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ICM Caribbean Centennial Celebrations

by Sr. Pat McGraw, icm

Our District was favored since all of us were present in Frederiksted, St.Croix, the birthplace of the Caribbean District, for these days of great jubilation. We were privileged to have among us Sr. Lieve Stragiers, General Councilor, and Myriam De Meester, the great-grand niece of Mother Foundress from Belgium; also among us were the four District Superiors from the Region of the Americas and Mary Sacrammaacc,Sr. Katie’s sister, and Pat McGraw icm. The first moment of jubilations for our Centennial celebration began July 9th in the evening at West End pier in Frederiksted. 

This was the very day 100 years ago that Mother Foundress disembarked and came ashore to St. Croix. From the pier, clergy, sisters of the district and our ICM friends from the different parishes of St. Croix joined in a candlelight procession. From the pier we walked in procession saying the rosary and singing hymns through the town. The procession stopped at Prince Street at the first convent where Mother Foundress had lived with the first community of the Missionary Canonesses of St. Augustine in the Caribbean. At this sacred and holy ground some prayers of gratitude were offered. With fondness four former students gave testimonies about the pioneering sisters and their dedication, strictness and kindness. These first Belgian missionaries engaged in education, professional and life skills with perfection, and family visiting, generosity and assistance to the needy, the teaching of the faith and love of God were their hallmarks. From the Catholic schools of ‘the nuns’ many professional and government leaders emerged in St. Croix. 

After the ‘praises of the nuns’, the procession proceeded to St. Patrick’s Church for Benediction. Before the formal benediction Msgr. Michael Kosak gave a vibrant tribute to the M.C. S. A., who are now our beloved I.C.M. Sisters. Msgr. Kosak gave many accolades and stories of memorable acquaintances with the ICM Sisters he had worked with in the pastoral ministry. After the solemn Benediction everyone gathered on the Church patio to mingle and share more greetings and memories while enjoying a simple snack in friendship.

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