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St. Anthonys volunteers mark Easter week with senior bash
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Sister Veronica Hagen, top left, of London extends congratulation to Josephine Ottaviano, who was celebrating her 94th birthday during Wednesday’s Easter Luncheon at the St. Anthony of Padua gymnasium. The two are joined by host Sister Ann Venita Britto and Henry Ottaviano. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
During her last visit to Manteca, Sister Veronica Hagen encountered gray skies and foggy conditions reminiscent of her home back in London.

“I was last here during Thanksgiving,” she recalled Wednesday at the Easter luncheon hosted by Sister Ann Venita Britto and her Ministry of Caring.

Sister Veronica was back in California, arriving in San Francisco the previous night after taking a flight across the pond.

She came to visit the local Daughters of the Cross. This time, however, Sister Veronica was greeted that morning to bright skies and cool temperatures.

“I love the sunshine,” she said. “It just makes everything cheery.”

During her stay, Sister Veronica is also looking forward to catching some of the sights, including a first-ever visit to Yosemite National Park.

“I hear it’s lovely this time of year,” she added.

As for the luncheon, Sister Ann, who hosts several of these functions a year, indicated a strong turnout at the St. Anthony of Padua gymnasium of about 350 seniors and guests, in addition to Manteca and Lathrop, from Stockton, Tracy, Linden and Ripon.

They also came from senior homes, nursing facilities and assisted living places such as Merrill Gardens, Palm Haven, Prestige, Park Haven, Almond Blossom, El Rancho, and Almond Terrace / Almond Court, to name a few.

Sister Ann also paid special recognition to Josephine Ottaviano, who was celebrating her 94th birthday.

The luncheon was made available to seniors and guests regardless of their religious faith.