MERIDEN, CT (06-23-2019) – The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ focused on two sacred events for the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. A Mass in commemoration of the third death anniversary of Mother Rosemae Pender, FSE, Mother Foundress, was celebrated by the Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair, S.T.D., Archbishop of Hartford, at the John Lateran Center of Formation. Following the Mass, the Blessing of the renovated original structure and the 13-bedroom new addition of the John Lateran Center marked an historic day of completion for this years-long building project which was funded entirely by donations.
Approximately 240 guests attended the outside event which was graced by a sun-filled, cloudless blue sky and a gentle breeze. Concelebrating the Mass with Archbishop Blair were Bishop Christopher Coyne, Bishop of Burlington; Very Reverend Douglas Mosey, CSB, Very Reverend Kevin Meehan, LC, Reverend Raymond Borkowski, OFM Conv., Reverend Christopher O’Connor, LC, Reverend Lawrence Symolon and Reverend Robert Landback. Deacons Donald Philip and Vincent Raby assisted, and Reverend Matthew Gworek and Brother Leo Maneri, FBE were Masters of Ceremonies.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Mother Miriam Seiferman, FSE, Mother General, welcomed everyone. Mother Shaun Vergauwen, FSE, Mother Co-foundress, then explained that Mother Rosemae’s love of the Church was depicted in her choice of a feast day, the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. Known as the “Mother of all the churches,” the Basilica symbolizes the universal Church centered in Rome. Years ago, the Sisters chose the name of the motherhouse, now the formation center, to be “John Lateran.” The two sacred events of Mother Rosemae’s death anniversary and the blessing of the John Lateran Center come together in this special day of gratitude and celebration.
During the blessing ceremony, Mother Shaun introduced and acknowledged with deep gratitude, the architects, contractors, builders and craftsmen who worked on the project, with special recognition of Alan Lagocki, architect; John Sullivan, general contractor; and Robert Schechinger, landscape architect. While Archbishop Blair blessed the various rooms in the house, the formation Sisters provided instrumental music for the congregation outside. Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed tours of the house and refreshments on the new patio.