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Religious jubilarians honored


PALM BEACH GARDENS  |  Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito recognized the dedicated service of five women and one man celebrating anniversaries of 25, 50, 60 and 70 years in consecrated life during a Mass May 11 at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola. The jubilarians are:


• Sister Jadwiga Drapala, Sisters of the Most Holy Soul of Christ the Lord

• Sister Mabel Gonzalez, Servants of St. Joseph


• Christian Brother Daniel Aubin


• Dominican Sister Elizabeth Dunn


• Dominican Sister Barbara Duffy

• Dominican Sister Yolanda Pomante

“We are very pleased to have with us our men and women in consecrated life celebrating very, very special jubilees, as well as all of them gathered with us this evening to celebrate who they are as men and women in the church,” Bishop Barbarito said in his homily. “We express again our gratitude to you and assurance of our continued prayers and support. You’re great blessings to us, you’re great blessings to the church and great blessings to this Diocese of Palm Beach. Thank you so very much. It’s an honor for all of us to be with all of you this evening.”

The Diocese of Palm Beach also acknowledged the 60-year milestone of Passionist Brother Edward Hall, who moved to New York in February, and the 70-year anniversary of Sister Ana Mae Frenzik, School Sisters of Notre Dame, who moved to Connecticut in April.

Sister Drapala, who is the diocesan delegate for religious, requested biographical information from each of the jubilarians currently in the diocese. The following are summaries of the submitted information.

Sister Jadwiga Drapala

Growing up on a farm in southeast Poland, she was introduced to a priest working as a missionary in Congo, Central Africa, and decided she wanted to be like him. Drawing closer to Jesus and Mary, she served her parish as a lector, cantor and youth group member. After attending a “come and see” retreat as an eighth-grader, “deep in my heart I knew that this was the life I was longing for. I left the sisters with the words, ‘I will be back,’” Sister Drapala said.

Entering the convent in 1993 as a candidate and high school student, she then became a postulant, novice and sister during temporary vows, studying in college and working as a catechist. In 2004, surrounded by her parents, siblings, extended family and friends, Sister Drapala took her final profession of vows.

Sister Mabel Gonzalez

Born in El Salvador, she completed her high school and pastoral studies in Colombia. She first encountered sisters in her congregation while doing apostolic work with the Legion of Mary. “The way they carried themselves with others, their humble acts and always willing to assist others had a deep impact in my heart,” Sister Gonzalez said.

She was admitted to the pre-novitiate in 1994, and perpetual vows in 2005. Sister Gonzalez has completed pastoral service in Virginia and Colombia, and currently is involved in faith formation at St. John Fisher Parish in West Palm Beach.

Brother Daniel Aubin

Born and raised in New Hampshire, he was invited by the Brothers of the Christian Schools at his high school to consider becoming a De La Salle Christian Brother. He entered in 1973 and made final profession in 1984.

Brother Aubin served as a teacher, campus minister and guidance counselor in New York before becoming vocation director, then assistant provincial at the provincialate in Rhode Island until 1994. He then worked as dean of students at a high school in Massachusetts, president/principal in Rhode Island and president at Trinity High School in Ocala before being named president in 2012 of Pope John Paul II High School (now St. John Paul II Academy) in Boca Raton.

Sister Elizabeth Dunn

A Wisconsin native, she applied after high school graduation to enter the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, who taught at the school. She was drawn to their spirit of joy, community living, superior instruction and faithful witness. Sister Dunn was received as a novice in 1963 and given the name Denysa. After first profession in 1964, she was sent to study elementary education.

In 1965, Sister Dunn began 57 years of ministry as a teacher, congregation leader and in educational administration. She served in Minneapolis, Chicago, Wisconsin, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Florida, and currently as executive director of Hope Rural School in Indiantown.

Sister Barbara Duffy

As a Dominican sister, she taught grade school for 17 years, then 19 years as a high school counselor (14 as director of guidance), all in her native New York. Sister Duffy’s next 16 years were spent at a New Jersey high school as test coordinator and outreach college counselor, where she also established a Habitat for Humanity chapter.

“It is with great joy and gratitude to almighty God for my religious vocation and to my community for my education, to my family for all their support, and to the countless religious and laity who have walked this journey with me over 70 years,” she said. Now retired, Sister Duffy serves as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion at Emmanuel Parish in Delray Beach.

Sister Yolanda Pomante

Growing up in Detroit, she worked in her parish rectory during high school and after graduation. Even though she had a good job and was having fun, “all of this seemed empty to me as my heart was yearning for something more,” she said. A priest friend inspired her to explore consecrated life. After visiting the Dominican motherhouse in Adrian, Michigan, she applied for acceptance and was received into the community in 1953, with final profession in 1960.

Sister Pomante served as a teacher in Michigan, Illinois and New York, at Rosarian Academy in West Palm Beach and other office jobs in Florida.

For more information about consecrated life in the Diocese of Palm Beach, visit or contact Sister Drapala at or 561-775-9586.