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Obituaries

Sarah Ann Braig, BVM

Sarah Ann Braig, BVM died Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, at Mercy Hospital in Dubuque, Iowa. Visitation will be from 9–11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in the Marian Hall Chapel followed by a prayer service at 11 a.m. Funeral liturgy will be at 1:30 p.m. Burial is in the Mount Carmel cemetery.

She was born in Dubuque on March 16, 1943, to Wayne and Mildred Nicks Braig. She entered the BVM congregation July 31, 1965, from St. Joseph Parish, Dubuque. She professed first vows on Feb. 2, 1968, and final vows on Feb. 2, 1975.

Sarah served as nurse aide at Mount Carmel and St. Dominic Villa, Dubuque. She taught first grade in Antioch, Ill. In Oregon, she taught first grade in Portland and worked as nurse aide in Marylhurst. She was nursing assistant, activities assistant, and caregiver in St. Louis; and child care center teacher in Webster Groves, Mo.

She was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by brothers Thomas (Trudy), Albuqerque, N.M., and James (Karla), Dubuque, Iowa; sister Betsy Ann Cerutti (Roger), Madison, Wis.; nieces and nephews and the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with whom she shared life for 50 years.

Sister Sarah Ann Braig, BVM
Funeral Welcome
Marian Hall, Feb. 5, 2016

Good afternoon and welcome to the celebration of life of our Sister Sarah Ann Braig.

Sarah Ann Braig was born on March 16, 1943, in Dubuque, Iowa, to Wayne and Mildred Nicks Braig. She joined siblings Betsy and Thomas and was followed by a brother James. Sarah was 12 years old when her mother died. Although she experienced this and many other difficulties in her life, Sarah always had a sense of joy in the Lord for she knew the words found in the Book of Jeremiah: “I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).

In the years that followed, her relationship with her father deepened. She would spend every summer with him and they would go fishing together. It was a bond that lasted throughout his long life.

Sarah attended St. Joseph Grade School and St. Joseph Academy. She graduated from Wahlert HS and Clarke University before answering the call to religious life. She entered the congregation on July 31, 1965, and was received on July 2, 1966. A former set member commented that “she made the early days much easier with her humor and kindness.” Sarah professed first vows on Feb. 2, 1968, and lived 50 years as a BVM.

Sarah taught first grade at St. Peter in Antioch, Ill., and St. Clare in Portland, Ore. She also taught at the Grow & Learn Child Care Center in Webster Groves, Mo. But her true calling, the one that she loved deeply, was her ministry to the elderly infirm. She served as a nurse assistant at the Holy Name Care Center in Marylhurst, Ore.; the Jesuit Hall-Fusz Pavilion in St. Louis, Mo; and the St. Dominic Villa and Marian Hall in Dubuque, Iowa. She was the assistant to the activities director at Mary Queen & Mother Center in St. Louis and ministered with CSJ Care, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, providing a variety of home services that enabled her clients to remain in their homes.

Sarah loved people and was full of joy when helping others. She often used games and music to encourage her clients to do their physical therapy. Her warm, gentle, loving kindness made her a soothing presence, a blessing of pleasure and peace.

Sarah loved her life in St. Louis. She was an active member of the St. Francis Xavier College Church and greatly enjoyed the fellowship and the liturgical music. She was connected with the Emmaus community. She looked forward to the St. Louis cluster gatherings, especially the annual Super Bowl party.

Of course, a love of baseball combined with living in St. Louis could only mean one thing—she was an avid Cardinals fan. She enthusiastically watched the games and cheered on her team along with friends in her apartment building. The residents regularly socialized together, gathering for meals and card games. She found it very difficult to leave her friends when health issues forced her to move to Dubuque in 2013, but she accepted it with grace.

Sarah was a gentle soul, a friendly spirit, a loving person. She enjoyed conversing with everyone and showed kindness and acceptance to all. She had a big warm smile, a happy heart, a good sense of humor and a wonderfully infectious laugh. How easy it was to get her to laugh! She was an independent personality who lived a profound simplicity. She was down-to-earth and practical and yet, she could demonstrate a solid resolve with feisty determination.

