Sr. Therese Margaret Duross, RA and three religious sisters and priest received the Religious Retirement Award from Bishop Robert McManus of the Diocese of Worcester last October 25th, 2009 at the Cathedral of St. Paul. Also awarded were Sr. Mary John Bosco Lyons, SP; Sr. Hilda Chasse, PFM; and Fr. Robert Fortin, AA.
Sr. Nuala Cotter, RA, superior of the Worcester community, had this to say on the occasion of Sr. Therese's receiving of the award:
"Since their congregation was founded in 1839 by a 22 year old girl with a great love of Christ and a powerful streak of determination, education has been the special concern of the Religious of the Assumption. That girl, now Saint Marie Eugenie Milleret, bequeathed to her sisters a deep love of Christ and the Church as well as a strong belief that education, especially for girls and women, was the key to transforming society. She longed for the day when, as she liked to say, no one will oppress another. Such a day would come, she believed, as a result of an education that sought to liberate minds, hearts and spirits, an education that led people to know each other as sisters and brothers rather than as masters and servants or bosses and workers. Throughout a life that spanned most of the 19th century, she worked for that end, teaching her sisters and thus their students that "Love never says 'I have done enough.'"
For well over 50 years, Sister Therese Margaret Duross has sought to make Marie Eugenie's words a reality for herself and for those whose lives have touched hers. As a teacher and principal at the schools run by the Sisters in the early days, and later as an adjunct professor at Assumption College, Therese rarely -- if ever -- said: "I've done enough." That was particularly true when she was provincial superior, local superior, and novice mistress all rolled into one, while she was also teaching at the College. Wearing those four hats, Therese still actively sought ways to make religious life make sense to the novice; at the same time, she was very open to learning something new about it, even from the newest kid on the block! It must have worked; today, that novice is her superior and still learning from Therese.
These days, Therese is allegedly retired, but like most religious, that means only that she's found a new way to live out the charism. In her case, thats meant founding a reading group of women who have met regularly over the last three years to discuss books and ideas, being chief librarian at the Kate O'Neill Spiritual Book Library, and, as of October 23rd, beginning a knitting and crocheting circle at the Assumption Center in the old St. Andrew's rectory on Vineyard Street here in the city. The work done by this circle will benefit poor families who live near the Assumption community in Chaparral, NM. Through these projects, Therese has sought to link different groups of people together because for her, as for Marie Eugrnie, breaking down barriers is one of the key purposes of education. Love never does say, 'I have done enough.' And that's been good enough for Therese during her long and generous life in the Assumption."
Thank you, Sr. Therese, and congratulations!
If you would like to write Sr. Therese with a word of congratulation or encouragement, please go to firstname.lastname@example.org