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Father Muench Says...

Appreciation for sisters and deacons

October 13, 2021

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

I was truly please with the Priest’s Appreciation issue! I enjoyed seeing the parishes of the North Country pay honor and appreciation to their pastor and priests. Today I would like to personally share my appreciation for the religious sisters who serve in the parishes and schools of our diocese. In addition, I want to offer my appreciation to the permanent deacons of our diocese.

Today, a tip of the hat to you, sisters, and to you, permanent deacons.

When I think of the religious sisters across the Diocese of Ogdensburg, I begin by offering my appreciation to our own sisters, the Sisters of St. Joseph. I recently noticed the list of the Sisters of St. Joseph who are celebrating their Jubilee anniversaries this year. I am reminded of just how long so many of the sisters have given in ministry and service to the Church in the North Country. I’m certain that the people across the diocese join me in our appreciation for the dedication of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Personally, I have been blessed to work with many Sisters of St. Joseph in the various parishes and schools where I have been assigned over the years. I have recognized just how special and outstanding these teachers are; many of their former students have often mentioned a sister to me. In recent year, many sisters began acting as associates in parishes, offering their talents to assist the pastor in ministry. Certainly, the Diocese of Ogdensburg has been served well by the Sisters of St. Joseph.

I would like to take a moment here to offer a personal appreciation to one of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Sister Sharon Dalton. Sister Sharon is the principal of St. Mary’s School, Ticonderoga. She was the principal at St. Mary’s while I served that community as pastor. She continues to be the principal now and serves the parish constantly. Sister Sharon has made St. Mary’s School an outstanding school with a fine faculty. It is a great place.

All in all, I encourage all of you to pray for the Sisters of St. Joseph and for all of the religious sisters who serve the parishes and schools of our diocese. We pray for an increase in vocations to these congregations.

And I would like to take the time to send my appreciation to the permanent deacons of the Diocese of Ogdensburg. Our diocese is blessed with many faith-filled and dedicated deacons, the permanent deacons who serve in our parishes. These parishes find such great service with their ministry.

This month, another class of new deacons has been ordained by Bishop LaValley. I congratulate this new group of deacons. Our diocese welcomes you and looks forward to your ministry in your parishes.

I hope you realize how much you bring to your parish and to this whole diocese. Through your dedication, you will fill your parish with peace and the joy of the Lord. This will bring a huge response of happiness for the people of your parish.

I have had the opportunity of recognizing how valuable these deacons are. I have traveled often to many of the parishes of the diocese. I want to thank these deacons for their dedication and time that they give – a gift given so generously.

A prayer from Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians: God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ – by grace you have been saved – raised us with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

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