By Elizabeth Lowe
Xaverian Brother John Hamilton remembers he first discerned his vocation to religious life in middle school. His desire to enter religious life was nurtured in high school.
“When I experienced the community of (Xaverian) brothers that taught in the (high) school that I attended, it felt like a real fit,” said Brother John, 67, vicar general of his order at the Xaverian Brothers Generalate in Irvington. “When I was a junior in high school, a (Xaverian) brother asked me if I ever thought about this (a religious vocation). I recognized that I had. I began to think about it a lot more.”
Brother John, who is celebrating 50 years of religious life, is one of the 43 priests, religious brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Baltimore marking jubilees this year. He was among the more than 100 clergy and religious recognized at a Feb. 1 World Day for Consecrated Life and jubilee celebration Mass at St. Matthew in Northwood. Those present renewed their vows.
“It’s surprising that it’s 50 years. It doesn’t seem like it,” Brother John said of his golden jubilee. “It’s an opportunity to celebrate what I’ve been able to offer, what I’ve been given by God to offer to others, to celebrate the life of relationship I’ve known in the community with the people I worked with, with the students I taught.”
During his homily, Baltimore Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden, the principal celebrant, said in 1997 Blessed John Paul II established a day dedicated to honoring consecrated life.
“We have gathered to thank God for your great generosity and courage,” Bishop Madden said.
Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia Thomas More Stepnowski, who teaches at Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville, entered her religious order after college.
“Through living in community and the contemplative dimension you begin truly to grow into the person that God wishes to use in the world,” said Sister Thomas More, who is marking 25 years of religious life and 26 years as a Dominican Sister.
Jesuit Father G. Harry Hock, who is celebrating 60 years as a Jesuit and 50 years as a priest, began considering a vocation to the priesthood as a boy.
“When I attended St. Elizabeth School in Baltimore, they had the Franciscan Sisters and they talked about the priests and what it meant to be a priest,” said Father Hock, 82, who also attended Loyola Blakefield in Towson and what is now Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. “I was always leaning toward that.”
Four religious sisters are marking 75 years of religious life this year: Daughter of Charity Sister Anne Joseph Edelen, Daughter of Charity Sister Camilla Harant, Religious Sister of the Good Shepherd Anne Marie Solomon and Daughter of Charity Sister Julia Walsh.
Conventual Franciscan Father Joseph Benicewicz
Redemptorist Father Kenneth Gaddy
Jesuit Father John Mattimore
Jesuit Father James J. Miracky
Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia Thomas More Stepnowski
Josephite Father Daniel Bastianelli
Daughter of Charity Sister Mary Beard
Religious Sister of the Good Shepherd Mary Becker
All Saints Sister of the Poor Catherine Grace Bowen
Mission Helper of the Sacred Heart Sister Susanne Bunn
Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Margaret Connor
Franciscan Father Vincent de Paul Cushing
Sister of Bon Secours Elaine Davia
Jesuit Father G. Richard Dimler
Xaveriean Brother John Hamilton
Jesuit Father James Joyce
Benedictine Sister Irene Marshiano
Jesuit Father Francis X. Metzbower
Redemptorist Father Richard Poetzel
All Saints Sister of the Poor Elaine Swann
All Saints Sister of the Poor Barbara Ann Underhill
Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Benedicta Chang
Daughter of Charity Sister Rosemary Costigan
Jesuit Father G. Harry Hock
Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Anne Hodgson
Xaverian Brother Cornelius Hubbuch
Daughter of Charity Sister Ann Adele Kelly
Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Frances McCann
Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Regina Pelligrini
Oblate Sister of Providence Mary Clarice Proctor
Sister of St. Francis of Assisi Delores Zack
Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Mary Teresa Day
Religious Sister of the Good Shepherd Marita Aumiller
Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Anne Berringer
Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Rita Adele Comber
Daughter of Charity Sister Marian Hagner
Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Patricia Murray
Daughter of Charity Sister Annina Scharper
Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Marian Shelledy
Daughter of Charity Sister Anne Joseph Edelen
Daughter of Charity Sister Camilla Harant
Religious Sister of the Good Shepherd Anne Marie Solomon
Daughter of Charity Sister Julia Walsh