About 15 years ago the Bishop of the Erie diocese began an annual Mass for Deceased Religious. Over the years it has grown to become a Eucharist in remembrance of the religious women, priests, permanent deacons, and members of the diocesan Serra Club who have died in the past year. Tonight is this year's liturgy.
It is held at the Sisters of Mercy Motherhouse in south Erie and our community's musicians form the core of the music makers, including our full 12-member handbell choir.
This year we have only one sister on the list for remembrance, Sr. Nora Curran, who died in July. The Sisters of St. Joseph (130 members), the Sisters of Mercy (55), the Sisters of the Divine Spirit (40), a community of eight enclosed Carmelites, and the Benedictine Sisters of Saint Marys, PA (25), are the other major religious communities of women in the diocese. There is a smattering of other sisters working in the diocese and maybe 200 priests, and numerous Serrans---an organization that promotes vocations to priesthood and religious life. There are no longer many religious communities of men here, though there are a few Benedictines from Latrobe at parishes in Saint Marys. At one time there were Redemptorists, Brothers of Mary, Society of the Divine Word, and probably others that are unknown to me.
Early November here can bring 50 degrees or 3" of new snow. Unless there's a freak snowstorm---that first wet, heavy, perfect for snowballs and snowmen kind---it will have a nice attendance.
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