In my last post, I mentioned that I had spent Sunday afternoon at a local gathering at the Motherhouse of Sisters and Lay Associates. At the gathering, I sat next to my friend Sister Francetta and was very appreciative, deeply appreciative, of the spirit she was sharing and the effort she was putting forth not only to minister to others but to be ministered to as well. She played a very significant but unobtrusive part in Sunday's gathering, ensuring that each one who wished had an opportunity to share her thoughts on Pope Benedict's "God is Love" and that each one received a thought from the writings of our foundress, Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt, and the opportunity to share with the group how that particular excerpt from M. Pauline's writings was speaking to her at that moment. No was one pushed to share, all were invited, and by the end, each and everyone present - Sisters and Associates -- shared. And there was the visible fingerprint of Divine Providence present as the sharings revealed how relevant the particular passage each one drew from the plate was so relevant to her life in the given moment. At the end, Sister Francetta observed what a really beautiful and meaningful sharing had taken place and commented how sharings such as that one provide mutual support on the journey. Who knew the journey that S. Francetta was to take the very next morning?
On Monday morning, S. Francetta attended Holy Mass and received the Eucharist and then shared breakfast with the Sisters at the Motherhouse as she had done every year for the past x years. She then made a visit to Chapel and proceeded to her office. The Sister in the adjoining office heard Sister fall and immediately went to assist her; however, God had already taken His bride home to eternal life with Him.
A life such as Sister Francetta's cannot be summed up in a single post but it's definitely a life worth noting and sharing. As I try to make sense of her sudden death, I am trying to capture and not forget a single word she ever shared. She had a deep faith and trust in God and encouraged others to rely on God even in their darkest hours because He would not fail. I'm sure that was a lesson that did not come easy for her, but it was a lesson that was real for her and she shared it generously but gently, humbly but honestly. The wake for Sister will take place on Thursday and her Mass of Christian Burial will be on Friday. She touched so many people's lives but never counted the costs. She truly embodied the ideal that "Love Never Counts, Love Alone Counts."
May Sister Francetta rest in peace! May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.