Sister Dianna to be honored at mass

sr dianna higgins relaxingATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ  – A special mass of Thanksgiving will be offered Sunday, October 11 at 11:30 a.m . at St. Agnes Church for Sister Dianna Higgins, daughter of Jane Frotton of here and Jim Higgins of Florida, in celebration of her 25 years as a Franciscan Sister. The public is invited to attend and to greet Sister Dianna at a reception following mass in the church hall.

The Atlantic Highlands native is a Franciscan Missionary Sister of the Infant Jesus, stationed in Woodbury Heights, and teaching at Paul VI High School, the largest catholic high school in New Jersey. She was honored last week at a mass at St. Margaret’s Church in Woodbury Heights, and a jubilee dinner at Auletto Caterers in Almonesson in Camden County. That mass was concelebrated by eight priests, with two deacons and several altar boys also on the altar.

A graduate of St. Agnes School, Class of 1977 and Mater Dei High School, New Monmouth, 1981, before she earned a degree in Special Education from Glassboro State College in 1985, Sister Dianna entered the convent in 1988 and took her final vows in 1990. She earned a Masters degree in theology from St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia, a second in special education from Rowan University, and a third masters degree from St. Bonaventure’s in Buffalo, NY. In addition to teaching religion at the high school, Sister Dianna is also Superior of the convent where she and other sisters reside.

sr dianna higgins kneeling st margaret

It’s been a year of celebration for the vivacious nun whose reputation runs from being the serious contemplative sister she is in prayer to the fun loving sister and daughter unafraid to mount her brother’s motorcycle or go ziplining across mountains in Mexico with her mother.   She recently returned from an extended trip to the Holy Land, a gift of her school and parish where she resides. Last weekend, she journeyed to Philadelphia and set up her chair along the Ben Franklin Parkway to ensure a close seat for the Pope’s Popemobile route and attendance at his mass.

Both thrilled and awed to be present at the mass he offered, Sister Dianna said the day with Pope Francis was an incredible part of a memorable Jubilee year.   This is the third Pope the religious sister has personally seen in her lifetime. Sister saw Pope John Paul on two separate occasions and in two separate places, one at World Youth Day in Italy, the other in New York and Pope Benedict XVI in New York. “It was totally awesome and exciting, especially since this is my celebration of religious life. I am very blessed and thankful.”