In Memoriam Reflections
S. Joan Crocker
“I first met S. Joan in 1968, when she was working at Marjorie Reed Mayo Daycare Center in Denver. It was during the time I was volunteering for Catholic Charities, as an outreach worker in the project area, under the supervision of S. Michael Mary Eagan. After finishing my home visits, each day I would check in at Marjorie Reed and got to know the Sisters from St Joseph’s. Joan was always the highlight of my day, with her gentle, kind way. She would welcome me with such love and hospitality it kept me coming back. She gave me a book from the library on Elizabeth Seton, and that was when I first came to love Elizabeth. We didn’t come back in contact until after I became an Associate and started going to the Sisters meetings. Then I was invited to the meetings in Colorado Springs, where she was missioned. It was a marvelous and pleasurable reunion for me, and her gentle kindness had not changed. Joan was a gift to my life and I’m so grateful she crossed my path.” ~ Associate Lee Hemminger
“I will always remember dear S. Joan as wise, playful, loving, fun. She was one of the original members of our SC Centering Prayer group out in Colorado in the 1970s. In 1974, all our SCs were asked to create small groups around an ‘affinity.’ We choose Centering Prayer. Indeed, we took care of all the SC Community ‘business’ on the agenda, but only after we prayed first. And then we always built in a party. I can picture Joan in God’s loving embrace now with Sisters Mary Jean, Michele (Mitch), Mary Bauer, Marie Re, Margaret Donnelly. Wow! What a wonderful celebration.” ~ S. Cathy Cahur
“With so many I enjoyed and was blessed with S. Joan’s beautiful smile and that twinkle in her eyes. Joan was a wood carver and created some lovely pieces. She always asked me how I was doing with my current wood sculpture; she’ll see the final piece from Heaven, and may she guide me along the way with it! Peace is yours now, dear Joan.” ~ S. Patmarie Bernard
“I ministered with S. Joan at Penrose-St. Francis Hospital in Colorado Springs for several years. She was an outstanding person and a very effective chaplain. I’m so happy to have known and loved her! May she enjoy peace and happiness with God, her family and her Sisters!” ~ Sr. Lou Krippel, OSF
“I was so sad to learn of S. Joan’s passing! What a special lady. I had the privilege of taking Joan’s oral history during my Novitiate. As many others have said, she had that gentle smile and those twinkling eyes, and she was so easy to be with. When I would come into her room, her face would light up, and she’d say, ‘My friend!’ She was such a humble woman, never thinking she had much of interest to share with me. Of course, that was so far from the truth! Once she got comfortable with me and got going, she had the best stories. I loved hearing about her life, especially her years ministering in Africa. I found out through our conversations that Joan loved shrimp. One of my favorite memories was S. Nancy Bramlage and I taking Joan out to Frisch’s so that she could get some shrimp! She had a ball that day, and so did we.” ~ S. Tracy Kemme
“S. Joan was a dear friend. I met Joan in 1990, when she and Mary Jean moved from Grand Junction, Colorado, to Colorado Springs, and ultimately St. Joseph Southgate. We had many meals together, and she and my husband became fast friends, when they realized a common bond – they didn’t do dishes. Skip made buttons for them that said, ‘We don’t do dishes,’ and they both appeared at our meals together with their buttons. I was introduced to Centering Prayer by Sisters Joan and Mary Jean, and practice it today. Joan was one of my mentors as I discerned to become an Associate in Mission with the Sisters of Charity, and for that I am forever grateful. Joan’s humor was infectious, and the twinkle in her eye ever present. When I went to Cincinnati for the Advisory Committee meetings, I could depend on Joan being at the door of the Halloran Room after the meeting so we could visit, walk, or have dinner together, sometimes all three. I love you Joan, rest in peace ‘my dear Sister.’” ~ Associate Pat Grubelnik
“Aunt Jay was hands down, no contest, my favorite aunt. She always had a smile and a playful laugh. One of my many fond memories was when she offered to run to the grocery store for my mom. My younger sister and me (both elementary school age at the time) went along. We ran out to the car and before she got in, we turned the radio full blast, the windshield wipers and turn signals all in the ON position. She started the car and all hell broke loose. She jumped, but immediately starting laughing. She was such a kick and we knew, of course, she had to forgive us. She made each of her nieces and nephews feel special. She was so easy to talk to, she listened and always gave sage advice. I loved her so much and will always keep her fun spirit in my heart.” ~ Eileen McDowell Lyle, niece
S. Louise Akers
“Heaven has gained and we have lost an important soul. She lived a life of witness to God’s love, peace and justice from deep within. I am sure that God is happy with her and I am happy that she is now home with no more pain or suffering. May her soul rest in God’s arms as God welcomes her home.” ~ S. Victoria Anyanwu
“May S. Louise, in her new life in God, continue to bless and inspire us and all the people of God as we work for just, inclusive relationships and strive to live the Gospel.” ~ S. Noreen Ellison
“Remembering S. Louise for me is to remember the movie Pink Smoke. It was such a powerful eye opener regarding church and an introduction to me of a very brave and committed woman. My thanks to you Louise for opening my mind and heart to many things I have learned and still ponder today. My admiration for how you lived and how you suffered and died will impact me for a time to come.” ~ Associate Kathy Vogelpohl
“S. Louise was such an important part of my early community life. Through some very rocky years, she was always there to support and challenge me. Our paths have not crossed much in recent years but she remains a treasure in my life. I wonder if I would still be here, 42 years later, without her encouragement and vision.” ~ S. Joanne Burrows
“It was a gift knowing S. Louise. She was always so welcoming, when I saw her, infrequently, and when I called her. Louise was always happy to talk with anyone, always had a smile to share, as well as her deep faith. Her positive attitude during her illness was truly an inspiration, as was her work for justice and inclusiveness.” ~ Associate Lee Hemminger
“S. Louise was a woman of courage, seeking to speak the Gospel’s truth no matter the cost. Her strength in the face of pain and loss are an example for us. We rely now on her watching over each of us. Peace at last!” ~ S. Carol Bauer
“As much as I was inspired by S. Louise’s stances on justice and peace, as much as I admired her keen intellect, as much as I respected her love of community and valuing of friends, I loved Louise for her heart, for her laugh, for her ability to be so genuinely present to whomever she was with. I am grateful to have lived with her at Corpus Christi in Dayton. Louise was teaching at St. Joseph High School there. We had a lot of fun together and created good memories. May all of us here on earth continue to work toward the goals of peace and justice you believed in so wholeheartedly.” ~ S. Delia Sizler
“S. Louise, we shall miss you and all you taught us by your life and by your work for peace and justice and the rights of women. Your heart, your works and your passion have enriched our community and the world. We miss your blog, your spirit, your smile and your love. You abide in our hearts!” ~ S. Marie Pauline Skalski
