On Sunday, Sept. 15, VITALity Catholic Healthcare Services celebrated its third Annual Centenarian/Nonagenarian Mass at Annunciation Church, Saint Joachim Parish, in Bellmawr. All members of the Camden Diocese, aged 90 and beyond, were invited to attend and participate in the Mass to celebrate the lives they continue to live as the foundation of many of our local parishes here in South Jersey.
“It’s a day to raise awareness of our love for the support and wisdom they share with the generations that follow,” said Deacon Jerry Jablonowski, executive director of VITALity.
Over 100 people attended, 35 of whom are over age 90 (including four who have already celebrated their 100th birthday).
The main celebrant and homilist of was Msgr. James Tracy, a retired priest of the diocese. Father Sanjai Devis, director of hospital chaplaincy, was the concelebrant and Deacon Jablonowski served as deacon for the Mass.
In his homily, Msgr. Tracy reflected on the Gospel of the day, recalling that each of the parables of Jesus — the lost sheep, the widow and the lost coin, and the Prodigal Son — ended with a great celebration once the lost was found and safely returned. He reminded all that we can joyfully anticipate that same celebration one day in heaven when we are safely home again in the arms of Jesus.
The Mass was followed by a reception in the parish center where all got to share food and fellowship and re-tell their stories of life and love through so many years.
Story from Catholic Star Herald Sept. 20, 2019