16 August 2006

Requiescat in Pace

At 11.32 am yesterday morning, the Lord (and His Blessed Mother) came for our beloved Sister Mary Vincentia. Sister was 83 years old and 51 years professed as a Visitandine. Sister's last years were marked by great physical suffering including a leg amputation, last year, which required a great deal of physical therapy. Sister died peacefully and with no struggle in the company of Mother Philomena and Sister Stanislaus, our infirmarian.

Sister was born in Ohio and grew up in Hazelton, Pennsylvania. She was the youngest of 7 children. Sister Vincentia did not have the opportunity to attend high school, as she became a nanny to her older sister's children after completing basic schooling. Later, sister took a job in a shirt factory where she worked for 10 years. During her time at the shirt factory, Sister Vincentia (then "Veronica") acquired a fiance, of whom she was "quite fond." Feeling called to devote her life to the Lord as a religious, however, she ended her engagement and pursued her religious vocation.

Alumnae will remember Sister Vincentia as the school portress. For years she greeted students, family and guests upon their arrival. She was the "face" of Visitation to many a visitor. Sister also served our community very faithfully as sacristan. In her spare moments she liked to crochet. In recent years, she was a pioneer on the internet, becoming one of the first in our community to use email to keep in touch with family and friends. Sister had a childlike sense of wonder and a great appreciation for things novel and clever. She loved to tell riddles and jokes and witty stories. And among Sister's favorite terms of endearment was "dearheart." Surely the Lord looked upon her and welcomed her home as one "dear" to His Most Sacred Heart.

A word to our locals: Sister will be waked from 9-11am on Monday 21 August. The funeral will follow at 11.00am. Both will be held in our Chapel of the Sacred Heart.

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