ACTON

Flying Goat Farm wins gold

Devotion to a herd of Nubian goats that provide milk for their handcrafted cheeses has earned farmers Devin Shepard and wife Cara Sammons-Shepard a gold medal for their farm’s feta cheese. The Shepards’ Flying Goat Farm won the award in the 2016 Big E Cheese Competition, New England’s premiere annual challenge for cheesemakers. The farm also earned a bronze medal in the competition for “Grace,” its aged, bloomy rind, Camembert-style variant.

Flying Goat’s award-winning status grants the Shepards a starring spot at the Big E Fair, held in West Springfield, Mass. The Big E Fair runs though Oct. 2 and holds the distinction as the largest agricultural event on the Eastern Seaboard, and the fifth-largest fair in the nation.

For more details, go to flyinggoat.farm.

PORTLAND

Sisters of Mercy honor nine

The Sisters of Mercy Northeast Community recently gathered to honor nine Maine sisters, who are celebrating jubilees this year.

An international community of Roman Catholic women, founded by Catherine McAuley, the Sisters of Mercy dedicate their lives to God through vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and service to the church and the community. Sisters Claudia Barbre, Mary Gemma Connelly, Elizabeth Kilbride, M. Denis Schwartz and M. Anastasia Skwara are celebrating 70 years of service as Sisters of Mercy. Sisters Barbara Brennan, Miriam Therese Callnan and Ruth Conlogue are celebrating 60 years and Sister Edward Mary Kelleher is celebrating 50 years.

The Portland Jubilarians have served over the years in diverse ways: as nonprofit board members and teachers; as hospital administrators and pharmacists; as a superintendent of the Diocese’s Catholic schools and as mother superior of the Sisters of Mercy Community. In Maine, the Sisters of Mercy sponsor Saint Joseph’s College in Standish and Mercy Hospital in Portland.

The sisters were honored recently during a liturgy at St. Pius X Church, with Bishop Robert P. Deeley serving as the celebrant and Monsignor Charles Murphy as homilist. Sisters, Mercy associates, family and friends enjoyed a reception at the Italian Heritage Center after the Mass. That ceremony was part of a larger celebration of jubilees in the Northeast Community, where 54 sisters will be recognized throughout the year.