Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The handful of missionaries from Belgium, who were on their way to Indiana but stopped in Lockport in 1863 because of the Civil War, continued their 150th anniversary celebration with Mass at DeSales School Saturday.
The Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, who struggled in a new country in a language that was foreign to them, are now an international congregation of apostolic women religious. Catholic education blossomed in Western New York with the help of the sisters and they continue teaching and doing missionary work.
”The precious, precious people of Lockport are known all over the world for their love and care for them,” said Sister Caroline Smith during brief ceremonies after Mass.
Smith, a native of Lockport, is the head of the Eastern province. She was presented a CD that was produced by third-grade teacher Denise Croff that had the voices of DeSales students from first to eighth grade.
About 100 people attended Mass, which was offered by the Rev. Joseph Vatter of All Saints Church in the gym.
The Sisters of Namur, who arrived at the Union Station in Lockport on Aug. 27, 1863, will cap off their jubilee with Mass at St. Andrews in Kenmore in August.