Congratulations to Sister Mary Celestine McCann who was honored Dec. 10 with a 2017 Immaculata Award for Service presented to her by Bishop Robert J. Cunningham during the celebration of Solemn Vespers at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse. SIster Mary Celestine was one of more than 100 unsung heroes representing 78 parishes across the diocese who were honored.

The honorees “are like Mary — God-bearers,” Bishop Cunningham said in his homily. “They brought Christ to others by their acts of service. The forms of their service are as multiple as the number receiving the award. But in every instance they have shared the joy of the Gospel with others. The Good News is always more than words; the words must be observed, they must be alive in acts of love and service.”

Instituted in December 2011 as a component of the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the founding of the diocese, the Immaculata Award recognizes and honors “those who generously and unselfishly give of themselves to their parishes. … They are the unsung heroes in our midst who build up our parish communities by extraordinary service in parish ministry in volunteer service.”

Sister Mary Celestine has taught and ministered in many places in her 70 years as a Franciscan sister. Her most recent ministry is on the social media platform Instagram, where she and Sisters Bernadette Joseph Kupris and Marcia Barry inspire and evangelize under the handle @nunsense4thesoul. Sister Mary Celestine serves at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Baldwinsville and says she is grateful for it all.

“I’m grateful to God for his wonderful blessings, and I’m grateful for this beautiful diocese and the parishes and schools I’ve taught in,” she said. “I’m especially grateful to our Blessed Mother.”

Pastor Father Cliff Auth recognized Sister Mary Celestine with the award because “she is the witness of witnesses,” he said. “She’s an unsung hero. She’s always willing to be the best example for our youth and our families, and we could not have a better inspiration at St. Mary’s.”

Excerpted from The Catholic Sun
Photo courtesy of The Catholic Sun