“When the community decided to open an Office of Peace and Justice, I was asked to be part of the Interview Committee for the director. When we interviewed S. Louise, I asked how she would handle it if she offered programs and nobody attended. She looked at me with a smile and said, ‘Mary Jo, I am relentless!’ And anyone who knew her knows that was true! For five years, Louise and I worked closely together imagining, planning and giving Immersion Experiences in Cincinnati. We spent a week with participants visiting ministries in Cincinnati where Sisters and Associates ministered to those in need and in advocacy for justice and peace. While I was prepared to do mostly the same program each year, Louise always found ways to make it better – new places, new people, new ideas. And each year it did get better! Her network of colleagues was infinite and everyone was always willing to work with her. During all of those immersions, I was so amazed at her willingness to share deeply, to confront those who challenged, and to teach more about justice and peace than anyone I have ever known. She was never stumped by a question or disconcerted by a derogatory comment. She handled it all with grace and respect for each person. I value all that I learned during those experiences.” ~ Associate Mary Jo Mersmann
“The paradigm has shifted, the universe has shifted, all the women for whom S. Louise Akers worked so hard have a new companion in the world beyond! When the Office of Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation was here at EarthConnection the office hummed all the time. The conversations were amazing as were the people who wandered in and out. Louise didn’t just talk about peace and justice, she lived it! Now she lives it again in another space and no time. I will most miss her laugh and her determination.” ~ S. Winnie Brubach
“As I write this message, I am at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis in Oldenburg, Indiana, preparing to serve as one of two secretaries for their Chapter which begins this evening. Word of S. Louise’s death has spread quickly through this house. Many of the Sisters here knew Louise. As they have come up to me to offer their condolences, I have heard their words of appreciation for Louise’s life: ‘faithful servant’; ‘woman of courage and wisdom’; ‘spirit-filled enthusiasm’; ‘passionate for what she believed.’ The sentiments were expressed numerous times. Their memories mingled with those of our SC family and of countless others, near and far, make a beautiful mosaic of ‘our’ Louise.” ~ S. Barbara Davis
“S. Louise brought many gifts, and for me was a dear friend. It has taken me a few days to sense what I want to say. One of Louise’s ongoing favorite songs was, ‘Holy Now’ by Peter Mayer. The refrain, ‘Everything is holy now!’ speaks of how Louise lived and understood life and God. God is not separate, but in everything, from justice concerns, particularly with women and racism, developing programs - and centers - to educate, to laughter, celebrating with friends, or whatever the moment presented. Louise and I were together in Nicaragua in February 1996 when John Paul II visited and created hardship for the people, apparently not understanding the situation. Most of the poor did not get to receive Eucharist at the Papal Mass, after the chaos that emerged. The next day we met with a group of women in a Barrio. Louise asked the one woman, ‘Will you leave the Church?’ The woman looked confused, and said, ‘How can I leave the Church, I AM the Church?’ She had her Vatican II documents with her! Louise often referred to this ‘lesson’ she received. Louise herself, of course, knew she is the Church. Yet, she understood her identity as Church in a new and deeper way from this woman’s comments. No matter what transpires, this identity is not changed.” ~ S. Donna Steffen
“It has taken me several days before I could even think of writing. S. Louise has been a dear friend for many years. She was always a strong voice challenging injustice. While in our peace and justice office she not only provided up-to-date and factual information about injustices in many areas, but also actively participated in actions to call out injustice and challenged us to do the same. She truly walked her talk. May we follow in her footsteps.” ~ S. Caroljean Willie
“S. Louise, was a great lady that lived her beliefs of helping others in spite of her own pain and was always smiling and happy doing the Lord’s work.” ~ S. Juanita Marie Gonzales
“I will remember Sister for all the smiles she gave through the pain. For the laughter we shared. For all the times she would try to encourage all of us around her when she was the one who needed it more. For her wisdom. For all the times she didn’t tell us how bad it was because she didn’t want to ruin our day too. For her lack of computer skills. For all the times she pushed her body to the limit so she could spend more time with her family and friends. For all the phone calls just to say hello. For the day that she hired me to work with her at OPJIC. For the privilege of being her friend. But now I feel the silence, her absence is everywhere, feeling the pain of missing someone so loved by many.” ~ Associate Sue DiTullio
“S. Louise Akers was a prayerful religious. She loved God and God’s people. She was a person of conscience. Her beautiful influence will be missed.” ~ S. Mary Dugan
“I lived with S. Louise for two years (1970-’72) while we both taught at St. Joseph Commercial High School in Dayton. I remember her smile, her funny stories, and her chocolate chip cookies! But underneath all that was her deep spirituality, which showed both in her work for social justice and, especially, in the beautiful way she has faced illness and death these past few years. She has truly been an inspiration!” ~ S. Pat Wittberg
“Though S. Louise entered the Community a few years behind me, I never really knew her well until serving on her OPJIC Board. At our quarterly Board meetings, her reports of the things she had done in just one quarter would fill an entire single-spaced, typewritten page! She was passionate about peace, justice, truth, and equality; she championed the marginalized, the under-appreciated, the poor, and the oppressed - living what she believed throughout her entire life. A deep and wonderful friendship developed over the years. When we drove up and roomed together during the Call to Action Convention in Milwaukee the year after she had done a brilliant job as the keynoter, it was like being with a rock star! We shared many meals together and spent hours planning, commiserating, sharing, and laughing ‘beyond our lips.’ When FutureChurch offered her the Louis Trivison Award, Louise was determined to go to Cleveland, despite her very advanced melanoma and other serious physical issues. Though the trip was not uneventful, she was an amazing trooper throughout it all. To wheel her into that gathering, to see people swarming around her, telling her how much she meant to them and how she had changed their lives was a deeply moving experience. One night, when I was sitting at her bedside as she was dying, an aide came into the dark room. I don’t think she saw me – but she quietly made the sign of the cross over Louise’s bed; she knew she was in the presence of holiness. St. Louise, advocate, mentor, beacon for justice, beloved of so many, pray for us.” ~ Associate Mary Ellen Williams
“When S. Louise came to Cleveland for the FutureChurch Trivison Award, she exuded sheer joy. It was a confirmation of all she worked for over many years. As I think of her, I muse:
L ouise ~longing for the Gospel of love
O utspoken advocate for the unheard
U ltimate believer in the possibilities of change
I ntimately grounded in the Risen Christ
S eeker of truth, despite the cost
E xample of strength and courage to the end.”