Sarah deeply loved her family and friends. She was grateful for even the smallest kindness and for her brother Jim, whose care and concern brought joy to her days at Mount Carmel. Celebrating her Golden Jubilee last summer surrounded by family and friends was a great highlight in her life.

Sarah loved music, especially the symphony and singing. At times her beautiful voice would spontaneously break into songs of praise. The words of the song “How Can I Keep from Singing?” aptly and beautifully describe Sarah and the way she lived her life.

Through all the tumult and the strife,
I hear that music ringing;
It sounds and echoes in my soul;
How can I keep from singing?

No storm can shake my inmost calm,
While to the rock I’m clinging.
Since Love is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

Sarah’s beautiful voice has joined the heavenly chorus. As we celebrate her entrance into eternal life, may we keep her song alive in our hearts.

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Frances Wohn, BVM (Alberic)

Frances Wohn, BVM died Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, at Marian Hall in Dubuque, Iowa. Visitation will be from 9–11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, in the Marian Hall Chapel followed by a prayer service at 11 a.m. Funeral liturgy will be at 1:30 p.m. Burial is in the Mount Carmel cemetery.

She was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, on April 21, 1935, to Joseph and Anna Lauer Wohn. She entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1955, from Corpus Christi Parish, Fort Dodge. She professed first vows on Feb. 3, 1958, and final vows on July 16, 1963.

Frances was an elementary and secondary school teacher in Berwyn and Chicago, Ill.; and in Iowa City and Fort Dodge, Iowa, where she also taught on the college level.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters: Helen Bellingtier, Anna Schmidt, Elizabeth Clarken, Catherine Cain, Mary Brennan and Pauline Korte; and brothers Nicholas and Joseph. She is survived by sisters Margaret Edwards, Chicago, and Rose Holm, Fort Dodge, Iowa; nieces, nephews and the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with whom she shared life for 60 years.

Sister Frances Wohn, BVM (Alberic)
Funeral Welcome
Marian Hall, Jan. 8, 2016

Good afternoon and welcome to the celebration of life of our Sister Frances Wohn.

Frances Rosetta Wohn was born on April 21, 1935, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, to Joseph Wohn and Anna Lauer. She was the youngest of 11 children, nine girls and two boys, and is survived by sisters Rose and Margaret. After graduating from Corpus Christi HS, Fran took a secretarial course at Fort Dodge Junior College and then worked as an accountant at a hotel.

With all the girls in the Wohn household, a common saying when things did not go as desired was, “I guess I’ll just have to join the convent.” One day, while doing dishes with her mother, the saying came out of her mouth. When her mother warned her not to say that any more, Fran replied, “This time, Mom, I’m not kidding.” Fran entered the congregation on Sept. 8, 1955, and received the name Alberic upon her reception on March 19, 1956. She professed first vows on Feb. 3, 1958, and lived 60 years as a BVM.

After profession, Fran was sent to teach sixth and seventh grade students at St. Odilo in Berwyn, Ill., and at Holy Name in Chicago. After one year at Holy Name, she was assigned to teach high school biology and physical science, along with shorthand and typing. She was also missioned at Regina HS in Iowa City and St. Edmond HS in Fort Dodge, both in Iowa, and Cathedral and St. Benedict high schools in Chicago.

As a teacher, Fran’s mission, in her own words, was “to teach students . . . enough life science to be intrigued with the smallest living thing to the greatest, to love life enough to appreciate and respect it and to be thankful to God for the beauty of it.” Despite being considered a demanding teacher, Fran was greatly respected and loved by her students. Letters from her former students overflow with compliments. “You’re an amazing and inspiring teacher.” “I look up to you in so many ways.” “You have a zest for life and really know how to teach children.” “You’re driven by passion, and it’s contagious!”

Fran was dedicated to science education and environmental issues and was passionate about the preservation of our natural resources. She taught ecology classes and led guided ecology field trips. She wrote guest newspaper editorials and took students to Iowa legislative sessions when land use issues were debated. Fran and her students formed “The River Rats” research team to monitor changes in the Des Moines River. She was a member of several organizations including the Iowa Conservation Education Council and the American Biology Teachers, served as the president of the Webster County (Iowa) Conservation Board, and at one time taught a Boundary Waters Backpacking and Canoeing class at the University of Iowa.

