, Sister Kathleen has been with the Ministry of Caring.
Sister Patricia Smith, a native of Baltimore, is a defender of the bond in the Diocese of Wilmington’s tribunal office, and she is a member of the leadership team of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. She has served in congregational ministries, parish ministry and education, primarily on the collegiate level. She is also a noted stand-up comedian.
Father James R. Yeakel, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, is the pastor at Immaculate Conception in Elkton. The Philadelphia native and graduate of Northeast Catholic High School has a doctoral degree in clinical social work from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has worked as a case worker at Catholic Charities in Washington, D.C., and as a therapist, professor, director of pastoral field education and director of pastoral care. Father Yeakel also has been a parochial vicar in Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Father Michael S. Murray, a member of the staff at Salesianum School, grew up in Wilmington and attended St. John the Beloved and Salesianum schools. He has also been principal at Northeast Catholic High School; director of the De Sales Spirituality Center in both Childs and Washington, D.C.; superior of the De Sales Centre in Childs. At Salesianum, he has been a teacher and is currently director of staff, parent and alumni.
Father Mark J. Wrightson is a Wilmington native who is currently on the staff at St. Anthony of Padua Parish. He attended Christ Our King and Salesianum schools. Father Wrightson has been a teacher at Salesianum and Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, Fla., and his parish assignments have included stops in Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as well as at St. Thomas More Oratory in Newark.
Sister Frances Catherine Reynolds, a native of Wilmington, is a member of the Little Sisters of the Poor. She was a member of Corpus Christi Parish in Elsmere prior to joining the congregation, and she served the parish as a minister of the Eucharist and religious-education teacher. She attended Corpus Christi School and Padua Academy, where she was a multi-sport athlete. She worked for the Little Sisters in their business office at Jeanne Jugan Residence for 10 years before joining them. Sister Frances also volunteered for Pacem in Terris. With the Little Sisters, her assignments have included working in Virginia, Chicago and New York City. She recently returned to Delaware to serve at the Jeanne Jugan Residence, where she makes rosaries.