March 3, 1936 – April 21, 2015
O Lord, you are the center of my life: I will always praise you, I will always serve you. I will alwayskeep you in my sight.
We come together today to celebrate the life of Sister Lorraine Hinrichsen and most especially her life as a Sister of St. Joseph of Boston. For almost sixty years, Lorraine lived her life as a Sister of St. Joseph with integrity, fidelity, courage and an abundance of love for all. We are filled with gratitude for Lorraine’s life among us as cousin, devoted friend, colleague in ministry and Sister in Community. Lorraine’s funeral plans of Scripture, song and symbol give us a glimpse of how Lorraine has lived our Mission. Lorraine’s “choosing life” has been life- giving to many and bears strong witness too, to her living out of the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph always seeking to help people be reconciled with God, with themselves, with one another and with the society in which we live. Lorraine has made extraordinary contributions in the lives of countless people by encouraging academic excellence and spiritual growth. We are grateful.
Over the years, many of us have known of the significance of the labyrinth in Lorraine’s life. The labyrinth is an image of a path for the Pilgrim Soul. It is an aide to spiritual navigation on our life’s journey. We began our Prayer Service this morning singing –“O Lord you are the Center of my life“. The labyrinth has drawn Lorraine into its center. To the center of her own deepest self…to the center where she met God and from which she received the Grace to live our Charism of unity and reconciliation.
In addition to the labyrinth symbol, Lorraine had great devotion to the Black Madonna. One of the more famous Black Madonnas is the Madonna of Czestochowa, the symbol of the Polish nation. The Black Madonna symbolizes the triumph of a “free Polish spirit” against all odds. Lorraine’s interest in the Black Madonna relates to her Polish heritage but I can’t help but think that perhaps Lorraine saw the Black Madonna as a symbol of unity and reconciliation, also.
In the days ahead may we remember the Scripture, the songs and the symbols that Lorraine has given to us for our reflection today: To choose life in God, To Keep God as the center of our lives, devote our life and work to realizing the prayer of Christ that all may be one with God and with one another.
Lorraine, God has always been the center of your life. You have always praised God. You have always served God. Now you are in God’s sight for all eternity. Rest in peace.
Given by: Patricia E. McCarthy, CSJ