When a nun dies

Over at NCR, Sister Rose Pacatte has a beautiful reflection on what happens when a sister dies — and shares the life and legacy of one nun in particular, Sr. Cecilia Livingston, who recently passed away:

My hunch is that only a few of you knew Sr. Cecilia, but I would like you to. She was generous, hard-working, a daughter who loved her large family of origin and her congregation intensely, who leaves behind her grieving and loving parents and her fellow sisters.

What you don’t see here is the suffering, both physical and that which comes with life, even life in a religious community. We strive to be saints but in so doing we are saint-makers, too. We strive to live well so that we can die well. The whole enterprise is a paradox — a surrender to ambiguity, departing this life at the call of Christ, when we have nothing left to learn.

Sr. Cecilia made a difference and we cherish her memory.

May you rest in peace, good and faithful servant, sister, daughter, niece, aunt and friend. We thank God for your life, Cecilia, and are grateful for the lives of all religious — past, present and to come.

Read it all.  It’s poignant — and, coming in the early days of Lent, especially timely.


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