~ S. Regina Kusnir
“As I shared at FutureChurch’s award ceremony for S. Louise this fall, I first got to know her a few years ago when she taught Tracy and I about Catholic Social Teachings and Vatican II documents as part of our canonical novitiate. You can imagine how amazing that was! During those intimate sessions of breaking open the foundational principles of our faith and exploring the movement of the Spirit leading us to become a more just, inclusive, and authentic Church, I fell deeply in love with it. Louise spoke with such passion and conviction - she simply set my heart on fire! After all the required studies were finished and we still had some weeks to go before our canonical year ended, we were asked if there was anything we hadn’t addressed that we wanted to know about. Having heard about Louise’s history with the bishop who silenced her, we asked if she would be willing to share that experience more fully, and offer us her advice should we ever find ourselves in a similar situation. She graciously agreed, and in doing so helped us understand what the vow of obedience is really all about. It is about listening intently to the voice of God within each of our hearts, being so deeply in communion with God that it is easily discerned, and so in love with God that we find it irresistible. That will not keep you out of trouble, as she painfully discovered. But, that never stopped Louise and it shouldn’t stop us. I was again very fortunate to get to have one last conversation with Louise the Friday before she died. I couldn’t help getting emotional thinking it was the last time I’d have such an opportunity. I apologized saying it is just so hard to be losing all the spunky nuns. She said, ‘Well, it’s a good thing you’re pretty spunky yourself then!’ She told me she wasn’t at all afraid and was just very ready to go. Her clear blues eyes seemed to be looking beyond what was visible to me and a smile spread across her face. She said that it was simply remarkable to know you are about to transition into a new way of being and to look at your life in its entirety. What a perfect description of Louise and the life she lived: simply remarkable. And I am just so grateful to have been a part of it.” ~ S. Andrea Koverman
“[S. Louise Akers] was truly a Gospel woman! This is a brief historical note: one time Louise told me that her grandmother actively supported women’s issues, especially women’s right to vote! Louise’s passion for social justice was in her DNA! Louise, rest in peace knowing that your strong sense of social justice and your courage to personally lead the way, will encourage all of us to continue to follow. Rest in peace knowing that you have inspired many others.” ~ S. Julie Deiters
S. Edith Louise Merhar
“S. Edith Louise was the first mathematics supervisor and consultant for the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Detroit. While she was there, she was instrumental in getting a grant for Shrine High School in Royal Oak to purchase a computer terminal. This was way back in 1970! A few math teachers were able to teach Basic Computer Language to some of the students who would store their data on long strips of punched paper. The school only had 1½ hours per week of computer connection time with Honeywell. During this time the students could run their paper tape to see if their computer program was correct. Thanks, Edith, for all that you did for the education of teachers and students in math and computers!” ~ S. Joyce Richter
“S. Edith Louise was very dear to our family. Our parents, Joe and Gloria Montoya, always spoke lovingly of her, remembering her in many stories – some of them very funny! We knew she had been an important and memorable figure in their high school years. She taught them high school English at St. Mary’s High School in Albuquerque in the early 1950s. As they told it: She was almost as young as they were and they were the first class she ever taught. She came to visit our family over the years, staying with us in our home, always maintaining their friendship. My favorite memory of her will always be visiting her at Mother Margaret Hall on a trip to the Motherhouse for S. Patmarie Bernard’s golden jubilee. She told me stories about my mother, remembering that she assigned mom the task of creating the May Altar for the classroom. Mom took the assignment very seriously and had designed the loveliest of May Altars. I treasure that conversation, especially now, as my mother passed in 2016. They are together again, with all the saints and angels. What a wonderful thought.” ~ Lynn Montoya Cheek
“I first met S. Edith Louise when I was a postulant in a physics class with all professed Sisters. Although we were not supposed to converse, Edith always had something to say. Her birthday occurred during the summer and she went around handing out birthday cards for us to send her. She loved life and lived it to the full.” ~ S. Dorothy William Englert
“The wife of Sister’s nephew was an administrative assistant for the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland. She had asked me to visit Sister whenever I came to Cincinnati. I did so fairly often. Every time I appeared, Sister would immediately start singing popular songs of the 1940s and 1950s, never missing a word through all the verses. She said it was the music she danced to as a young girl. The first couple years of my visits, she remembered her nephew but as time wore on, she did not remember him, nor did she remember my name – but she never missed a word singing her songs. I loved it.” ~ S. Mary Ann Flannery
Associate Mary Ann Vennemeyer
“Mary Ann was a long-time volunteer in our Adult Education Program at North Fairmount and after she retired she gave even more time. She was truly interested in helping people, interested in making them more self-sufficient and more aware of their own ability. She was not only generous, but had a deep spiritual side, taking courses in theology and becoming an SC Associate.” ~ S. Julia Deiters
Associate DeAnn Fricker
“I remember when I went to the Senior Center where DeAnn lived so she could make her commitment. She was so tickled to do it with all of her family and friends around. It was such a special day for her and for the Charity Family. I am glad that I knew her.” ~ Associate Mary Jo Mersmann
S. Maryland Anderson
“S. Maryland Anderson scared me – at first. I signed up for a Cultural Anthropology class [at the College of Mount St. Joseph] with Dr. Anderson as the instructor, and when she entered the room for the first time I must say I was intimidated. She ran the class with military precision (I found out later why). We had to sign in for each class and two unexcused absences were grounds for being dropped from the class. I soon discovered, however, that she had a kind heart and a compassionate nature. As I remember, when a young male student needed extra help, her office door was open to him and when another student struggled with a personal problem/situation, she was encouraging and helpful. Dr. Anderson’s lectures were all so very interesting and relatable to real life. In my years at the Mount, I signed up for three more classes which Dr. Anderson taught and learned a great deal in each one. Thank you, Dr. Maryland Anderson, it was a true pleasure knowing you.” ~ Joann Hubert
“Andie still had a good bit of ‘Navy’ in her as an SC, and I consider her a special friend. I met her first in Colorado Springs where she and S. Maria lived in the small cabin up Ute Pass. Her skills as a med tech were put to good use when I had various medical concerns. If she didn’t have an immediate answer, she did research to find one. Our common interest was the Notre Dame football team. Just a couple of days before she died, she called me to give the correct time and channel for that game. Many thanks for all the small and large things you did as a lively SC!” ~ S. Ruth Bockenstette
