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DAYTON, OHIO—A former pastoral coordinator at The Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Redlands is celebrating six decades of religious ministry as a Sister of the Precious Blood.

Sister Mary Garascia was appointed pastoral coordinator by Bishop Gerald Barnes and served at The Holy Name of Jesus from 2008 until her retirement in 2016.

Sr. Mary also served as a high school teacher in Arizona and California, director of religious education in Colorado and leader of two other parishes (one in Michigan and one in Ohio). She also served on the leadership team of her religious order and taught theology and philosophy at St. Leo University in Florida and Loyola Marymount University in California.

Originally from Cincinnati, Sr. Mary grew up as a member of Xavier University Parish and attended Regina High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Dayton, completed postgraduate courses in sociology at Arizona State University, earned a master’s degree in religious education from Fordham University and earned a PhD in religious and philosophical studies in a joint program at the University of Denver and the Iliff School of Theology.

In retirement, she has remained active in volunteer ministry as a hospital chaplain and spiritual writer, as well as in adult literacy education. She continues to write a column every other month for the BYTE, titled “Journey to Holiness.”

Sr. Mary is one of five Sisters celebrating milestone anniversaries of entrance into the Sisters of the Precious Blood. All the Sisters were recognized at a Mass and banquet July 3 at Salem Heights, the Congregation’s central house in Dayton.

The Sisters of the Precious Blood were founded in Switzerland by Maria Anna Brunner in 1834 and currently minister throughout the U.S. and in Chile and Guatemala.