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2007 Jubilee celebration

Eleven Sisters of Providence from Mother Joseph Province will celebrate significant anniversaries of their years in religious life at 11 a.m. Saturday, August 11, at Sacred Heart Parish, 219 East Rockwood Boulevard, in Spokane. The Most Reverend William S. Skylstad, Bishop of Spokane, will preside at the liturgy, which will be followed by a luncheon honoring the Jubilarians at Providence Auditorium, 20 West 9th Avenue. The theme of the celebration is "All Creation Praise Our God."

The Jubilarians and their current residences are:

  • 70 years - Sisters Germaine Chabot, Seattle; and Ann Dolores Ybarrola, Great Falls, Mont.
  • 60 years - Sisters Maryann Bochsler, Anna Burris, and Wilma Fitzgerald, Seattle; Mary Fox, Vancouver, Wash.; and Elizabeth Gress, Spokane;
  • 50 years - Sisters Margaret Botch, Spokane; Nancy MacLean, Harlem, Mont.; and Roberta Rorke, Yakima, Wash.; and
  • 25 years - Sister Margaret "Peggy?"Alcorn, Spokane.

70 years

Sister Germaine Chabot (formerly Sister Germain of the Seven Dolors), was born in Clarence Creek, Ontario.? She made her novitiate in Montreal, then was missioned to the former Sacred Heart Province in Seattle.? She is known for her expertise in the health-care ministry as a capable and loving nurse, supervisor and administrator. Her assignments include 41 years at Providence Portland Medical Center, as well as service in Olympia, Yakima and Alaska.

Sister Ann Dolores Ybarrola (given name Catherine Ybarrola) was born in Havre, Mont. She began her life in ministry as a third-grade teacher in Missoula, Mont., and has spent the last 14 retirement years as a volunteer in Great Falls.? In between were elementary, secondary and college assignments in Montana, Idaho, Washington and Illinois. She served in institutional research, in the registrar?s office and in financial aid at the College (now University) of Great Falls for a total of 19 years.

60 years

Sister Maryann Bochsler (formerly Sister Mary Carmelita) has been a spiritual caregiver for more than 30 years. She still is a presence at Mount St. Vincent in Seattle, where she volunteers once a week as a Eucharistic minister. Born in St. Paul, Ore., she grew up in Mount Angel. For more than 20 years she was a nurse and nursing supervisor, serving in Walla Walla, Yakima, Seattle and Vancouver, Wash.; Portland, Medford and Astoria, Ore.; and Burbank, Calif.

Sister Anna Burris (formerly Sister Frances Ann) is a native of Grand Forks, N.D. She taught for five years at Maryville Academy, an orphanage for children of all ages in Des Plaines, Ill., followed by more than 20 years teaching in Seattle, Moxee, Olympia and Yakima, Wash., Burbank, and Fairbanks, Alaska. She also taught special education at West Seattle High School for 20 years before retiring. She then became treasurer of St. Joseph Residence, Seattle, for the next 13 years. From 1983 to 2004, she and her sister organized six "all-year" reunions of students, teachers and family members at Providence Academy, the sisters? first school in the West.

Sister Wilma Fitzgerald (formerly Sister Lidwine) grew up in a central Washington farming community. She taught in Wallace and DeSmet, ID; Missoula and Great Falls, Mont.; at the College of Great Falls, and at a preparatory school in Baltimore. She spent one year as a research associate at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto, continuing there as a junior and senior fellow until 1980, working with medieval Latin and Greek manuscripts. She also worked on other manuscript research projects at St. John's University's Hill Monastic Manuscript Library and for their Brepols Publisher. Today, she spends time tending the garden at St. Joseph Residence, Seattle.

Sister Mary Fox (formerly Sister Kathryn Ann) was born in Vancouver, Wash., where she lives today. Her first ministry was in the business office at the old St. Vincent Hospital in Portland. She worked in hospital business offices in Seattle and Portland, as a switchboard operator and receptionist at Providence Heights in Issaquah, Wash., and as secretary at St. Joseph Elementary School in Vancouver for 18 years. Her last ministry was 12 years as secretary to the director of volunteers at Providence Portland Medical Center. Today she is a volunteer at St. Joseph?s Parish.

Sister Elizabeth Gress (formerly Sister Rose Monica) has lived for the last 11 years at the novitiate in Spokane known as Nally House. Born in White Bluffs, Wash., she has been a teacher in Great Falls and Glasgow, Mont.; Walla Walla and Colfax, Wash.; Des Plaines, Ill.; and Kellogg, Idaho. She returned to St. Thomas Home in Great Falls several times, as a helper with the boarders, and later as a teacher and principal until its closure.? She also was a teacher and principal at St. Peter and Paul School before becoming admissions counselor at the College of Great Falls. Sister Liz later went to Mount St. Joseph, Spokane, to work with elderly sisters, then studied pastoral education at Seattle University before spending nine years at St. Luke Parish in Great Falls. She also served as a provincial councilor. Since 2000, she has been a volunteer at Mount St. Joseph, Holy Family Hospital and Our Place. She is on the board of St. Joseph?s Hospital, Polson, Mont.

50 years

Sister Margaret Botch (formerly Sister Eva Marie) currently is Provincial/Leadership Team Coordinator for Mother Joseph Province. She also was a member of the first Leadership Team for the province, which was formed in 2000 by joining the former St. Ignatius and Sacred Heart provinces. Born in Belt, Mont., and raised in Hamilton, Mont., she spent two of her high school years living in Iraq, where her father was director of an agricultural foreign aid program. Her ministries have included teaching high school English in Great Falls and Walla Walla, and serving as a campus minister at Gonzaga University, Spokane, and as a member of the formation team. She also has done facilitation and spiritual direction for more than 30 years.

Sister Nancy MacLean (formerly Sister Karen Marie) was born in Missoula, Mont. Her ministries began with elementary teaching in Great Falls; Kellogg, Idaho; Des Plaines, Ill., and back to Great Falls. She then took up pastoral, religious education, serving in Northern Idaho and in the Spokane Valley. A recovering alcoholic, her discernment with the community leadership led to the birthing of a treatment and recovery center known as River House in the Spokane Valley in 1976. She later joined the pastoral team at St Gerard?s parish in Great Falls, then in 1989 moved to the reservation at Fort Belknap, Mont., among the Native people, where she remains today.

Sister Roberta Rorke (formerly Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity) was born in Yakima, Wash., where she resides today. A lifelong learner and educator, she holds a B.A. degree in philosophy and M.A. degrees in history and theology. She taught before entering the religious community, then returned to the classroom after her vows, teaching at all levels. Other ministries included the Formation Team, Constitutions Committee, the General Council in Montreal, as provincial superior and as a member of the first provincial council for Mother Joseph Province. Today, she teaches history at Heritage University in Toppenish, Wash.

25 years

Sister Margaret "Peggy" Alcorn was born in Little Rock, Ark. She was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church in 1977, then entered the Sisters of Providence in 1981 at the age of 51. In her earlier life, she was married and divorced and worked for many years for an aerospace company in Sacramento and for the Screen Actors Guild in Los Angeles. Her ministries have been in pastoral care and social work in Great Falls, with Elder Services in Spokane, and as assistant superior and then superior at Mount St. Joseph. After training in clinical pastoral education, she became a volunteer in social work at St. Joseph's Hospital in Polson, Mont., before turning to Mount St. Joseph as a member of the Community Life Team. She retired in 2000 but continues to serve as part-time receptionist for Provincial Administration and in other community responsibilities.

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