Led into Paradise
Happy Easter Octave to all of you! And we extend our deep gratitude to all of you who prayed for and with us these last weeks of Sr. Rita Marie's life "in time and space". She left her earthly body and was led into eternal glory at 4:22 p.m. on Holy Saturday. God certainly lavished his love and mercy upon her in providing so many graced moments during her last week and a half. One or more of us Sisters were able to be with her almost all the time...keeping vigil along with some of her family, friends and the Carmelite Sisters there at the Carmel Home.
It has been a sacred experience for our community...to be able to walk with one of our own the journey of death to new life during the same time when we were re-living the events of our Lord's passion and death. About 6 of us were with her Good Friday afternoon after our 3 p.m. service. Walking into her room was like being a Mary at the Foot of the Cross...watching Sister's every breath...certainly we were touching Jesus Crucified in a special way. We stood and sat in silence and quiet prayer with her...she seemed to know we were present with her up to her last moment on Holy Saturday afternoon.
The Sisters greet the body of our dear Sister in our monastery parlor before the public viewing began.
After her sacred remains arrived at the monastery on Tuesday morning we spent much time in prayer with her until her funeral on Wednesday afternoon.
What a sweet grace it was to celebrate her visitation on Easter Tuesday and her Mass of Resurrection on Easter Wednesday...so united with the Church's Liturgy during this Easter Octave of our Lord's victory over death, hell and sin!
Sister had made many sacred vestments for the priests of our diocese over the years and of the 12 priests present for her funeral many were wearing something hand-sewn with love and prayer by our Sister.
Again, thank you for your prayers and please continue to pray for her...if any time does remain for purification, that this may be accomplished quickly. Of course, we already have her very busy interceding on our behalf...especially for the young women God is calling to join us in Passionist life...perhaps she is praying for one of you!
Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord...and let perpetual light shine upon her. Amen.