Joined by her religious sisters, family, and friends, Sr. (Mary) Alphonse Hamel, CSR, celebrated 60 years of consecrated life during a Jubilee Mass at the Redeemer Sisters’ Chapel on November 17, 2019.
Sr. Alphonse was born in Laconia, N.H., and raised in Syracuse, N.Y. She first met the Sisters of the Redeemer in 1954, when her brother Frank drove 11 hours from their hometown to Meadowbrook, Pa. “Our visit was a delightful hour and a half and I felt I had found a place where I could fit in,” she once said.
She professed her first vows with the Sisters of the Redeemer in May 1959, the same year the Sisters opened Holy Redeemer Hospital. A graduate of St. Joseph’s University, Sr. Alphonse served many roles in loving service to the poor, sick, and needy, inspired by the charism of Blessed Alphonse Maria Eppinger, Founder of the Sisters of the Redeemer.
From 1959-71, she served as Acting Administrator at St. Joseph’s Manor. She was instrumental in the development of the Conference of Archdiocesan Services for the Aging, serving as its President from 1970-72. Sr. Alphonse served as President of the Hospital Board of Directors for five years. She was a driving force in the planning and development of Redeemer Village, an independent residential complex for senior citizens. In addition to many leadership positions within the Sisters’ ministries, many now part of Holy Redeemer Health System; she also held several roles within the Sisters’ Province leadership, including Vicar and Provincial Superior for the Congregation and Superior of St. Joseph’s Manor Convent.
Sr. Alphonse now resides in the Sisters’ Magnificat Center, where her quiet, prayerful, and humble presence is appreciated by so many.
The Jubilee Mass presided over by Father Timothy Judge, included a renewal of vows by Sr. Alphonse. The renewal of vows, in part, included, “Triune God, I thank you for calling me to follow Jesus Christ, our Redeemer in the Congregation of the Sisters of the Redeemer. Thus, strengthened by this call and by the special graces of this Jubilee Day, I now recommit myself to religious life and to the mission of Jesus, our Redeemer.”