I just received a phone call from Sr Mary Immaculate of the Sisters of Reparation of the Sacred Wounds of Jesus. Sr Anne Joseph passed away on Sunday Afternoon at 3:15 pm. The hour of Divine Mercy.
I last saw Sr Anne Joseph at Christmas time while rehearsing for the performance at the Grotto. A month or so ago my oldest was at their annual Vocational Retreat and they were able to visit Sr in the hospital. Her funeral will be on Friday morning and we will attend to say goodbye and pray for the repose of her soul, or ask for her prayers while we struggle on in this life. I have no doubt that she will be praying for one thing: Vocations. Both for the Church as a whole and for the small order she leaves behind.
For now there are two.
In an article in U.S Catholic some while back Mother Mary of the Angels said:
“”I am convinced that we will be granted novices,” says Mother Mary in a tone brooking no disagreement. “God has here built a rich treasure, and we have great trust in the Lord. He will provide. We are in his care.“Our work is to offer up each day and walk with him wheresoever he leads. Each minute of your day, each act, each word, is a prayer of immense potential beauty, and our work is to live each minute with him in our hearts and bring him to the sick and the sad and the impoverished. We are charged with helping people toward reparation with God, and such reparation can only lead to joy, so that’s what we do, and we don’t worry about what might happen in the future. We think about it, sure, but it’s not our place to worry. ”
I hope and pray that they are able to increase their numbers in the next few years. You might look at the pictures of these nuns in their rather modern habits, most of them older, none of them younger and think “Liberal nuns dying off — good riddance” You would also be completely and utterly wrong. This is not a liberal group of women, they are loyal to the Magisterial teaching of the Church. This is a young order, barely 50 years old, but one with a unique and beautiful voice. It was started by women who love the Church, love God, love music and service. These are good, active nuns. I have never known more peace then when I am with them. I love them.
Mother Mary of the Angels is one of those people who is so demanding so firm in her resolution that it takes a moment to realize that this is a woman who also just loves you. Sure she can see all your faults, she knows that things aren’t perfect and a bit more effort might have made things better. But at the same time she is the first to say “We work with what God gives us” and march right on knowing full well that God’s will will be done and that she, I, and everyone else around us are His right through and it will all work out in the end. I love her so much and wish I could be more like her. Not be like her in the sense of having her vocation and gifts, but to be more perfectly me as God wants me to be. To be more of who I really am the way she is who she really is. Perfectly authentic.
Sr Mary Immaculate is a joy. I love her grin and the way she and I can just talk. She reminds me of my great aunt and my grandfather. Open minded, intelligent and having the pleasant interior peace that comes from being good and doing what you are called to do.
These are the two women who are the Sisters of Reparation of the Sacred Wounds of Jesus. It makes me pleased to see the young women at their convent during their vocation retreats. I hope and pray that some of them will be called to join the Sisters in their work. I hope some younger women will put on their somewhat modern looking powder blue habits and join them in adoration and prayer.
Sr Anne Joseph you will be missed.