Albany's Jubilarian sisters include (standing, from left) Sister Mary Ellen Owens (50 years), and Sisters Kathleen Turley, Julia Mary Werner and Elizabeth Dovidio (60 years each), and (seated, from left) Sisters Laureen Fitzgerald and Helen Dillon (60 years each).
Albany's Jubilarian sisters include (standing, from left) Sister Mary Ellen Owens (50 years), and Sisters Kathleen Turley, Julia Mary Werner and Elizabeth Dovidio (60 years each), and (seated, from left) Sisters Laureen Fitzgerald and Helen Dillon (60 years each).
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The Sisters of Mercy – Northeast Community congratulates seven sisters in Albany who celebrate jubilee anniversaries this year, and who, collectively, have provided 425 years of service to the Empire State and beyond.

Albany’s jubilarians have brought the works of mercy to schools and parishes, hospitals and nursing homes, social service agencies and food pantries throughout upstate New York and in Alaska over the years. Today these sisters work, volunteer, pray for people in need, and advocate for social justice. Their advocacy work includes participating in rallies and vigils, working for change on behalf of women, the climate, and immigrants, and seeking an end to racism and violence.

75th jubilarian:
Sister Kathleen O’Hara, who ministered in Alaska for four decades, says summarizing the adventures she has had during her 75 years as a Sister of Mercy isn’t easy. “It’s like asking to pour a barrel full of water into a Dixie cup!” 

60th jubilarians:
Sister Helen Dillon does volunteer service.

Sister Elizabeth Dovidio is the treasurer of the Convent of Mercy in Albany, as well as its music director. 

Sister Laureen Fitzgerald, a former president of Maria College, reflects that she is blessed to have shared her life with “a multitude of beloved sisters in community, as well as family, friends, and colleagues who have accompanied me on the journey.”

Sister Kathleen Turley looks back on 60 years as a Sister of Mercy and finds that each of her ministries has been a gift and a challenge, calling her to a greater relationship with God. “Following in the footsteps of (founder) Catherine McAuley and living Gospel values have brought me to where I am today,” she says. “I would not change anything.”

Sister Julia Mary Werner observes that “being a Sister of Mercy for six decades has been a gift and a blessing. I look back in gratitude for so many opportunities to give and receive mercy.”

50th jubilarian: 
Sister Mary Ellen Owens has ministered in education, both as a teacher and administrator. She is now working in outreach with people who are poor, homeless or refugees, and finds the ministry to be a gift from God that has increased her “appreciation for all that God has given to me.” The most important thing for her, she says, has been “my life in community: working, playing and praying with those with whom I lived and served.”

These sisters are part of a larger celebration of jubilees in the Northeast Community, where 78 sisters with more than 5,300 total years of service are being recognized throughout the year.

Since arriving in Albany in 1863, the Sisters of Mercy have served in education, healthcare, social services and parish ministry. For many years, the sisters also had a special ministry to the people of Alaska. In the Albany area, the Sisters of Mercy sponsor Circles of Mercy and Maria College.

Learn more about the Sisters of Mercy at sistersofmercy.org.