Sr. Julia McGanty
Sr. Julia McGanty
MOUNT ANGEL — Benedictine Sister Julia McGanty celebrated her 70th jubilee by renewing her monastic promises during Mass Feb. 10, the feast of St. Scholastica.

“Sister Julia’s life is one of gracious hospitality and prayer, which she faithfully continues today,” reads a statement from the Benedictine sisters. “Her ready smile and gracious hospitality welcomes our many guests to our monastery.”

Born in Yamhill to William and Margaret McGanty, Sr. Julia (Cecelia) McGanty was a member of St. John Parish in Yamhill and attended schools in Yamhill and McMinnville. She continued her education while in boarding school at Mount Angel Academy and went on to Mount Angel College.

Influenced by the prayer life of the Benedictine sisters, Cecelia asked to enter the religious community and professed her vows Feb. 10, 1949, taking the name of Sister Julia.

Sister Julia taught religion at St. Mary Parish in Mount Angel for 16 years and at St. Paul Parish in Silverton. She also taught religious education classes in parishes throughout Oregon. She has been active in hospitality, chauffeuring, and arts and music ministries while continuing her life of prayer and service.

Sister Julia served in a variety of ministries during her community life, including work in food service at Mount Angel Abbey. In 1954, she was called to serve at Christie Indian Residential School on Meares Island in British Columbia, where she supervised playground sports and performed nursing and cooking duties for the school. When she returned to Mount Angel, she worked at the Benedictine nursing home and the monastery’s health center.

In 1974, Sister Julia attended the Academy of Hair Design in Salem and became a licensed cosmetologist. She began working at LaDonna’s Beauty Center in Silverton and later at Visions Salon and Spa. She has donated hair care services at the River House, Marquis Care Silver Gardens, the Davenport House and within her religious community.

Sister Julia said she’s found serving others a source of blessings and joy.