Sister Ann Venita Britto had a send-off to remember.
At Thursday’s Senior Luncheon honoring the Feast of St. Nick, she had 350 or so bidding her their farewells and best wishes.
“We were blessed to have Sr. Ann here,” said Father Chad Wahl of the St. Anthony of Padua parish. “She was a gift to the community.
“We will miss her dearly.”
Sr. Ann will soon move to England.
Bishop Myron Cotta and Bishop Emeritus Stephen Blaire, who also has an upcoming December birthday, were also at special Christmas-themed luncheon honoring Sr. Ann, who recently received the Bishop’s Award for commitment, generosity and faith.
“It was special to have (both bishops) here,” she said.
For the past 16 years, Sr. Ann and her Ministry of Caring has served the community by providing a nice, sit-down meal.
On this occasion, Brookdale Senior Living of Manteca catered the luncheon. Eighth-grade students from nearby St. Anthony’s School worked as servers and distributers of the door prizes.
Special guests included Mike Nancett of Raley’s supermarket dressed as Santa Claus. He handed out treats at all of the tables accompanied by his daughter Elizabeth Nancett, who is a junior at Central Catholic High in Modesto.
The Tappers from the Manteca Senior Center along with St. Anthony’s School kindergarteners performed dance and song, respectively, for those in attendance. Included were many of the regulars from Brookdale, United Cerebral Palsy, El Rancho, and Valley CAPS, to name a few.
The free luncheon, which will continue on under the guidance of Deacon Jeff Vierra and members of the Ministry of Caring, is made possible by donations from the community.