Thu 14 Oct, 2010
On display in the reading room of the Clyde monastery are two books. One includes entries for each Sister’s birthday for the current month. The other details the lives of Sisters who passed on a day during that same month.
It’s a joy to stop and read from the first book, to see photographs of smiling Sisters who are a vital part of the Congregation today.
But it’s even more interesting to read entries from the second book, the necrology of all those who answered God’s call and lived their lives devoted to their faith. This set of books includes all the Sisters who have gone before us, with entries and photographs dating back to the late 1800s.
For example, on today’s date, honored is Sister Mary Catherine Reuter who passed on Oct. 14, 1944. By reading the chronicle we learn she was born to German parents and “a tiny person, full of energy and a diligent worker, neat and orderly, very faithful to duty.” She became a postulant in 1885. “She was greatly devoted to prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament….She was always cheerful and loved to sing. In later years one would often find her standing on a chair before the Blessed Virgin statue in the community room, singing the Salve Regina.”
Also noted is Sister Mary Augustine Finken who passed on this date in 2000. During her years as a Benedictine Sister, she helped found our San Diego monastery and was instrumental in beginning the oblate program there. “During her many years of illness,” the chronicle reads, “Sister Augustine maintained her sense of humor and never lost her wit. When asked, ‘Sister, are you all right?’ she replied, ‘No, I’m half left!’….She delighted to see others smile and laugh. She was known for her thoughtful acts of kindness and brought happiness to others.”
It is these stories, these glimpses into the past that help keep us connected to the wonderfully strong women who came before us, those who blazed the trail and for whom we continue the journey today.