Woman and Cosmos

We're saying goodbye to another very groovy Sister this week. Sr. Catherine O'Connor passed away on Friday night. We were supposed to have the funeral today, but it was postponed due to snowy weather.

Two weeks ago we said goodbye to Sr. Ellie Quin. I was only able to get to know Ellie and Catherine since I arrived last fall. They were both wonderful women. Ellie was a character, Catherine I would describe as a gentle soul. I wish I had more of a chance to get to know both of them in their prime. Even in their declining last months, however, the essence of who they were shone through. I am constantly amazed at the depth of character and quality of women in this community.

Like Ellie, Catherine was also a published author. Her book "Woman and Cosmos: The Feminine in the Thought of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin" was published in 1974 by Prentice Hall. It's out of print, but I was able to obtain an extra copy. I can't say that I've read it yet, although I hope to over the coming months. This is from the book jacket:
In Woman and Cosmos Sister Catherine explores the intuitive, experiential aspects of Teilhard's life and work. This dimension, the Feminine, which he regarded as a sort of "subtle essense" of matter, of love, and of Christ, sheds light on Teilhard's thought as a whole. Consequently, Sister Catherine's study offers valuable insights in the field of Teilhardian scholarship.
Heavy, heady stuff. I don't know that I've ever read, let alone typed, the word "Teilhardian" before. Catherine had a Ph.D. in Theology from Fordham. At the wake service this evening, one of the elder Sisters commented that you'd never know that Catherine was such an intellectual - in community life she was simple and unassumng. "She never boasted," said the Sister. Someone else commented how she will be missed in community meetings, where after everyone else skirted the issue for hours on end, Catherine would stand up and clearly state the problem.

My memories of Catherine are of a calm and serene woman, walking outside and enjoying nature, even as she carried her oxygen tank with her. She always had a smile and a gentle look in her eyes. She wil be missed.


xsquared said...

Once again, you and your fellow groovy sisters have my deepest condolences.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. AMEN.

Tara said...

Sister Catherine was my Mom's Aunt (her mom and Sr Catherine are sisters) I have such great memories of her visiting when I was a kid. Once she brought me a faith, hope and charity bracelet that I treasured! I was at her viewing on Sunday and what struck me was the beautiful grounds over looking the Hudson that I am sure she LOVED. Thank you for your tribute she was a wonderful woman.

Susan Rose, CSJP said...

Thanks X

Tara - your great-Aunt was certainly a wonderful woman. She gave many people gifts (tangible and not) that I am sure will be treasured for years to come.