Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Monday, July 17, 2017

Some Background ...

As we await the arrival of our Bishop and the beginning of Sister Mary John's funeral. Here is a little background to her death. Sister Mary John had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just 3 months ago. One of the Nuns wrote to our Dominican Laity friends in Cedaredge, Colorado which we would like to include here.

We awoke this morning to knocks on our cell doors. It was about 3:20 am. After quickly dressing, we made it over to the Infirmary and gathered around Sr. Mary John's bed. She had already passed on at 3:17. We sang the traditional Salve Regina as we waited for Fr. Marcos, our chaplain, to arrive for some final prayers for the dead.

Sr. Mary John was amazing in her illness. She accepted the fact that she had cancer so beautifully.  And indeed it was an aggressive form, just like my mother's. The hospice nurse, who cared for Sister said that "Sr. Mary John should be in intense pain right now, like our other patients who we literally have to pour pain medicines down." It was incredible that Sr. Mary John was only on a minimal pain level. Sister Mary John also joked and laughed with the people who came to see her and she was cheerful and radiant to the very end. She slipped away without any struggle just like floating directly into the arms of Jesus. It was quite a testimony to us and to her nursing staff, who now would like to come to her funeral.

Once a Sister dies we like to have one of us with her until the funeral begins. After the body is returned from the funeral home, the casket is placed in our choir and we pray the psalms non-stop (day and night) until time for the Mass of the Resurrection. This means that she is also in our midst us for the last time as we chant the Liturgy of the Hours.

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