The Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon (SSMO) annually honor Sisters who are celebrating significant anniversaries of their service and ministry. The SSMO Jubilee is held on the last Sunday in July.

On Sunday, July 25, 2021, the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon (SSMO) honored two Sisters for their years of service and ministry.

The Jubilee Mass was held in the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel in the SSMO Motherhouse.

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The 2021 Jubilarians of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon are:

Sister Delores Adelman

“These past 60 years have been a blessing and a gift, both in my religious life and in my ministries,” said Sister Delores Adelman, a Sister of St. Mary of Oregon.

Sister Delores was a teacher at schools including Sacred Heart in Tillamook, Holy Trinity in Beaverton, St. John in Milwaukie, St. Mary in Spokane and St. Mary in Stayton — and served as principal at Sacred Heart in Gervais and St. Agatha in Portland. She was dean of high school residents at St. Mary of the Valley High School before serving as motherhouse superior and superior general.

“In my religious life, the community has provided me with opportunities for prayer, living a simple life, developing sisterly love among my Sisters and others, and the freedom to serve with compassion and love for all,” she said. “My ministries in the fields of education, community administration, and the health care arena have been tremendous opportunities for personal growth, facing challenges, creating deep relationships, and serving others.”

Sister Delores is known as a talented and compassionate massage therapist. Beyond her interest in biology and anatomy classes in school, she enjoys her current service for a simple, heartfelt reason: “I love helping people feel better.”

Reflecting on six decades in religious life, she concludes, “I am most grateful to God and to every person I have ever met for making a difference in my life.”

Sister Rita Watkins

Sister Rita Watkins celebrates 60 years of religious profession in the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon.

She was born in Grafton, North Dakota to Fenton and Florence Watkins and has two brothers, John and James, and one sister, Marlys. Her education began in a one room school house in North Dakota. By fourth grade the family had moved to Oregon where she attended Sacred Heart School in Portland, then moved to St. John the Baptist in Milwaukie for fifth through eighth grades. From there she attended high school at St. Mary of the Valley in Beaverton.

She received a bachelor’s in education from Marylhurst and a master’s in education from the University of Portland.

Her teaching career took her to Visitation School in Verboort, St. Pius X in Portland, Holy Trinity in Beaverton, St. Mary in Stayton, and St. Mary of the Valley in Beaverton. Sister Rita was principal at All Saints’ Primary in Spokane, Washington, Holy Trinity in Beaverton, and St. Agatha in Portland. After a sabbatical at the University of Notre Dame, she came home to be motherhouse administrator.

In 2000 she was elected to serve her community on the Leadership Team for 10 years. During this time, she also was president of Valley Catholic School. In 2020 she was once again elected to serve on the Leadership Team.