Notre Dame jubilarians: ‘You always have the Lord with you’

With Archbishop José H. Gomez (left) and Mary Anita Hornack — SR. NANCY MUNRO, CSJ

Sister of Notre Dame Mary Anita Hornack had already celebrated her golden jubilee of religious profession when Sister Mary Leanne Hubbard made her first profession of vows in the community.

A quarter century later, both were among dozens of jubilarians --- and a half dozen Sisters of Notre Dame --- honored at the annual Mass for Religious Jubilarians Jan. 26 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

Sister Hornack --- who in July will celebrate her 100th birthday --- was one of two 80-year jubilarians (the other was Carmelite Sister of the Most Sacred Heart Patrocino Gonzales). Now living at her community’s motherhouse in Thousand Oaks, she warmly recalled her years of service, particularly at St. Bernardine of Siena School, Woodland Hills, where she taught every grade (1-8) before becoming principal.

“My pastor was Msgr. Richard Murray, and I remember Father [now Archbishop] George Niederauer coming to help out at the parish on weekends while he was serving at St. John’s Seminary,” she says. “My heart is always there.”

And she treasures her years as a sister. “Religious life is a beautiful life. There are ups and downs, of course, but that’s how it is in every life. You always have the Lord with you and when you work for him, you will always be a success.”

Sister Hubbard, a 25-year jubilarian, is director of the Pastoral Studies Department at St. John’s Seminary and does spiritual direction. She previously taught religion; was campus minister at La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks and director of student activities at Notre Dame Academy in West L.A.; and played the piano at St. Paschal Baylon.

“Religious life has offered me the support of the community and my sisters,” she said. “They have given me opportunity after opportunity to grow personally, professionally and spiritually. Now I treasure the opportunity to accompany the seminarians in priestly formation and encouraging them in the ways that I have been encouraged. My hope is that they come to know Christ and themselves as deeply as they can while they are in formation. It is a great life that I have and I can’t imagine why more are not coming to be with us for the journey.”


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A love that embraces every life

Archbishop José H. Gomez

This Sunday, bishops from around the world will gather in Rome with Pope Francis for an Oct. 5-19 synod that will examine marriage and the family.

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