840 years of faithful service to God and the Church: Sixteen religious in diocese celebrate jubilees


The following religious are celebrating jubilees this year in the Diocese of Wilmington.

Bishop Malooly will be the main celebrant of a 5 p.m. Mass to honor them on May 21 at Church of the Holy Child in Wilmington.


70 years

Sister Agnes Bonner, OSF

Sister Agnes Bonner was born in Henry Clay, Del. She attended St. Joseph on the Brandywine Grade School, Alexis I. DuPont High School and Villanova University.  Most of her religious life was spent teaching science in high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, in the dioceses of Harrisburg and Allentown, Pa., and Trenton, N.J. Sister also ministered in the Emmanuel Dining Rooms and St. Francis Hospital. She later volunteered her services at Nativity Prep School. She lives in Newark.


60 years


Rev. William F. Davis, OSFS

Father William F. Davis, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., entered the Oblates in 1953. He earned degrees from Catholic University of America and Villanova University. His teaching assignments were at Northeast Catholic High School, Philadelphia; Salesian High School, Detroit; and Father Judge High School, Philadelphia.  He has been superintendent of schools in the Diocese of Arlington, Va.; director of personnel and education for the Wilmington/Philadelphia Province of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales; deputy/interim secretary for education policy for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; novice director for the Oblates; and special assistant to the principal at Salesianum School. He resides at the Oblate residence at Salesianum.


Sister M. Gerard Falkowski, OSB

Sister Gerard Falkowski, a native of Wilmington, has ministered as an educator and administrator in the Diocese of Wilmington during her 60 years as a Benedictine. She attended St. Hedwig Elementary, St. Elizabeth High School and Villanova University. Sister taught at St. Gertrude Academy, Sacred Heart Grade School and St. Elizabeth Elementary. She was the principal for both Sacred Heart and St. Elizabeth Elementary, serving the latter in that capacity for 33 years. From 2003-2008, Sister was the prioress of her Benedictine community. Before retiring, she returned to St. Elizabeth Parish as the CCD director. Currently, Sister serves as a caregiver.


Sister Mildred Haipt, OSU

Sister Mildred Haipt taught at Ursuline schools in Bethesda, Md., Wilmington and New Rochelle, N.Y., before joining the education department faculty at the College of New Rochelle, N.Y. In 1996 and 2000 she was a visiting professor at Assumption University in Thailand. After 35 years of teaching at the collegiate level, she returned to Wilmington. She later joined the founders of Serviam Girls Academy, a tuition-free middle school in New Castle for at-risk girls, where she continues to serve.


55 years


Brother Thomas P. Brophy, OSFS

Brother Thomas Brophy’s early assignments as staff member began in 1960 in the Northeast Catholic Oblate Residence, Philadelphia; Bishop McDevitt Residence, Harrisburg, Pa.; Villa Maria Retreat House, Wer- nersville, Pa.; and Salesianum School, Wilmington. He also ministered to the Oblate community in the Belvedere Plantation, Nottingham, Pa; DeSales Hall in Hyattsville, Md.; and in the Oblate retreat program at Childs, Md. His last ministry was at Father Judge High School, Philadelphia. He is now retired and lives in Annecy Hall, Childs.


Rev. Anthony J. Larry, OSFS

Father Larry has been a faculty member at Northeast Catholic High School, Philadelphia, and Bishop McDevitt High School, Harrisburg, Pa. He served as assistant novice master in Childs, Md. before joining the faculty of Salesianum School. Father Larry served as parochial vicar in St. Michael Parish, Shamokin, Pa.; Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Vienna, Va.; and St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Greensboro, N.C. He served as pastor of St. Bernard Parish, New Bloomfield, Pa.; St. John Neumann Parish, Reston, Va; and St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Wilmington. Father Larry also served as chaplain at the Franciscan Care Center in Wilmington; Mount Aviat Academy, Childs, Md.; and Immaculate Conception Parish in Elkton, Md. He lives at the Oblate Residence in Childs.


Rev.  Thomas F. Malloy, OSFS

Father Thomas Malloy taught from 1968-84 at Father Judge and Northeast Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In 1984, he was parochial vicar at St. John Neumann Parish, Reston, Va. He served as pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish, Robesonia, Pa., and St. Ann Parish, Fayetteville, N.C.  Father Malloy was also part of the retreat staff in the De Sales Centre, Childs, Md.  He lives in Childs.