Fran retired from fulltime teaching in 2012, but continued to volunteer and substitute teach at St. Benedict, completing 19 years of service at that school and a total of 52 years in education. Several organizations recognized her dedication to her ministry. She received the Sisters of St. Francis Excellence of Teaching Award given by the St. Benedict school board to “[an] individual who exhibits a commitment to teaching, models Christ like values . . . [and] cares for each student as an individual.” She also received the State of Iowa Conservation Teacher of the Year Award, The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD)-Allis-Chalmers Teacher of the Year Award, and the Heart of the School Award from the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Fran’s other activities included teaching religious education, ESL and GED classes and participating in peace and justice activities. Regardless of all her activities, there was a great simplicity in the way she lived. During her summers away from teaching, she could be found at Two Spiders where she enjoyed the peace and the beauty while hiking in the woods and relaxing by the lake. Fran was gentle, gracious, insightful, and deeply concerned about others—simply a beautiful spirit. She loved her family deeply and they were devoted to her. Two of her nephews even drove from Fort Dodge to Chicago in a van to help her move to Mount Carmel.

In a letter to family and friends, Fran wrote the following:

I hope that I am remembered as a woman of dedication and integrity, with a passion for knowledge and truth, a love and a relish for what is right and just, a woman who favored order and rationality, a woman with a commitment to do the best she could in everything she tried.

I hope that I will be remembered as a woman who, in faith and hope searched for God all her life. One who found God in those around her, who shared her faith and tried to lead others into the discovery and the experience of a gracious and loving God who calls each of us by name.

I hope that I am remembered as a teacher who not only shared information, facts and ideas with students, but also shared her own life and experience as a person.

I hope that I am remembered as a sister who ministered and served God by serving the people of God, making herself available to them out of genuine care and love.

I hope that people will know how much I loved them and God.

Fran accepted her diagnosis with deep faith, believing, as did Martha, the sister of Lazarus, that whoever believes in Jesus, even though she dies, will live. Reflecting upon the end of her earthly life, she wrote, “You need not be sad when the candle of my life is extinguished. The gift of life was indeed a beautiful gift and I made good use of it. You were in my heart; now you are in my soul. Celebrate life!”

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Charlotte Ann Esch, BVM

Charlotte Ann Esch, BVM died Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, at Marian Hall in Dubuque, Iowa. Visitation will be from 9–11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, in the Marian Hall Chapel followed by a prayer service at 11 a.m. Funeral liturgy will be at 1:30 p.m. Burial is in the Mount Carmel cemetery.

She was born in Winfield, Kan. on Oct. 3, 1917, to John and Iola Condit Esch. She entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1935, from Holy Name Parish, Winfield. She professed first vows on March 19, 1938, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1943.

Charlotte Ann was an elementary school teacher in Des Moines, Iowa; Missoula, Mont.; Omaha, Neb.; San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.; and Kauai, Hi. She also served in parish ministry in San Francisco.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother Edward. She is survived by cousins and the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with whom she shared life for 80 years.

Sister Charlotte Ann Esch, BVM
Funeral Welcome
Marian Hall Chapel, Dec. 4, 2015

Good afternoon and welcome to the celebration of the life of our Sister Charlotte Ann Esch.

Dorothy Jean Esch was born Oct. 3, 1917, to John Esch and Iola Condit who farmed near Winfield, Kan. Her older brother Edward died as a young child and her mother died when Dorothy Jean was eight years old.  

During her teen years, she was sent to live with an aunt and uncle while she attended Mt. Carmel Academy in Wichita. After graduating, she requested admission to the Sisters of Charity, stating that she wished to become a sister because of her “love of God” and her desire for “greater perfection.” Dorothy Jean entered the congregation on Sept. 8, 1935, and received the name Charlotte Ann upon reception on March 19, 1936. She professed first vows on March 19, 1938, and lived 80 years as a BVM.

