BVM sisters celebrate 175 years of ministry at St. Raphael Cathedral

DUBUQUE — The Sisters of Charity ofthe Blessed Virgin Mary, their associates and friends came together June 10 at St. Raphael Cathedral to celebrate 175 years since the women’s religious order arrived in Dubuque.

A Mass and social gathering were held to commemorate the occassion. Sister Teri Hadro, BVM president, spoke about the religious order to those gathered for Mass. Five BVM sisters arrived in Dubuque in 1843 with Bishop Matthias Loras. The BVMs expanded to include thousands of women over the years, founded many schools, such as Clarke College (now university), and participate in numerous other diverse ministries. The BVMs currently have 331 sisters ministering in 14 U.S. states, Ecuador and Ghana, according to Sister Teri.

“None of our history would have been the same or even possible had it not been for the hospitality and open-armed reception given to our sisters by the church and people of Dubuque,” she said. “Again, I thank you for being here today. We have learned much from you during our 175 years here, and we are so grateful God and Bishop Loras led us to this holy place.”

Msgr. Tom Toale, vicar general of the archdiocese, celebrated the Mass.

“Thank you for being a beacon of hope and nurturing a culture of encounter with God,” he said during his homily.

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