“I was in a small group with Maryland for a while. She and Maria loved to be our hostesses. Later, she was always willing to help with advice in applying for grants for non-profits.” ~ S. Dorothy William Englert
“Maryland was a big help to me when she volunteered at North Fairmont Community Center. I was with the Adult Education Program and Andy helped me with writing proposals for funding. She always had good suggestions. Then, I didn’t have much contact with her until I was a patient in Mother Margaret Hall Nursing. She came around often on her scooter, handing out candy to the patients. I always looked forward to her visits, not just for the candy, but for an enjoyable chat with ‘Candy Andy.’” ~ S. Julie Deiters
Associate Virginia Johnson
“What a wonderful woman Virginia Johnson was! I admired her frank discussions and total loyalty to all things charity! She loved her family so deeply, too. And they were devoted to her. The last time I got to spend time with her she was using a walker and although she didn’t enjoy it, she accepted it gracefully. She was such an advocate for justice and for the Associate movement. Rest in peace, Virginia.” ~ Associate Mary Jo Mersmann
Associate Theresa Benavidez
“I fondly remember Theresa and her ardent commitment to a life of charity and service. Theresa’s love for her family and others in her community was so evident. I enjoyed knowing Theresa and am so grateful for her love of the Charity Family.” ~ Associate Mary Jo Mersmann
“Theresa Benavidez was a member of the SC Band of 1958. She was a prayer-filled, fun, energetic person. Shortly after making vows, her mother died, and her father asked her to come home and help raise her siblings. She grieved having to leave, but responded to this new call. She later married, had several children, and became an Associate of the SCs. She joyously attended almost every meeting of this group.” ~ S. Patmarie Bernard
“Ruth was a long-time supporter and was involved with the Associates in Dayton. Ruth loved being a Eucharistic Minister. Rest in peace, Ruth, with the Lord whom you loved to serve.” ~ S. Rita Hawk
“Ruth was the Band of 1957’s ‘communication central.’ She kept us all in touch with one another, annually, through our Christmas newsletters which also included former members. Ruth treasured memories and connections that bound us together and she kept a virtual archive of our parodies and programs through these 60 years. Now she is the first of our Band to have died as a Sister of Charity. I am saddened at her unexpected death, but thankful she will welcome the rest of us when it is our turn to go home to God. Rest In Peace, friend.” ~ S. Noreen Ellison
“Ruth often took the leadership for our small group i.e., making sure we had a place to meet (sometimes in Columbus) and sending out reminders of the topics and handouts and providing the prayer atmosphere, for the nearly 10 years we have been together. I have such fond memories of those meetings. We were just planning to meet in Cincinnati to celebrate Ruth’s recent jubilee. She and I shared a love for dogs, her favorite being the Scottish Terrier, the breed she had as a child. She was the soul of kindness and I will miss her dearly as I know all our small group members will.” ~ S. Mary Ann Flannery
“I worked with Ruth at ICCR over many years. She was a welcoming, humble and supportive person with a strong commitment to justice. I always enjoyed spending time with her at ICCR meetings. I missed her when she retired.” ~ S. Kathleen Coll, SSJ
“The picture of Ruth in the announcement about her passing to eternal life says it all! I will remember fondly the sparkle in her eyes and her warm and gracious smile. I had just spoken with her this past Saturday during the Fall Congregational Day. She was telling me about her move to Assisted Living and that she had completed most of the task of getting her room in order.
“Ruth served on the latest governance committee for four years. She did not speak often in our group of 18 members, but when she did her words were always profound and she always had a great concern for the well-being of all of our Sisters. She came well prepared to every meeting and it was obvious that she had read all of the materials in advance.” ~ S. Barbara Davis
“I have so many memories of Ruth. And most of them revolve around her many actions for justice. I think Ruth did most of the organizing work for nearly all of our congregational stands on social justice issues. And I think the issue she seemed the most dedicated to was our stance against capital punishment. She has worked so hard to get that law changed, and we have made some progress on that cause, but have a lot still to do. I know one reason she was so involved in that is that she had a relative who was murdered, and she worked with her family to help them come to some feelings of reconciliation with the perpetrator.
“And of course all her work with organizing ALL the SC trips to the School of the Americas (SOA) protests. She loved providing all of us with our white crosses with the names of the people killed by the Latino soldiers trained at the SOA. In my mind now, I raise my white cross with Ruth’s name on it, and hear all of us chant ‘Presente!’ May her spirit always remain with us as she rests in God’s everlasting love.” ~ S. Nancy Bramlage
“I knew S. Ruth during the last 10 years of her life and consider myself to be profoundly blessed to have had her as a friend. We met through our shared commitment to the work of justice, during my tenure at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. We became friends because of our shared love of stories and ritual and mischief and baseball. She inspired me with her work and persistence. She helped me stay connected to my Catholic faith. She consoled me during challenging times. And I will never forget her.
“When I first arrived on the scene at ICCR, in addition to the job I’d been hired for, there were so many members to meet, so many projects to understand and so many political and cultural winds to navigate. S. Ruth was always a compassionate and willing navigator. In many early morning telephone chats, she would remind me of the power of prayer and contemplation. She would encourage me to find ways to anchor our work in our shared commitment to God’s purpose and to take comfort in shared ritual and practice.
“In my last ‘hands on’ project before my time at ICCR ended, I had the wonderful pleasure of helping to steward an outreach project in Cincinnati, S. Ruth’s hometown and, of course, the home of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. It was a wonderful experience working with the Sisters, the Foundation and the community. Throughout that year-long project of engagement; everywhere I went, everyone I met – every single soul – asked about S. Ruth. Everyone, from corporate CEOs to community activists to local faith leaders, everyone knew S. Ruth. And everyone had a story to tell about her ferocity and compassion. Knowing S. Ruth Kuhn gave me a ‘key’ that opened many doors in town. I was grateful.” ~ Laura Berry
“[I] worked with Ruth for many years at ICCR, especially on the old Planning and Evaluation Committee. I always remember her kindness, care and concern, and her deep commitment to social justice. Her electronic greeting cards were always such a wonderful gift to receive – a great way to remain connected.” ~ Cathy Rowan
“Dear, dear Ruth. She was such a gift to our Band. As Noreen mentioned, she was the glue that kept us together all these years. Each year, we would write a letter about what had been going on in our lives, send it to Ruth, who would compile and distribute them among us all. She would start reminding us to get our letters in before Christmas. If someone’s hadn’t arrived by Jan. 1, she would make a phone call! She also arranged a reunion every five years, starting with our 15th anniversary since some of us were starting to leave. People came from Michigan, Florida, the West, etc. - it was a delightful time. Each reunion, she would also take pictures which she then posted in albums which we reviewed every reunion.
