Sculpture Depicting the Sisters’ Ministry Dedicated at St. Francis of Assisi Church
Pictured in front of the sculpture are, from left, Sister Diane Bushee; Sister Gail Borgmeyer, SAC, provincial; Sister Mary Michael Ronan; Sister Mary Terence Wall; Sister Elisabeth Heptner; Sister Joanne Obrochta; and Sister Marian Ruth Cremeans.
By Colleen Rowan
LOGAN—Gathered in the parish hall at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Logan with priests and parishioners following Mass Sept. 21, Pallottine Missionary Sisters of Huntington looked on as a 200-pound relief sculpture depicting their order’s almost 40-year ministry in Logan County was blessed and dedicated by Father Yesu Golla, HGN, pastor of the parish.
The sculpture was commissioned by the family of the late Mary and Vito Esposito—lifelong members of the parish—in their memory and in honor of the sisters.
“They remember the good works that the sisters did in Logan County,” Father Golla said of the Esposito family, “remembering their great work and sacrifice and the faith that they have planted here.”
The sisters helped plant the faith in Logan County when they arrived in 1943, serving St. Francis of Assisi as well as St. Mary Parish in Holden and St. Edmund Parish in Man. The sculpture shows two Pallottine sisters praying with a young boy and girl. A third sister has her arms extended in joy at a dove descending from the sky, which represents the Holy Spirit. In the background are scenes from Logan such as St. Francis of Assisi Church, the old Water Street Bridge, coal camp homes and a coal tipple.
“The artist, Jamie Lester, captured the joy of the sisters and their devoted roles as catechists and social workers,” said Sister Gail Borgmeyer, SAC, provincial of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters, Queen of Apostles Province, who was present at the dedication along with six other Pallottine sisters. “The sisters who worked in Logan and who were able to be present radiated this joy as the parish gathered with the Esposito family to show their appreciation. The sisters have wonderful memories from their days in Logan and enjoyed hearing the stories of sisters who have gone before us. We took pride in the growth of St. Francis of Assisi Parish and hope that our legacy has a ripple effect in those whom we served.”
The idea of honoring the sisters with the sculpture was that of Michael Esposito, the youngest of Mary and Vito’s six children who has fond memories of the Pallottine sisters from his youth. In particular, Michael remembers Pallottine Sisters Ludwiga and Carmen, who taught him catechism from the time he started first grade in 1964 up until high school graduation.
“All through those 12 years, Sister Ludwiga and Sister Carmen were here,” Michael said. “They played an important role in the life of the church all those years. They taught us catechism, helped us get ready for first holy Communion and our first confession and confirmation.”
The Pallottine sisters left Logan in 1982.