On July 29, 2006, the Monroe IHM sisters all came together to celebrate Jubilee. A Jubilee is the anniversary of when a sister entered or professed vows in her religious community. We have a big celebration each year for sisters celebrating their 25th (silver jubilee), 50th (golden jubilee), 60th and 75th (diamond jubilee) anniversaries.

In our congregation, this is a big day. It is a day when sisters come home from all over: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Washington D.C., California, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Italy, and Africa. It’s like a big family reunion where everyone is genuinely delighted to see one another. During the Mass in which we celebrate the Jubilarians, each Jubilarian is named and renews her vows. The entire community affirms them and blesses them. The peace greeting is a riot as everyone leaves their pews to kiss and hug everyone around them. It goes on for quite a while — even during communion, people are still waving and hugging. Truly it is an experience of communion, a feeling of oneness with one another and with God. During the liturgy, we sang a special hymn called the “IHM Centennial Hymn” which was written by an IHM sister. All the sisters know this song by heart. Accompanied by the beautiful Casavant organ, the sisters belt out this song in full harmony. It is quite an amazing experience.

Being home in Monroe to spend the weekend celebrating our women who have lived IHM life and ministered for so many years was a joy and an honor. Such a community celebration renews our spirits, strengthens our bond of sisterhood, and stirs deep within our souls a sense of gratitude and love for one another and for God.

    All down the years, O Lord, with love unfailing
    Guiding, protecting, thou hast been our stay:
    How shall we thank thee for the grace thou sendest
    Blessing us anew from day to day.
    True in our hearts our song shall ever be:
    Praise, love, thanksgiving, our God to thee!
    Praise, love, thanksgiving, our God to thee!

    ~ IHM Centennial Hymn, verse 2