Charlotte Ann spent 40 years teaching primary grades. Her missions included St. Ambrose in Des Moines, Iowa; St. Anthony in Missoula, Mont.; St. Bridget in Omaha, Neb.; St. Joseph in Butte, Mont.; St. Leo in San Jose, Calif.; Most Holy Redeemer, St. Paul and St. Philip in San Francisco; and Holy Cross and St. Catherine in Kauai, Hawaii.  

She was a wonderful teacher who touched the lives of her students. Her influence led one former student, Marie Corr, to enter the BVM community. Decades later, another former student traveled half way across the country to visit her at Mount Carmel. Charlotte Ann served six years in parish ministry at Most Holy Redeemer in San Francisco, where she enjoyed attending parish activities, and two years as a teacher’s aide at St. Paul ES.

While in Hawaii, Charlotte formed a close friendship with Mary LaStant. When she moved to Wright Hall in 1987, she discovered a welcome note and a Chicago Transit Authority map waiting for her courtesy of Mary. The two of them would travel the CTA on Saturdays taking architectural tours and seeing the sights of the big city.

Charlotte Ann had a great love of animals, especially horses, which she rode growing up on the family farm. As an adult, she visited animal parks and embraced every opportunity to pet the members of the wild kingdom, including lions, while her friends looked on with trepidation.   She also had two unique hobbies. She would gather sea shells when she lived in Hawaii and create figurines of women with long skirts. She was also interested in health and beauty products and even sold Amway cosmetics to close acquaintances for a time.

Charlotte Ann loved being outdoors. She greatly enjoyed taking walks because of the sense of freedom it gave her, but she is probably best known for her green thumb. She nurtured beautiful rose bushes at Most Holy Redeemer, while at Wright Hall she transformed a small plot of land outside of the dining room into a wonderful flower garden where there was something in bloom throughout the growing season.  

Her specialty was growing roses for which she won an award. She enthusiastically extended an invitation to “Come and see my garden” to all visitors. In today’s gospel, Jesus is the true vine and the Father is the vine grower who prunes every branch so that it will bear more fruit.   Working among her flowers was a time of pruning for Charlotte Ann that allowed peace and contentment to blossom in her life.

Charlotte Ann was a kind, loving person always willing to help. Even in later years, she was happy to receive company and welcomed them by holding fast to their hands. Yet, Charlotte was rather private, inwardly attentive, and didn’t care for fanfare. She lived her life as Mary Frances Clarke directed: “Go on steady and quiet.” We lovingly recall with deep gratitude the life of Charlotte Ann as we now celebrate her entrance into eternal life.

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Grace Andrea Carolan, BVM

Grace Andrea Carolan, BVM died Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, at Caritas Center in Dubuque, Iowa. Visitation will be from 10–11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, in the Marian Hall Chapel followed by a prayer service at 11:30 a.m. Funeral liturgy will be at 1:30 p.m. Burial is in the Mount Carmel cemetery.

She was born in Cresco, Iowa, on Aug. 15, 1914, to Andrew and Grace Sexton Carolan. She entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1934, from St. John Parish, Des Moines, Iowa. She professed first vows on March 19, 1937, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1942.

Grace Andrea taught music, piano and voice at elementary and secondary schools in Wichita, Kan.; Glendale and Burbank, Calif.; Milwaukee; Burlington, Iowa; and Chicago and Mundelein, Ill., where she was a French teacher and an alumnae moderator.

She was preceded in death by her parents and sisters Anna Bea Barnes and Marcella Delaney. She is survived by nieces and nephews and the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with whom she shared life for 81 years.

Sister Grace Andrea Carolan, BVM
Funeral Welcome
Marian Hall Chapel, Nov. 12, 2015

Good afternoon and welcome to the celebration of the life of our Sister Grace Andrea Carolan.

