November 1, 2023 | Local News
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Sr. Mary Celine Weidenbenner, OSU, smiles in front of a sign made in her honor, which reads “Happy 60th Jubilee Sister!! We Love You!!” on Sept. 27, 2023. COURTESY OF MARY CARRICO CATHOLIC SCHOOL

Radiating joy: School, parish communities, celebrate beloved religious sister

BY LAURA CECIL, SPECIAL TO THE WESTERN KENTUCKY CATHOLIC

Sr. Mary Celine Weidenbenner, OSU, is known for her smile with everyone she encounters. However, if you are honored enough to be in her presence for any given time, you will soon feel a great sense of joy that she radiates consistently. Her love for Jesus Christ radiates a joy felt by all.

Students from Mary Carrico Catholic School in Knottsville, Ky., celebrated that joy with her on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 with a surprise 60th jubilee celebration. At the school Mass,  Fr. Shijo Vadakkumkara, pastor of St. William and St. Lawrence Parishes, presented Sr. Mary Celine with a crystal cross with an engraving that recognized her 60 years of service as an Ursuline Sister of Mount Saint Joseph and for her 17 years with the Daviess County parishes and Mary Carrico Catholic School.

After Mass, guests and students attended a reception to further the celebration of Sr. Mary Celine. The students created a song for Sr. Mary Celine titled, “Thank You, Sister!” Even more special was that the music teacher at Mary Carrico, Marianna Romero, had Sr. Mary Celine as her teacher at St. Alphonsus School.  She spoke of how much she loved having Sr. Mary Celine as a teacher and her siblings having her as a principal.

Sr. Mary Celine has worked for the Diocese of Owensboro for 53 years serving as a teacher and principal. Another one of her former students, Daviess County Judge Executive Charlie Castlen, made a special proclamation in her honor. Sr. Mary Celine was his teacher at St. Peter of Alcantara Parish in Stanley, Ky., and he remembered her kindness and joy. His proclamation made it Sr. Mary Celine Weidenbenner Day in Daviess County on Sept. 27, 2023, and County Commissioner Larry Conder read and presented it to her at the reception.

Katie Ford, a student in Sr. Mary Celine’s first class at Mary Carrico, is now a colleague with Sr. Mary Celine. Katie notes, “I have had the pleasure of being Sister’s student as a young eighth grader, and now her coworker for the last five years. She has had such an impact on me and the school as a whole. She keeps the spirit of Christ alive. Her loving, caring spirit is something that will always stay with her students. She truly has the heart of a servant. We are so blessed to have her as a part of our community!”

If you visit Sr. Mary Celine, you will see her shirt that reflects her JOY – Jesus, Others, Yourself. She truly has reflected that for 60 years, and anyone who meets her will feel that joy for Jesus!

Laura Cecil is the principal of Mary Carrico Catholic School in Knottsville, Ky.

Fr. Shijo Vadakkumkara, pastor of St. William and St. Lawrence Parishes in Daviess County, recognizes Sr. Mary Celine Weidenbenner’s 60 years as an Ursuline Sister of Mount Saint Joseph and her 17 years with the parishes and Mary Carrico Catholic School, on Sept. 27, 2023. COURTESY OF MARY CARRICO CATHOLIC SCHOOL


Originally printed in the November 2023 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

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