“Ruth was also the glue that held her family together, especially after her sister, Bobbie, died. For her Golden Jubilee, her family gave a party for her in Dayton. It was obvious how much they all loved her. As she was downsizing, Ruth gave me two of her most prized possessions; a relic of Mother Seton and her Suscipe candle from our 40th anniversary. I cherish them both.” ~ Associate Mary Ellen Williams
“I first knew S. Ruth when she came to Guatemala perhaps 12 or more years ago as part of a delegation of the Cincinnati Archdiocese. We spent a delightful week or 10 days together traveling and knowing the reality of Guatemala and her people. For many months following that visit, S. Ruth, Associate Liz Maxwell and I sustained a lively correspondence around the mining activity devastating our mountainous department of San Marcos. She was thirsty for news and data around the mining activities so as to influence those who make political decisions to allow or oppose mining. Those conversations lasted for months if not for a few years.” ~ Judith Maxwell Noone, Maryknoll
“[Ruth] was a very special friend of mine and of many colleagues in the ICCR family. I will always remember the patient assistance she offered to me when I was new at this work.” ~ Donna Meyer
“I worked with Ruth to establish the Cleveland branch of the Coalition on Responsible Investing. Ruth was welcoming to me and was a living example of a religious woman dedicated to the mission of Matthew 25 through works of justice, in particular, socially responsible investing. Ruth was generous, knowledgeable, good humored, and dedicated to the mission of socially responsible investing as an act of justice. She always had a story to tell that personalized the issue before us. I am grateful for her example and that I was blessed to know her and work with her.” ~ S. Beverly Anne LoGrasso, Ursuline Sisters Urban Community School
“While I had only known S. Ruth for a few years, I considered her a good friend. Her work for all social justice issues, especially with ICCR and the CRC, was inspiring for me. She is one of the Sisters that inspired me to become an Associate.” ~ Associate Jim Weber
“I knew Ruth Kuhn from CRI; I am the Ursuline representative to Region VI CRI. Ruth was dedicated and committed to the CRI mission. She was a compassionate, caring woman with a heart open to all. I am grateful our paths crossed.” ~ S. Ruth Ann Haunz, OSU
“Ruth and I were in the same Band of Sisters of Charity. I only stayed for a year and a half, but we have kept in touch through the years. I always considered her a very special person and a special friend.” ~ Bobbie Edwards
“Ruth was one of the kindest, most thoughtful women I have ever known. I worked with her through ICCR, and specifically on Monsanto engagements. She was always prepared for the dialogues and deeply interested in the issues. The last time she drove to St. Louis for a dialogue (2015), she was worried about the directions, and I was worried about her getting there on time and getting back to her relatives in Illinois. She did well, but that was the last time I saw her. At ICCR she was also a leader in reminding us that we ought to start sessions with a prayer!” ~ S. Barbara Jennings, CSJ
“Ruth was a great help to me with bookkeeping when we opened The Women’s Connection. She remained a supporter of that ministry through the years.” ~ S. Kathleen Hebbeler, OP
“My memories of Ruth go back 60 years! Before Ruth entered the Community, her cousin, Fr. Harold Bernard, who was a friend of mine, told me his cousin was entering and I should be good to her. Well, I guess I was, because a friendship developed and lasted all these years. Over time we became acquainted with each other’s families, attending family gatherings. Ruth was quite creative, doing cross-stitch, making banners, framing pictures of scenes which she had taken. She visited me in Colorado and Arizona, and of course we drove to picturesque sights. At the Royal Gorge the bridge spanning the gorge had the names of states along the rail. She wanted her picture by Ohio. In Arizona she asked me to stop whenever she saw a Sequoia cactus framed by a gorgeous sunset so she could photograph it. Ruth was always generous with her time. Since I moved to Assisted Living and Ruth was still driving, she would drive me to Dayton, take me shopping, and always said she would do anything she could to help me.” ~ S. Barbara Muth
“S. Ruth and I served as coordinators of different coalitions for responsible investment (CRI). Several times a year, we met up at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) national meetings and stayed at the same accommodations in New York. We worked on many of the same issues and supported each other’s work in any way that we could. S. Ruth was steadfast in her conviction that we make a huge difference through this work on corporate accountability with the various corporations and their executives. She cheerfully participated on the ICCR Board and Planning Committee. As we traveled together on the New York subway many times, we had time to ‘catch up’ on important things in our lives. I was able to visit her when I came to Cincinnati and met Abby. Ruth was one-of-a-kind and will be sorely missed!” ~ S. Susan Mika, OSB
S. Rose Virginia Brown
When S. Rose Virginia moved to MMH I had an opportunity to get to know her better. We were neighbors in MMH and she was just getting used to a new living situation. I remember how interested she was in getting to know everyone around her. She was always interested in everything—our community, the world. I enjoyed talking with her and hearing her opinion on everything. She loved to share her ideas and always had good insights. I’m glad she is beyond her suffering and can now enjoy all her friends and family as they celebrate together the joy of being in God’s loving presence. Rose, rest in peace and pray for us! ~ S. Julia Deiters
“I knew [S. Rose Virginia] from many of the meetings I attended in Colorado Springs over the years. She was always friendly and welcoming. I loved her feisty personality and the fact that she was so open and honest about whatever you were discussing.” ~ Associate Carol Llewellyn
“What a gift Rose was to those of us in the West - her special hospitality, sense of humor, and love made life better with each encounter. Those of us who lived a distance from Colorado Springs could always count on a place to spend the night if it was too late to return home, and a good breakfast the next morning. I am grateful for her tremendous support and love of Associates.” ~ Associate Lee Hemminger
S. Barbara Huber
“Being part of the editorial board was a special treat, not least because it meant going to S. Barbara’s house at the rectory every month for a meeting featuring her wonderful cooking! Anyone who knows Barbara knows that she was not a hoity-toity person. She cooked from largely dumpster-dived vegetables, and lived a simple life. But what magic she made of those ingredients! I specifically remember eating ratatouille, turnip vichyssoise, and other delicious creations in Barbara’s well-kept kitchen. I also remember asking, “What is vichyssoise?” It didn’t matter. Whatever it was, it was good. Of course, I didn’t only learn about food from S. Barbara and the rest of the editorial board. The company was wonderful, and we batted around ideas for articles about issues like depleted uranium, weapons in space, and the integrity of resistance.