Charlotte Marie Carolan, or Marie as she was called, was born Aug. 15, 1914, in Cresco, Iowa. She was welcomed by her parents Andrew Carolan and Grace Sexton and two sisters Anna Bea and Marcella. During an interview, Marie recalled that her great love of music began with piano lessons at age six. She said, “I thought I was quite the thing because my [recital] piece entailed passages which required crossing my hands.” The article continued, noting, “When her pretty voice was detected she was privileged to sing ‘Little White Guest’ for her first Holy Communion.”

Marie attended Assumption ES in Cresco, where she was first introduced to the BVMs. After her family moved to Des Moines, Iowa, she attended and graduated from St. Joseph Academy. With the encouragement and recommendation of Sister Mary Cecilian Gannon, who knew the Carolan family in Cresco and taught their daughters at St. Joseph, Marie requested admission to the congregation. She wrote, “The Sisters have known my family for about 15 years, so it is with a knowledge of the Order that I ask if I may join them. I feel that this is my Vocation . . . I feel sure that no other calling could be mine.” Marie entered on Sept. 8, 1934, received the name Grace Andrea upon reception on March 19, 1935, professed first vows on March 19, 1937, and lived 81 years as a BVM.

Grace Andrea was a dedicated music teacher who spent 33 years teaching piano, voice and even marching band figure formation. She was missioned at Mount Carmel in Wichita, Kan.; Incarnation and Holy Family in Glendale and St. Robert Bellarmine in Burbank, all in California; Gesu and Holy Angels Academy in Milwaukee; St. Paul in Burlington, Iowa, and St. Vincent in Chicago. During the summer of 1969, she served as a counselor for a cultural study group from Holy Angels who, through the Foreign Language League, spent six weeks in France and its neighboring countries. A former student recalled that Grace Andrea was always smiling and filled with animation.

When all the extras required of music teachers became too much for Grace Andrea, she called upon another one of her gifts and taught French for 13 years at Carmel HS in Mundelein, Ill. Next, she served two years as the moderator for the Carmel Alumnae Organization, which she established. Living in Mundelein afforded her the opportunity to visit her surviving sister Anna Bea in Milwaukee. After retiring in 1985, Grace Andrea lived in Mundelein and later at Wright Hall in Chicago before moving to Mount Carmel in 2007.

Grace Andrea was a deeply spiritual person with a lovely disposition. She was an avid listener of the Metropolitan Opera. She enjoyed taking walks and always delighted in an outing. Reflecting on her years as a vowed religious at the time of her golden jubilee, she wrote, “One of the deepest joys God has blessed me with was to reunite with many of our set . . . Then, we were young, idealistic, faith-filled and eager to live our idealism. We felt gifted in faith, secure, and eager to go out and ‘bear fruit’ . . . Despite hardships and struggles, we are still on the same journey and bound by the same love. The faith we shared is no longer idealistic and young, but lived . . . Jesus who planted the seeds of love and faith in our young hearts has . . . walked beside us and been with us through it all.” Her unwavering confidence in God’s loving presence is also reflected in one of her favorite bible passages, Isaiah 54:10: “For the mountains may depart, the hills be shaken, but my love for you will never leave you, my covenant and peace with you will never be shaken.”

Grace Andrea deeply touched the lives of her family, friends and students. When she celebrated her 100th birthday last year, she received a number of cards from her former students, some of whom she taught in the 1940s—a wonderful tribute to lasting friendships and her impact as a teacher.

As we celebrate her entrance into eternal life, we can envision Grace Andrea reunited with her family, friends and members of her set and adding her beautiful voice to the heavenly chorus. We will remember her graciousness, her smile, and her enthusiasm for life.

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Mary LaStant, BVM (Adorina)

Mary LaStant, BVM died Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, at Marian Hall in Dubuque, Iowa. The Natural Burial Rite of Committal is Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. in the Marian Hall Chapel. A prayer service will be held on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at 11 a.m., followed by a Memorial Mass at 1:30 p.m. Burial is in the Mount Carmel cemetery.

She was born in Dubuque, Iowa, on Aug. 10, 1926, to Earnest and Margaret Melloy LaStant. She entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1944, from St. Raphael Cathedral, Dubuque. She professed first vows on March 19, 1947, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1952.