50 years


Brother Harry McGovern, OSFS

Brother Harry McGovern, a native of Philadelphia, joined the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales in 1962. He has ministered as a staff member at De Chantal Hall, Lewiston, N.Y.; Villa Maria Retreat House, Wernersville, Pa.; De Shairs House, Washington, D.C.; Brisson Seminary, Center Valley, Pa.; and Wills Hall, Center Valley. From 1979-82, Brother Harry was pastoral assistant at St. Thomas More Parish in Allentown, Pa. He also served at St. Cecilia and Our Lady of Light Parishes, both in Fort Myers, Fla. Brother then became director of religious education in Pennsylvania.  Since 2008, Brother Harry has been archivist at Salesianum School, Wilmington.


Sister Patricia Marie Becker, OSFS

Sister Patricia Marie Becker grew up in Wilmington. Her parents owned a popular confectionary store on Market Street.

Sister Patricia has one sibling, a brother, Joseph Patrick, who joined the Oblate Fathers in 1959, and in 1962 she joined the Oblate Sisters. Sister Patricia Marie has been a familiar face in the kitchen at Mount Aviat Academy special events for decades.


Sister Therese  Goecke, LSP

Sister Therese Goecke graduated from Seton High School, Baltimore, Md., in 1957. She entered the Little Sisters of the Poor and made her first profession in December 1959.

Sister Therese served in Brooklyn and Montreal before going to the motherhouse in France for her perpetual profession in 1964. She returned to Montreal and ministered in Rhode Island, Missouri, Colorado, Ohio and Washington, D.C., before coming to Newark. Sister has served in the Diocese of Wilmington since 2010.


Sister Lawrence Therese  Hudson, OSFS

Sister Lawrence Therese Hudson joined the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales after graduating from Padua Academy in 1962.  Born in Ridley Park, Pa., Sister met the Oblate Sisters in her eighth-grade year at St. Paul’s, Delaware City. She professed her vows in 1964, and has served at Camp Aviat, Mount Aviat Academy and in various roles in her community in Childs. Sister is now a religion teacher at Mount Aviat Academy and the coordinator of the faith formation program at St. Paul’s in Delaware City.


Sister Dolores Huhman, RSM

Mercy Sister Dolores (Dolly) Huhman, a native of Philadelphia, has taught in Philadelphia, North Carolina and Virginia. She ministered in religious education for 24 years. Most recently she served parishioners in St. John Fisher in Boothwyn, Pa., as director of parish pastoral services. Sister has lived in Wilmington for the past five years.



Sister Margaret Mahoney, RSM

Mercy Sister Margaret (Peggy) Mahoney was a first-grade teacher for 13 years before becoming a director of religious education. She ministered in both North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Sister was the director of development for the Sisters of Mercy for nine years before doing the same work for the Dominican Sisters in Elkins Park, Pa., and Gwynedd-Mercy Academy High School in Gwynedd, Pa., her alma mater. She came to the Diocese of Wilmington in 2004 to become the director of planned giving. In 2010, the Ministry of Caring hired Sister Margaret and she now works in the development office there.


Sister William Adele Metcalfe, SSJ

Sister William Adele was born in Northeast Philadelphia and met the Sisters of St. Joseph at St. Leo Elementary School. She graduate from St. Hubert High School and entered the congregation in 1964. Sister William Adele has degrees from Chestnut Hill College and Villanova University. She has ministered in Catholic education in the archdioceses of Philadelphia and Baltimore as a teacher, principal and president of an elementary school. Sister served as the director of elementary curriculum and instruction for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1996 to 2000 and last September became assistant superintendent in the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Wilmington.


Sister Mary Grace Thul, OP

Dominican Sister Mary Grace Thul was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and attended St. Ursula Academy there. She received her applied arts/teaching degree from the University of Cincinnati. Sister entered religious life in December 1962. Sister Mary Grace was in Washington, D.C., until 2004, when she transferred to the Bronx, N.Y. She and two other Dominican nuns came to the Diocese of Wilmington in 2007 and formed the Caterina Benincasa Monastery on the grounds of Holy Spirit Parish in New Castle.


25 years


Rev. J. Christian Beretta, OSFS

Father Christian Beretta, principal of Salesianum School in Wilmington, professed first vows in 1989. He was a faculty member of Salesianum School from 1991-93, then pursued graduate studies at De Sales School of Theology in Washington, D.C. Father continued education ministry at Salesianum and at Bishop Verot High School, Fort Myers, Fla. In 2010, he returned to Salesianum as principal. He lives in Christ Our King Parish, Wilmington.