Silver Jubilee

On June 8, 1969 Sister Justine celebrated her 25th year as a Dominican Nun. The following day she wrote this thank-you letter.

The Morning AFTER the GREAT DAY - June 9, 1969
This morning after a never-to-be-forgotten day finds me overjoyed at all that happened and overwhelmed at the prospect of expressing my thanks to everyone. For the first time in the 25 years since my Investing Day (when the family was one-third its present size) the entire line of descendants of Joseph and Helen Jones assembled together - for a visit with me; Joseph, Anne and their seven offspring with the addition of a son-in-law, three grandsons and a granddaughter, and a future daughter-in-law; John and Margie and their five children; Jane, who acted as hostess; Jerry and Ellie plus two descendants; Jacqueline and Al with all seven Anzelons; JoAnne, the dancing sister; Jeannette and Walter and four more Nesels; Jimmy and Nancy with three little children, two playpens, a carriage, and two baby jump-seats around whom revolved a host of relatives and friends with many more unable to come.

Before I start on my litany of thanksgiving, I would like to tell you that merely by coincidence and not by design, I shall be called Sister Justine H. Jones (or simply Sister Justine) from now on. This option has been given us by the Community and goes into effect on June 25. I did feel unique as 'Jareth' but being unique is no reason for retaining an appellation which served to identify me among over sixteen hundred women all dressed alike . This is no longer necessary.

As I unwrapped packages, smoothed out pleated bills, turned envelopes inside-out, I pondered on the value of material goods which causes us to rummage through mountains of 'worthless' paper lest some 'paper' of value be discarded. And now instead of ironing the Permanent-pressed pretty things I received, I must press out dollar bills which were carefully folded to simulate flowers, petals, and photos in an album.

Where to start? I rub the soft rug handmade from a cousin who bubbled with joy just telling me of the wonderful things the volunteer workers like her companion teach the folks at the Home to make; I unzip the many pockets of a bag and recall the suitcase existence spent with two Sisters on our Easter retreat in Philadelphia which was a pre-Jubilee gift of one and enabled us to visit our mutual relatives, one of whom reciprocated by coming 'down' here for the Jubilee; gift checks to Lord & Taylor and A&S will purchase clothes far different from those I packed in my trunk twenty-six years ago this summer. I hope you all noticed my 'Jubilee' shoes! Checks at which I gasp and squirm with embarrassment but note the correspondence of written and numeric amounts and careful signatures - I guess I'm not used to inflationary prices because I still remember saving 29 cents to buy a pound of butter when John had Scarletina and Joseph and I stayed at Granny Joneses so we wouldn't miss school. And here I am still not out of school! A silver dollar - struck with the year of my birth - coincidence, I suspect not; Statues and wall plaques reflecting the 'evolving' new liturgy . . . . .

My spiritual bank account certainly must be in balance judging from the many Mass offerings, enrollments, a Papal Blessing, prayers of a special Poor Clare Nun, offering up of pain by an afflicted Sister, the sacrifice of relatives and friends who could not attend from near and afar, the support of all my Sisters of St. Dominic and the untiring labors of every Sister at Molloy College Convent guided by Sister Henry Joseph at the helm. Being at Molloy has some 'built-in' benefits - belonging to the Cathedral parish, thus having a majestic edifice for our Liturgical ceremony, and the facilities of an elegant Anselma Room to enhance the reception.


Joe Sr., JoAnne, Justine, and Helen
June 8, 1969

At Mass for the Jubilee Anniversary

In June 1969 when Sister Justine wrote her thank-you letter, there were, through marriages and their offspring, forty-seven family members evolving from the marriage of Joe Sr. and Helen. Thirty-four years later, in June 2003, that number has grown to 106 family members -- although five, including Joe Sr. and Helen, have passed on.