words of a wise woman

One of my favorite things about being here in nun-school is the opportunity to get to know some of our elder Sisters better. The Novitiate - aka nun-school - is located next to where most of our east coast retired groovy sisters live, and on a fairly regular basis we get to visit with them.

One of the Sisters I've gotten to know is Sr. Louise. Sr. Louise lives in the infirmary. She had a stroke awhile back and as a result uses a wheelchair to get around and her eyes to do most of her talking. And her smile ... I can't forget her smile.

Sr. Louise was also our first "Sister President" - the title used during the renewal when we transitioned from "Mother General" to the current "Congregation Leader." She was elected in 1970 and served until 1978 - crucial times for our Congregation. Everyone always speaks of Sr. Louise and her leadership with such great respect and admiration.

Last week we had a groovy history lesson with Srs. Rosalie & Janet. Part of the workshop involved a history scavenger hunt of sorts, looking for information about one of our past Mother Generals/Sister Presidents/Congregation Leaders. I was lucky enough to be assigned Sr. Louise!

I had great fun poking through the materials. I especially enjoyed reading her writings. Her letters on mundane topics related to cannon law were actually fun to read. I think part of the reason I enjoyed reading her writings so much was that as long as I've known her, she hasn't been able to communicate much. This must be so frustrating for her - which you can sometimes see in her eyes - because she is such a great communicator, as proven by her writings.

I wrote down this bit from the conclusion of her Address to the 1974 Chapter. They are wise words I think we would all do well to live by:
"Let's keep asking. Let's keep imagining. We ARE partners with God. We can be agents of social change with him because He's invited us to do it. May He give us the grace to do so - the courage, faith, the humility to say yes." ~ Sr. Louise Dempsy, CSJP


Lisa said...

Yes, Louise is a real gem! How nice to read of her here. She's easily one of those people one thinks in relation to the expression "we stand on the shoulders of giants" looking back at those whose dedication and vision have shaped our present. She has a clarity of vision that through the years remained so crisp, practical, and to the point. Thanks for sharing her here!

Lisa said...

I forgot to mention -- you never told us about how jubilee went :)

Kelly_SSJ/A said...

It is amazing how much the older sisters have to share. I love spending time in the infirmary getting to know the stories of my own groovy sisters by associateshipness and plain old knowing. Working where I know I know how hard it is for them to not be able to communicate...you definey can see their frustration building in their eyes.

Anonymous said...

Um, unless you people are doing things with guns, the word is "canon" not "cannon."