On September 8th, Denver’s former Archbishop, Charles Chaput, OFM, Cap., was installed as the new Archbishop of Philadelphia. Sr. Bernadette Casciano, MSC, former administrator of the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden, CO, and a good friend of Archbishop Chaput from their days of ministry in Denver, was given a ticket to attend the installation Mass and ceremony at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, representing Sr. Pietrina Raccuglia, MSC, Provincial of the Stella Maris Province. Due to the heavy rain storms that day, Sr. Bernadette took a cab to the Basilica, arriving very early. She was actually the second religious sister to be seated in the Cathedral. As she was waiting for the Mass to begin, a priest approached her and asked if she would like to be in the offertory procession. Four members of the procession were known to Archbishop Chaput and four were to be chosen at random from among the faithful. It is widely known that Archbishop Chaput never forgets a name or a face, and surely, not a dear friend. Imagine his surprise as he awaited the presentation of the gifts from the Bishop’s chair and saw Sr. Bernadette Casciano, MSC approaching as a member of the offertory procession. Sr. Bernadette greeted him with a big smile and the characteristic twinkle in her eye. “It was a big surprise, both to him and to me. I loved doing it,” remarked Sr. Bernadette. “He had no idea I would be there. [As he received the gifts] he hugged me from side to side. He was really, really surprised.”
After the Mass, as he was leaving the Cathedral, the Archbishop stopped by the bench where Sr. Bernadette was waiting. He said, “Bernadette, please keep praying for me.”
Sr. Bernadette replied, “I will. And, welcome, to the Northeast.” Sr. Bernadette was joined at the installation by Dr. Marie George, Cabrini College President.
~submitted by Sr. Bernadette Casciano, MSC as told to Nancy Costello and published in the MSC’s Weekly Update, September 15, 2011.