Cody Tredik, Communications Staff
Women religious from around the Diocese of Helena gathered at the Cathedral of St. Helena to celebrate several milestones for their local community, as well as for their orders.
Sister Patricia Hix, CSJ and Sister Patricia Toeckes, SCL both celebrated jubilees this year of 75 and 60 years, respectively. Sister Hix, now retired, served the Diocese of Helena in Cut Bank, Mont. at St. Margaret’s Parish. Sister Toeckes is currently the Pastoral Administrator at Our Lady of the Pines in West Yellowstone, Mont. Alongside their many years of service, Sister Elizabeth Olsen, BVM was thanked for her service as she prepares for retirement. Sr. Olsen is the sole remaining Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Montana and has served the diocese for 30 years at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula.
The jubilee also celebrated 185 years since the founding of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and 160 years since the founding of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth.
The religious gathered in the Brondel Center beneath the Cathedral in Helena for midday prayer with Msgr. Kevin O’Neill, Diocesan Administrator and Fr. John Robertson, Chancellor. During the prayer service, Sister Gretchen Wagner, CSJ, the current Pastoral Administrator at St. Margaret’s in Cut Bank, spoke on behalf of Sister Hix, saying, “By living with Sister Pat, I’ve come to know just how many people love her, and she has given me very many things. She has taught me to be more forthright, to always keep my humor, and to be more prayerful. I’m so grateful for that.”
Afterward, Sister Toeckes spoke on her life and ministry. “Thinking back on 60 years, I’m just so grateful to have served as a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth,” she said. “It’s amazing to see how God has worked in my life and where my response to that great love has taken me.”
After the prayer service, the group enjoyed lunch and presented gifts to the three sisters who have given so much to the people of God in the Diocese of Helena and beyond.