A loving farewell tribute to Sr. Ana Luisa Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Lizz Perez, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Jul. 07, 2011 -- 12:00 AM
Sr. Ana Luisa Cespedes, O.P., cuts the cake at the recent farewell party held in her honor. (Contributed photo) To view more photos, click here.

WATERTOWN -- On Saturday, June 11, on the occasion of retirement of Sr. Ana Luisa Cespedes, O.P., a surprise party was held to say “goodbye” and “thank you” for all her hard work and dedication to our communities.

This celebration was held at Riverside Park in Watertown. The celebration was organized among the communities of Jefferson, Marshall, and Watertown, communities that Sr. Ana Luisa had served in Hispanic ministry for 16 years.

Surprise party

The guests began to arrive at 12 noon at the hall. Sister was to arrive at 1:30 p.m. in the park for a “meeting.”

Close to the time, making as little noise as possible, we began to prepare for the arrival of Sister. As she walked in, everyone rose to their feet and with great joy we shouted with one voice “surprise” and gave her loud applause.

Sister Ana Luisa was very happy and amazed. She had suspected something but never imagined all that we had prepared.

After her arrival, Sister, very excited, spoke a few words to greet and thank all those present.

Thanks for her efforts

We invited Sr. Ana Luisa to go to the main table to read aloud a letter written by the community of Marshall in which they talked about all the work done by Sister since she came in 1994 to the Jefferson community until June of this year.

They thanked her for the time, patience, love, and effort she has given to our communities. The letter was read in Spanish by a representative of the community of Watertown and in English by a member of the community of Jefferson.

Children honor Sister

Then the chorus of children from each community presented a song to Sister that was prepared with great love and dedication. The first choir to participate was from Marshall, dressed in yellow, then the choir of Jefferson, dressed in blue, and the final choir was from Watertown, dressed in white.

Each child at the time of presentation held a rose and at the end of the song gave it to Sister, who looked very touched and happy listening to the children.

Program and lunch

After the presentation of the chorus of children, we gave her a plaque in recognition of 16 years of effort, dedication, service, and devotion to our communities. The plaque was presented by two representatives from each community present.

To prepare for mealtime, Sister performed the blessing of the food. Meal time was enlivened by Guillermo Navarro, regional musician, who sang songs.

After sharing of a special cake, the choir of the Church of Watertown presented a song called “Song for the Missionary” prepared for Sister. A presentation by the Cultural Centre, dances, and singing concluded the day.

Thanks to the Jefferson, Marshall, and Watertown communities who made this event possible and to the priests who graced us with their presence: Fr. Thomas Coyle from Jefferson, Capuchin Frs. Loren Miller and Leo Petrimoulx from Monona, and Fr. Brian Wilk from Watertown.

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