May 8, 2015

Page 7

May 8, 2015 |



Franciscan sister who served in Hayesville passes away ASTON, Pa. — Sister Carol Ann Zurlo, OSF (formerly Sister Emma Francis) died on April 25, 2015, at Assisi House in Aston, Pa. She was 78. The professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia had formerly served at Good Shepherd Home Health Agency in Hayesville. The Mass of Christian Burial was Zurlo offered on April 29, 2015, at Assisi House in Aston. Burial followed at Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Aston. She was born in Trenton, N.J., and graduated from Upper Freehold Township High School. Prior to her entrance into the Sisters of St. Francis in 1959, she studied nursing and became a registered nurse at St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing in Trenton. She had been a professed member with the Sisters of St. Francis for 54 years, making her first vows in 1961. Her cousin, Sister Patricia Millen, is also a member of the congregation. She earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Neumann University in Aston, Pa., and a Master of Science in nursing from The Catholic University of America. She also later became a pediatric nurse practitioner and ministered in health care in various capacities, including six years at Good Shepherd Home Health Agency in Hayesville. She ministered in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for 22 years. She worked at St. Agnes Medical Center and later served as director of St. Mary’s Children’s Health Center in Langhorne. In 2008 she moved to Assisi House in Aston where she served in prayer ministry until her death. Sister Carol Ann’s 21 years in the Diocese of Trenton included working at St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, ministering at Morris Hall in Lawrenceville, and serving as school nurse at All Saints School in Burlington. She also served on the provincial council for the former St. Anthony Province which was based in Trenton. Sister Carol Ann also ministered at St. Joseph Hospital in Lancaster, Pa., for six years. Her final ministry prior to her retirement and moving into prayer ministry was to serve as administrator of St. Francis Convent in Ringwood, N.J. In addition to Sister Patricia Millen, Sister Carol Ann is survived by her sister, Precious Groom; two brothers, John and Don Zurlo; nephews; and by her Franciscan family. Donations in her name can be made to the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014. — Catholic News Herald

sueann howell | catholic news herald; (BElow) Photo by Patrick Schneider

Father Kieran Neilson (center) is escorted into St. Patrick Cathedral by Father David Miller before the Chrism Mass in 2013. Father Kieran’s family helped found the cathedral in 1939 and he attended school there before joining the Benedictines of Belmont Abbey in 1954.

Decades of serving the people of God

Priests’ anniversaries highlight diversity of experiences, faithful ministry Benedictine marks 55 years as priest SueAnn Howell Senior reporter

CHARLOTTE — Benedictine Father Kieran Neilson, 83, is everything you’d expect a priest of Irish Catholic descent to be – he’s joyful and engaging with a twinkle in his eye and an infectious grin. A native Charlottean whose family helped found St. Patrick Cathedral in Dilworth, Father Kieran’s life gives witness to a genuine love of the Catholic faith which developed over the decades just as the Diocese of Raleigh and then the Diocese of Charlotte began to grow. This unique perspective gives Father Kieran an outlook that few clergy in the diocese have today. He remembers when the announcements at the end of Mass were the particulars Other priests celebrating special about families welcoming a anniversaries of ordination new baby and parish meetings this month include: Monsignor consisted of the few Catholic Joseph Showfety and Father families who lived in Charlotte. Thomas Clements, both retired, He was educated at the 60 years; Monsignor Richard O’Donoghue School (now Bellow, retired, 45 years; Father St. Patrick School) adjacent Joseph Mulligan, Charlotte to the cathedral. He entered hospital chaplaincy, 40 years; the Benedictine monastery Father John Allen, at the of Belmont Abbey just 20 Pontifical College Josephinum miles west of Charlotte in in Ohio, 25 years; and Father 1954. After one year of the James Ebright, in residence novitiate he made his first at St. Michael the Archangel profession and then studied Church, Gastonia, 10 years. for three more years before his final profession of vows.

Other May jubilarians

NEILSON, SEE page 21

Oblate of St. Francis de Sales pastor celebrates 25 years of priestly ministry SueAnn Howell Senior reporter

KERNERSVILLE — Oblate of St. Francis de Sales Father Paul Dechant, pastor of Holy Cross Church in Kernersville, is celebrating his silver anniversary as a priest this month. Father Paul, as he likes to be called, is a native of Victorville, Calif., in the southern Mojave Desert just north of San Bernardino. Growing up, his family attended St. Joan of Arc Parish and then Our Lady of the Desert Parish in Apple Valley, Calif. He attended seminary at The Catholic University of America, where he earned a Master of Divinity. Father Paul was drawn to the spirituality of Sts. Francis de Sales and Jane de Chantal and thus pursued a vocation as an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales. He was ordained at St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York City by Bishop Roberto Gonzalez, the auxiliary bishop of Boston at the time. Over the past 25 years, Father Paul served in campus ministry at UCLA and also served parishes in Portland, Ore.; Memphis, Tenn.; New York City; Vienna, Va.; Reston, Va.; Ft. Myers, Fla.; and Greensboro before coming to Kernersville. Dechant What does he enjoy most about serving as a priest? “The privilege of being with people at the most significant moments in their life journey,” he says. And as for his experiences in serving as a priest around the country? Father Paul loves “seeing how people live their Catholic faith when in the majority and when in the minority.” The most important lesson he has learned over the past 25 years of priesthood is that “there is never a need to rush or be in a hurry. God is never in a hurry.” He also has some advice for men discerning a vocation to the priesthood: “Discernment takes time. Give yourself the time to DECHANT, SEE page 21

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