Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sisters of St. Joseph Celebrate Their Calling

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sisters of St. Joseph Celebrate Their Calling

Article excerpt

ST. AUGUSTINE -- After 75 years as a nun, 99-year-old Sister

St. Mark Klieber still serves God as a prayer warrior.

"I've always wanted to be a sister since I made my first

communion," said Sister Klieber, who lives in the Sisters of St.

Joseph's retirement center. "It was the safest place to be."

In a time when nuns are becoming scarce, Klieber and 17 other

Sisters of St. Joseph are celebrating their lifelong religious


Today, the sisters will mark the anniversary of their vows of

poverty, chastity and obedience taken 25 or more years ago.

About 600 people are expected at the 10 a.m. celebration Mass,

called a Jubilee, at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine.

The Sisters of St. Joseph -- with 72 members -- are spread out

in Catholic schools and ministries throughout Florida. It is the

largest of 10 orders in the Diocese of St. Augustine, which

includes 17 counties in Northeast Florida.

Last year, the diocese's 10 orders had 111 sisters. This year,

there are 104 and only one preparing to soon take final vows.

The sisters being honored have spent decades teaching and

caring for the poor and the sick in Jacksonville, around Florida

and across the country.

Included is Sister Klieber, who taught nearly 50 years in

Florida Catholic schools. Another is Sister Edith Paschall,

celebrating 25 years, 18 of which have been spent teaching at

Bishop Kenny High School.

"We're delighted to let these sisters know that we appreciate

what they've done over the years," said Bishop John Snyder of

the Diocese of St. Augustine, who will preside over the


This year's Jubilee has more honorees than most years.

"It's an unusual year," said Snyder, who added that lifetime

devotion like this is becoming extinct.

"The culture of our times is not exactly open to commitment. …

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