“When it comes to Barbara, the word that comes to mind is steady. She was very faithful and clearly held powerful ideals—and was a warm, open person, but also unsentimental and no-nonsense in her day-to-day activities. She took her principles seriously, and could be fastidious in everything from cooking to the rules of the house, but never took herself too seriously.” ~ Bijou community member
“So many of you have made comments to me about Barbara’s eyes when you visited her. It is certain that when she lost words her eyes displayed God’s love in magnificent ways. I believe her eyes always said so much so I am going to share this story from our time in Rome. During the summer our boys would go to a house on the sea for a week. We, Sisters, were able to accompany them for a week as staff. In the afternoon, while the boys were taking their nap, we could don our swimsuits and enjoy the water. This day a boy came running out to advise us of something that was happening in the dormitory. He ran into Barbara and could only say, ‘Sister, you don't have your glasses.’ It wasn't that she didn't have her habit but her eyes were not right. The boys knew how important her eyes were even then. Thanks, Barbara, for sharing God’s love through those eyes.” ~ S. Jean Miller
“The news of S. Barbara’s passing has deeply saddened all of us, former students of Villa Nazareth. Last year, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of Villa Nazareth, we were looking forward to seeing her again in Rome, along with Sisters Joan, Jean, and Grace Ann. Our desire was to share with them the joy of celebrating such a special anniversary. Unfortunately, though, because of the date change on the part of the Holy Father, the Sisters were unable to join us. We were extremely disappointed.
“For numerous years, a strong bond has been uniting Villa Nazareth and the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. Such a bond only becomes stronger, as time goes by. [So many] are still in our memory as well as all the other Sisters who have supported them by staying at the Motherhouse in Cincinnati. In our youth, they were with us as mothers and older sisters. They taught us and shared with us studies and games, while taking care of the management of Villa Nazareth and generously contributing to its economic needs.
“Several years ago, during our last meeting in Rome, S. Barbara recounted her experience at Villa Nazareth: for all the Sisters, their life at Villa was a continuous encounter with values and customs, perhaps different than the American ones, but equally positive and fruitful for their culture and formation.
“We have been following, throughout the years, the activities of our Sisters in the world (in Colorado, New Mexico, Nicaragua, and at the UN) always in favor of the children, the poor, the immigrants, the clandestine, the outcast, and the marginalized, working for peace in the world, and against war.
“Knowing this, our hearts have always been filled with joy and we have been able to exclaim with pride to anyone who is near us: ‘These are our Sisters!’ S. Barbara is now with all the other Sisters who preceded her to the House of the Lord. All of us, who have known her, wish to express our solidarity and love to all of you with a special prayer for the repose of her soul and confident that she will always be with you as well as with all of us.” ~ the Villa Nazareth boys
“S. Barbara Huber lived a poignant example of a life of simplicity and charity. I learned much about social justice from her.” ~ Associate Vicki Welsh
“Thirty-eight years ago I joined the Associates. It was called co-members then and there were only eight or 10 of us. Barbara was my first contact Sister. I didn’t know anything about spiritual direction. I just wanted to learn more about Scripture. She started my whole journey in my life. I never, never will forget her. I spent a month in Colorado Springs with her. She introduced me to all the people. They would stop her on the street and thank her and ask her how she was. It was the most wonderful month of my life. She led me in different Scripture readings and taught me journaling. It was just marvelous. I’ll never forget her. I loved her very much. Even when she was forgetful, I think she knew me.” ~ Associate Pat Schloemer
“Although I was aware of all the good Barbara did during her years of ministry, I was privileged to walk the last journey with her. Every day we shared a prayer and blessing. I was rewarded with a smile and look of gratitude from her beautiful eyes.” ~ S. Pat Hill
“When I started working for the Sisters, S. Barbara was one of the first Sisters that I met over at EarthConnection. We became fast friends. We were able to spend time together as she would come over to help out and, of course, our conversations would turn to justice issues. She had some great stories. She also had the best laugh and smile. It always brought a smile to her face when we started talking about our families. She loved telling me about her brothers and the rest of her family.
“S. Barbara always showed what it meant to be her friend. After I had gone through some family hardships she would send me cards or stop in my office to see how I was doing. One of the cards that she sent me was a card that she made. On the outside of the card was a picture of a dark cave – and looking out of the cave you could see the light. Inside the card, she wrote the word “COURAGE.” And when I asked her about the picture she said, “Sue, always remember when in the darkness always look for the light.” Another card that touched me was an anniversary card – it wasn’t so much that she remembered my anniversary but she wrote: ‘I am so glad I found you!’ I do believe she made everyone that called her friend, feel special.” ~ Associate Sue DiTullio
S. Jean Patrice Harrington
“Jean was the most fully alive person I know. My contact with her was our weekly bridge game which she continued up until three months ago. Even after her stroke, when I stopped by her room she was smiling and wiggling her fingers in response until about three days before she died. What a special person.” ~ S. Dorothy William Englert
“Jean was a valiant woman. She assumed responsibility of the Mount when it was operating in the red and worked hard to get it operating in the black. She worked hard to develop trusting relationships with the business community who contributed generously to the Mount. Jean was a valiant woman. She was the first College president to start Weekend College in the Cincinnati area. Jean was a valiant woman. She hired good people (like me). She dragged me out on Saturday night to the Symphony and the opera; we were so tired we’d fall asleep during the event. It was hard work to go to the lobby and socialize with generous contributors. She worked tirelessness for the Mount.
“Jean laughed a lot. She’d invite the administrators to Harrington Haven on a Friday evening. There was lots of laughter. One time we got into a fit of laughter such that none of us were able to speak for 20 minutes. Tears rolled down our eyes.
“Three weeks ago we laughed a lot again. We had lunch with her in the private dining room (Bedford Room) which she loved. I reminded her that she hired me 37 years ago. According to her reality, Jean said that she saw me coming down a hill. She asked me if she could help me. I said I needed a job, so she hired me as the first lay Dean of Students. We laughed with her. After having lunch, we returned her to her room, joined hands and sang ‘When Irish Eyes are Smiling.’ There was laughter in her eyes. S. Jean’s Irish eyes will smile forever.” ~ Terri Logan
“S. Jean Patrice gave me a helping hand in the 1990s when I was trying to get sufficient funds for our adult education program. She suggested contacts I could make with some of the charitable foundations in the city. I really appreciated her advice because Jean was well known by many of the important people in Cincinnati, whom she had worked with at the College of Mount St. Joseph and, later, in the Youth Collaborative.