Mary was an elementary school teacher in Dubuque; Chicago; Sacramento and Glendale, Calif.; Kauai, Hawaii; and Chattanooga, Tenn. She also served in food service in Berwyn, Ill.

She was preceded in death by her parents, a brother John and a sister Rita. She is survived by a niece, nephews, and the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with whom she shared life for 71 years.

Sister Mary LaStant, BVM (Adorine)
Memorial Mass Welcome
Marian Hall, Nov. 9, 2015

Good afternoon and welcome to the celebration of life of our Sister Mary LaStant.

Mary Lillian LaStant was born on Aug. 10, 1926, the eldest child of Ernest LaStant and Margaret Melloy of Dubuque, Iowa. She was later joined by siblings John and Rita, both of whom died in 1993. Mary graduated from St. Raphael ES and attended one semester at Visitation Academy before going to work at the Dubuque Packing Co.

On her application for admission, Mary wrote that by becoming a Sister “I’m sure I’ll be helping and doing something for God . . . Life is so short I would like to make the best of it.” She entered the congregation on Sept. 8, 1944, received the name Adorine upon her reception on March 19, 1945, professed her first vows on March 19, 1947, and lived 71 years as a BVM.

Mary briefly worked as an assistant cook at St. Joseph Academy in Des Moines, Iowa, before teaching mostly kindergarten and fifth grade for 40 years. She was missioned at St. Dominic, Holy Family, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Ferdinand in Chicago, Ill.; All Hallows in Sacramento, Calif.; Holy Cross in Kauai, Hawaii; St. Patrick and St. Anthony in Dubuque; Incarnation in Glendale, Calif.; and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Mary was a creative teacher who used innovative games and strategies to capture the attention of her kindergarten students and nurture an enthusiasm for learning. With her older students, she worked diligently to help those who struggled and masterfully handled those with behavioral challenges. Mary was practical, organized and a hard worker; classroom routines and expectations were well-defined.

Still, she looked for opportunities to help her underprivileged students, providing classroom items for those who could not afford them and simple snacks for those who needed a boost. She freely offered encouragement to both students and teachers, just one of the qualities that made her an excellent mentor for beginning teachers. After retiring from teaching, she returned to her love of cooking to the delight of the sisters at St. Odilo convent in Berwyn, Ill.

Mary loved her years in Hawaii and often spoke of them. While there, she formed a close friendship with Charlotte Ann Esch. When Charlotte Ann moved to Wright Hall, she discovered a welcome note and a Chicago Transit Authority map waiting for her, courtesy of Mary. The two of them would travel the CTA on Saturdays to see the sights of the big city. Mary also enjoyed moving back to Mount Carmel as it afforded her the opportunity to be close to her family and to reconnect with her former students from St. Patrick and St. Anthony.

For 13 years Mary volunteered as a companion for the sisters here at Mount Carmel. Because of her helpfulness and kindness, she was well respected and a favorite among both the drivers and the sisters. “I like working with our drivers,” Mary commented. “They have become my good friends.”

She was also very thoughtful. On Saturdays, she would ride the bus to the mall to shop. After enjoying lunch at Bishop’s restaurant, she would return in the afternoon with bags of items for various sisters. And when she needed a driver to take her and a friend out for dinner, she always treated the driver to a meal.

Despite experiencing some difficult moments in her life, Mary tried to maintain an upbeat spirit. She will always be remembered for her good sense of humor and for pulling a joke out of her pocket at the dinner table and saying, “Have you heard the one about . . . ?” Mary enjoyed people. She was a forthright and authentic person who made others feel comfortable. Her flexibility and adaptability also made her a good person with whom to live.

“Life is so short I would like to make the best of it.” Those were wise words from an 18-year-old. Once, in a conversation about life, Mary shared that trying to make her BVM sisters happy, to uplift them and bring them joy was the most important thing in her life. She truly lived that belief. To paraphrase Proverbs, Mary was a valiant woman. She brought forth good, and not evil, all the days of her life . . . She enjoyed the success of her dealings . . . She was clothed with strength and dignity and she laughed at the days to come . . . And as we continue this celebration of Mary’s life, we, her family and friends, rise up and praise her.

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