Q: When are fake flowers better than real ones? A: When they are made by every child in our elementary school.
Sister Joan Ann's funeral was a moment of grace for both Linton Hall School and our monastic community. Nearly 500 people gathered in our school auditorium for the liturgy. Our brother, Fr. Godfrey Mullen, OSB, flew in from Saint Meinrad to preside with the prioress. The parents prepared and ordered enough food to "feed the 5000" afterward. The walls of the gym were covered in construction-paper flowers - a bouquet of love for Sister Joan Ann. We have never had a funeral quite like this - never had a long trail of people follow the sisters right to the grave. What moved me the most were the children - the small ones in their LHS uniforms, clinging to their parents and to us for comfort. What a gift those parents gave to them in allowing them to bring their grief to school that day. What a priceless opportunity to bring every feeling to prayer and be comforted by the power of the liturgy itself. How good to allow them to see that death is part of living - not an enemy, by a friend who returns us to our true home. For many of those little people, it was their first experience of loss. As I watched them chase each other around the gym at the luncheon, I felt a rightness about it all. Their grief will turn to joy and happy memories of a Benedictine sister, who truly loved them all, will replace the sorrow. Sister Joan Ann will continue to love them from her place in God's glory. Love IS stronger than death for we who believe. That is the lesson I hope they never forget.
Blessings, love and gratitude to all who have shared these days with us...
- Sister Vicki