Assisi bids fond farewell to Sister Zita Senzig
ASSISI, ITALY (09-15-2013) - The church of San Pietro was filled to overflowing for the Sunday Mass on September 15th offered for Sister Zita Senzig, FSE. After 27 years of service to the people of Assisi, Sister Zita Senzig will be returning to the United States to live with the Franciscan community in Lowell, Michigan. Parishioners, friends, families and priests from Assisi and the surrounding area as well as from Perugia, Rome and Veneto joined in the celebration of gratitude for Sister Zita's life-giving witness spanning over a quarter of a century. Padre Cipriano, OSB, pastor, was the main celebrant with Don Bernardo, OSB and Padre Dario, OFM concelebrants. The Sisters of the Rome center joined the Assisi Sisters for the special event. The parish had placed special gold cloths on the pews for the Sisters as a sign of honor.
At the beginning of Mass, Sister Mary Frances Traynor, FSE presented the following introduction and tribute:
Good morning! We are gathered here at San Pietro this morning to celebrate our Sunday Mass, the weekly paschal celebration. In today's intention for the Mass we are remembering Sister Zita and praying with her in thanksgiving for the service she has carried out in the parish and the surrounding area. She arrived in Assisi in 1986 as a member of the Community of Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. Now, after 27 years she will be returning to the United States. During these years, Sister Zita provided homecare for many families here in the parish as well as in the parishes of San Rufino, Santa Maria Maggiore and Santa Maria degli Angeli. Many of you know Sister Zita from those times. She was always ready to respond to any request from families who needed help caring for their elderly and also for their children. For twenty years Sister Zita was an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist and brought the Blessed Sacrament to more than 50 parishioners, around 35 of whom have entered eternal life. She has always carried out her mission with great dedication and love, in simplicity and humility. In this manner, she has always been a model of one who strives for holiness by doing ordinary things with extraordinary love. We give thanks today for the gift of Sister Zita in our midst during these many years and ask that in this Mass the blessing of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be upon Sister Zita and her next mission in the United States.
The presentation of the Offertory gifts (above photo) included items symbolic of Sister Zita's mission during her years in Assisi, carried to the altar by friends. Sister Gabriella Pettirossi announced the gifts: an apron representing the many families in whose homes Sister Zita helped by caring for their loved ones; the pix and Holy Communion booklet which she used to bring the Eucharist to elderly and sick persons in the parish; a loaf of bread, symbolizing her gift to nourish others; a bouquet of flowers representing Sister's love of plants and animals; and the wine and bread for the Eucharist.
In the afternoon, the Sisters held an open house reception at the Franciscan center for visitors to enjoy time with Sister Zita and to say goodbye to her. Close friends of the Sisters helped prepare a lavish array of foods including Sister Zita's favorite desserts.
See a slide show of the afternoon reception. Click the play button to begin.