From age to age, a perfect offering

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On Sunday, Sept. 15, VITALity Catholic Healthcare Services celebrated its third Annual Centenarian/Nonagenarian Mass at Annunciation Church, Saint Joachim Parish, in Bellmawr. All members of the Camden Diocese, aged 90 and beyond, were invited to attend and participate in the Mass to celebrate the lives they continue to live as the foundation of many of our local parishes here in South Jersey.

VITALity celebrates milestone of age — After the Centenarian/Nonagenarian Mass at Annunciation Church, Saint Joachim Parish, Bellmawr, on Sept. 15, clergy, Knights of Columbus and many of those in attendance pose for a group photo. Below, Msgr. James Tracy, center, celebrates Mass. Also pictured are Deacon Jerry Jablonowski, left, executive director of VITALity, sponsor of the Mass, and Father Sanjai Devis, director of hospital chaplaincy.
Photos by Alan M. Dumoff
Msgr. James Tracy, 83, who retired in 2011 after 40 years of active ministry as a parish priest and diocesan official, distributes Communion at the third Annual Centenarian/Nonagenarian Mass at Annunciation Church, Saint Joachim Parish, Bellmawr, on Sept. 15. Msgr. Tracy was the celebrant of the Mass, sponsored by VITALity Healthcare Services, that honored local Catholics who are 90 years of age and older.

“It’s a day to raise awareness of our love for the support and wisdom they share with the generations that follow,” said Deacon Jerry Jablonowski, executive director of VITALity.

Over 100 people attended, 35 of whom are over age 90 (including four who have already celebrated their 100th birthday).

The main celebrant and homilist of was Msgr. James Tracy, a retired priest of the diocese. Father Sanjai Devis, director of hospital chaplaincy, was the concelebrant and Deacon Jablonowski served as deacon for the Mass.

In his homily, Msgr. Tracy reflected on the Gospel of the day, recalling that each of the parables of Jesus — the lost sheep, the widow and the lost coin, and the Prodigal Son — ended with a great celebration once the lost was found and safely returned. He reminded all that we can joyfully anticipate that same celebration one day in heaven when we are safely home again in the arms of Jesus. 

The Mass was followed by a reception in the parish center where all got to share food and fellowship and re-tell their stories of life and love through so many years.