April 2, 1924 - January 7, 2014
Over the last eighteen months I have had the privilege of accompanying some of our Sisters in their last days as they prepared to meet their Loving God. On Tuesday while visiting in Sister Bernadette Marie’s room, I noticed for the first time a picture of Jesus praying. The quote on the picture said” every soul needs a quiet space.” The picture and the quote prompted an image for me of Jesus looking tenderly at Sister Bernadette and beckoning her home.
Sister Bernadette Marie requested that we do not give reflections or share memories on her life this morning and so I will honor her request. However; I do feel it is appropriate to speak of Bernadette’s witness as a Sister of St. Joseph in light of the readings and music Sister chose for her funeral Liturgy. Very often a Sister’s selection of Scripture and music will have a common thread throughout the Liturgy. Sister Bernadette’s planning was no exception. The Scripture, the reading from our CSJ Constitution and the music that Sister chose for her funeral can comfort us in our sadness. This morning we will be reminded in the Scripture of God’s unconditional love and God’s promise of eternal life.
As we welcomed Sister Bernadette home to Bethany we heard the words from our CSJ Constitution on the Vows. Bernadette chose this reading which reminds all Sisters of St. Joseph that when we profess our vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience we are responding to a loving call of God which “promotes deepening relationships with God, with one another and with all people.” It is only by relying on God’s Grace in prayer that we have the capacity to be faithful to our Vows. “Every soul needs a quiet place” for prayer.