“I got to know Jean best through enjoying many bridge games with her more recently. For the past year we often had a Sunday afternoon game when her bids sometimes sparkled with her eyes. But whether we won or lost, she enjoyed playing.” ~ S. Julia Deiters
“I first met Jean when she was the Provincial here in Colorado. With the distance issue I didn’t get to see her often, but when I did she always greeted me with a smile and kindness. I last saw her two days after she had a stroke and she still gave me a big smile and a hand squeeze. Her eyes continued to sparkle and said what she couldn’t.” ~ Associate Lee Hemminger
“What a lovely Sister of Charity. From the time she got to know the Bedford contingent, she would leave a phone message of festal greetings, on the feast of St. Ann, for me and any ‘Anns’ up here. I know we will miss that call this year.” ~ S. Mary Ann Flannery
“S. Agnes Ann was our connector Sister here in Denver for quite a while, and I grew to love her for her gentle heart, great capacity for love, deep faith and wonderful sense of humor. She was a strong supporter of the Associates, and often would invite me to assist in planning our monthly meetings. We had many good times, and she was sorely missed when she moved back to the Motherhouse. I was fortunate enough to be at the Motherhouse in June, and have the opportunity to visit with her one last time, for which I am eternally grateful.” ~ Associate Lee Hemminger
“I have so many memories of S. Agnes Ann that it is difficult to choose one. Although we entered the Community together in 1948, our lives took different paths until I returned to Denver in 1975. While ministering in different parishes, we lived only one block from each other. Since then our friendship grew until the present day and will continue.
“One of my memories of ‘Ag’ was her gentle way of responding to those who came to her with their problems. While herself being a deeply prayerful and spiritual person, she would listen to them, pray with them and lead them to put their trust in God. Many of these persons became good friends of hers, and she shared many of her friends with me.
“Ag lived her spirituality; she loved life. One of her gifts was being a great hostess: she had a gift of bringing people together in her apartment to celebrate any occasion, and her parties were always fun and filled with laughter.” ~ S. Barbara Muth
Associate Margaret Olona
“Several memories of Margaret resonated with me. Her harmonica playing, her sweet and unassuming nature and her generous heart. I felt privileged to know Margaret personally and to speak to her during her recent journey toward eternal life. She never seemed to want to talk about herself unless pressed. Her main focus was always on the other person, inviting them to share their stories and lives. That always impressed me! She was truly faith-filled and through her goodness allowed Christ to shine.” ~ Associate Mary Jo Mersmann
“Years ago I had met a lively Margaret from SC/Associate meetings at the Albuquerque apartment of Sisters Linda Chavez and Rose Therese Wich, so I felt comfortable calling her when we needed a photographer for our part in the New Mexico Historical Marker dedication. She also gave us the name of an excellent professional photographer for another event in Santa Fe.
“Recently, Margaret and I had a long, beautiful telephone talk. She called after I had sent her a card. She was at peace in this dying process and spoke with gratitude about her life and the many people who were important to her, including each member of her family, one brother a deacon. I feel blessed to have known such a deeply spiritual woman.” ~ S. Victoria Marie Forde
“My memories of Margaret include many of her daily acts of kindness. Margaret was a Eucharistic Minister, first at St. Joseph Hospital, then it became Lovelace Hospital. She also served as Eucharistic Minister at her parish, Our Lady of Fatima including Home Visitation. It was not unusual for Margaret to help people move, help clean someone’s home who was no longer able to do so, take food to a retired college professor who was suffering from cancer and also clean his house. She seemed to always have time to drive her friend, S. Adele Baca, wherever she needed to go. When she met a homeless person who asked her for a cigarette, she not only supplied his request but sat on the steps of the homeless shelter and listened to his story giving him hope for the future. Margaret felt she was not worthy to become an Associate of the Sisters of Charity. When she was convinced that she could do this and made her commitment, Margaret almost never missed a small group meeting or Congregational meeting even after her diagnosis and treatment for cancer and she contributed to the discussion. Margaret had a delightful sense of humor. She also provided entertainment by playing her harmonica at our many gatherings in Albuquerque.
“Above all Margaret was a woman of prayer. When it came time to make end-of-life decisions Margaret did so courageously and prayerfully. She was not afraid to ask for prayer. When she was in the process of dying she became distressed saying she could no longer remember her favorite prayers. Finally she was convinced that this whole process was her prayer.” ~ S. Pat Sabourin
S. Rosemary Clare Eagan
“Rosemary is the sister of my long-time mentor, S. Michael Mary Eagan. On an early trip to the Motherhouse I visited and introduced myself. She was extremely gracious then and on each subsequent visit. Her welcoming spirit and amazing sense of humor always brightened my visit.” ~ Associate Lee Hemminger
“S. Martin Mary [Rosemary] Eagan was working as a social worker/case manager at Santa Maria Community Services’ St. Michael’s office in 1984 when I first came to work at Santa Maria. I was a very ‘green’ social worker, and I remember her kind demeanor and caring attitude toward those we served. I’m thankful that I was able to know and work with her for my early years at Santa Maria.” ~ H.A. Musser, president/CEO Santa Maria Community Services
“I’ve been involved with Santa Maria Community Services since I arrived back from the West. The staff at SMCS would ask me about S. Rosemary Eagan having deep respect for her and her Social Service outreach to clients during the 1970s and early 1980s. A few years ago, in showing a PowerPoint presentation regarding SMCS, S. Rosemary was present, and had a radiant glow upon her face. She said she remembered well her years of service there, and loved the name Santa Maria. Now she has a ‘radiant glow’, no doubt, in fullness of union with God!” ~ S. Patmarie Bernard
“I always called Rosemary, ‘Ross.’ She went to school at St. Mary’s many years ago with my sister, ‘Chick.’ When I entered the Community ‘Chick’ told me about all the different gals she knew who had entered the Sisters of Charity—so from the time I met Rosemary she was ‘Ross.’ Years later when my brother Dave was the director of Santa Maria Community Services, ‘Ross’ was a social worker there. Dave told me that ‘Ross’ was the best social worker he had the privilege to work with and Dave was himself a social worker. Every time I met up with her after that I would always remind her of what Dave said and she would just grin and say thanks and ask about ‘Chick,’ and always ask me to remember her to them. Thanks, ‘Ross,’ for taking such good care of God’s poor!” ~ S. Cookie Crowley
“Rosemary and my brother, Mark, were both in the eighth grade together at St. Matthew’s in Norwood. The janitor Mr. Schuler would write the class prophecy for each graduating class. For Rosemary and Mark’s class, he prophesized that Rosemary and Mark would marry, live on a farm and have many children. Well, what do you know! Rosemary became a very good Sister of Charity and my brother Mark a very good priest. I don’t know what Mr. Schuler saw, but he was right. They were both very loving people.” ~ S. Grace Ann Gratsch
“S. Rosemary and I became good friends when she was working at Santa Maria at St. Michael’s in Lower Price Hill. We commuted together; I would drop her off on my way to Winton Terrace Adult Education. We shared many good laughs about the happenings of the day. Rosemary had a good sense of humor that helped her be so successful in social work and in life. Enjoy the eternal love and peace of God—we miss you!” ~ S. Julia Deiters
“When I entered the Community, Rosemary was the Novice at the head of our table in the dining room. She was a gentle presence, helping us lively teenagers learn the rules of silence and decorum. Again, as our dorm angel, she was an understanding Novice towards some who found it difficult to quickly become model postulants during Sacred Silence.” ~ S. Victoria Marie Forde
S. Rose Martin Morand
“I was surprised to receive a Facebook ‘friend’ request from a ‘Martie Morand’ some years ago. Only after checking out her page did I discover it was S. Rose Martin, ‘AKA (Also Known As) Martie Morand’. Forever after I called her ‘AKA Martie’ and I have so enjoyed the ways we have deepened our Sister-connection by sharing ‘virtual community’ across the miles on Facebook. From her surprising and spontaneous ‘I think I'll be a nun’ decision we can see how the pattern repeated in her life of service. AKA Martie, thank you!” ~ S. Janet Gildea
“I worked with S. Rose Martin at St. Joseph Orphanage when I returned from the Peace Corps. She is the one who invited me to attend Process 74 and meet the Sisters of Charity. She has been a mentor for many years and I will always be grateful to her for introducing me to the SCs.” ~ S. Caroljean Willie
“I got to know Rose Martin when we both attended a retreat/workshop at River'’ Edge in Cleveland and then as tablemates during one of our Chapters. I marveled at how much she was involved and committed to justice and reaching out in compassion. She has been and continues to be an inspiration to me.” ~ S. Margaret Mach
“After I retired I met Rose at St. Charles in Kettering. She encouraged me to join the McDonald’s coffee group and a Disciples in Mission group. Through her I met many wonderful friends and enjoyed good discussions. Sometimes she would call to see if I had any plans and we found many places to go, like the lavender farm. What adventures we had.” ~ S. Mary Alice Stein
“Rose Martin was our assistant postulant director back in 1966-’67 - a time of great change and upset. She always used to say, in later years, that she didn’t think she had done enough for us, but her smile and good nature was really all she needed to do and be. Much later, when I was living with the Daughters of Charity in Indianapolis, she came through on her way to visit relatives out West, and on her way back (by train) she fell and broke several ribs. I met her as she was taken off the train in Indianapolis and drove her to St. Vincent Hospital. She stayed with us several weeks after she got out of the hospital and was recuperating. It was so neat to catch up with her on what she was doing. How truly inspiring and so like her to be still ministering to the poor and marginalized up until the day she died!” ~ S. Pat Wittberg
“For our three recent canonical novitiates’ reflection on our Congregational virtues, Rose Martin shared her experience of the Peace Circles of Women in prison. She wanted us to know the gift these women are to her, how much she received being with them and learning from them. For her, this was a deep experience of God’s presence. Through Rose Martin’s presence, sharing, willingness to drive from Dayton, we were all graced. I know in her death Rose Martin fell more deeply into the arms of this living God she experienced daily.” ~ S. Donna Steffen
“Rose Martin (AKA Marty) is a Band member and friend. When I moved to the Motherhouse Rose gave me an African violet. She told me to give it a name and to talk to it frequently. I named it Marty and it has flourished in its spot on my windowsill. I have to confess that I didn’t talk to it much at all but when I think of it, I tell it how beautiful it is in honor of Marty. Rose was full of life in spite of several serious chronic conditions and never let her physical ailments stop her. Now she enjoys the fullness of life in the God she served so well.” ~ S. Katrinka Gunn
“Rose Martin was a special lady. I am so happy that she was able to be at our Golden Jubilee. She had a great sense of humor and a wonderful smile. She always made us laugh. I am sure she is smiling down on us and wants us to continue her spirit of love and laughter.” ~ S. Mary Alice Haithcoat
“At our small group meeting on March 10, Rose Martin expressed the uneasiness she felt about the prayer said before Communion, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to receive you; but only say the word and I shall be healed.’ Rose shared with great passion her concern for those who have been told their entire lives that they are not worthy, not lovable, or no good: the prostitutes, the drug addicts, repeat offenders, and those with low self-esteem. I will never pray this prayer again without considering Rose’s challenge and concern for the ‘anawim,’ the poor of God. Rose through her words, her actions, and her attitudes was a witness to me of being urged by the charity of Christ. I give thanks to God for the inspiring example of this dear woman of faith.” ~ Associate Karen Elliott, C.PP.S.
“I have had the privilege of being in small group with Rose for about nine years. Her words of wisdom remain with me: we need to know one another’s stories and to affirm one another. Rose lived by this wisdom in a variety of settings – SC community, the women’s prison in Dayton, volunteer ministry at the Brunner Literacy Center and at Miami Valley Hospital, to name but a few. Rose shared the story of her ministry at the prison during a recent Fall Congregational Day. I remember the ‘visual’ of the ever-growing ball of ribbon – all colors, all lengths – which represented the lives of the women sharing in the peace circles. There was a sacredness in the room as the ball was passed reverently from person to person. As I reflect on Rose’s life, I think of the many ‘pieces of ribbon’ that she shared with others – in community, in a variety of ministries, and in the countless lives she touched during her years in Dayton. I am confident that there are many stories known to Rose alone. Yet all of those ‘pieces’ wound together reveal the tapestry that is Rose’s legacy to us. While we will miss your physical presence in our lives, we will be forever enriched by your wisdom and service.” ~ S. Barbara Davis
“It has been a real blessing and such fun to be friends with Rose Martin. Life was never dull when she was in a group. I am deeply touched by her love of the Community and the Sisters. I learned much from her with her interaction with all people. She lived the gospels and was so Christ like. Rose cared for each person as they were. There are many people saddened by her death and I am surely one of them. I will miss her zest for life, her sense of humor and her love and kindness. I am grateful she had a peaceful death and is now with her God and her loved ones.” ~ S. Marie Karen Sammons
“I got to know Rose when my sister, Barbara Davis, became a member of her small group. When I became an Associate in October 2013, I became a member of their small group. Since that time, I have gotten to know more about Rose and the various ministries she has participated in since she entered the Sisters of Charity - from teaching, to being a principal, working at the Infant Home, prison ministries - and the list goes on. From what I have observed, Rose quietly went about her various ministries - never judging anyone and telling them that they are loved by God. To use Father Jim Walsh's words: ‘You are a beloved son/daughter of God.’ I also appreciated the fact that Rose was very supportive of the Associate program. She welcomed me with open arms into our small group.” ~ Associate Carolyn Davis