Sister Marguerite

 

Sister Marguerite


On the feast of the Holy Family in this year 2000, I want to pay a special tribute to Sister Marguerite. She has already served almost 60 years in religious life. Her community has been her family these many years, but she has never forgotten her parents and her brothers. She has loved us all with a deep compassion. Further, she has shown motherly love and concern for all her nieces and nephews, and their children, not a few. It seems fitting on this feast to reflect on her many family values.

I would like to speak of her as an “angel.” I have heard the Sisters in her community speak of her in that way. (She was very fond of the TV program “Touched by an Angel.”) I use the term loosely, obviously. She is not incorporeal, but she sees herself as a messenger of God. The theology behind her position flows right from the Gospels and the catechism teaching about the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. She has a strong sense of being incorporated into Christ and open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. She has frequently spoken to be about being Christ to all she meets. Her loving unselfish openness to all has been the occasion of special graces for many. In those instances she has been an instrument of Christ, a messenger, and in a way an angel.

I would further like to characterize her as an angel of hospitality. The dictionary defines hospitality with three nuances: a person who is hospitable is given to generous and cordial reception of guests; is one promising or suggesting generous and cordial welcome; is one offering a pleasant or sustaining environment. Throughout her life Sister Marguerite has modeled all of these: she has shown warm hospitality to guests; has been a most welcoming person; and, has created a pleasant and sustaining environment for the people with whom she has lived and worked.

She did those things in the many classrooms in Detroit, Trenton, Dearborn and Mobile, AL. She served as a teacher and as a librarian. I would be willing to wager that many black-Americans who are successful today recall her with affection and gratitude. Indeed, some have come back to tell her so. I remember visiting her classroom at St. Boniface in Detroit. The children seemed to adore her. They attested that their happiest house in the day were in her classroom.

At Marygrove, she took a floundering hospitality-house to new heights of charity and peace. It was there that a larger segment of her community experienced her generous heart and willing hands.

In more recent years she had a similar position in Madonna Hall at the Convent in Monroe. There she was the hostess to many programs. Countless visitors came under her care. At the same time in these years she reached out to the more aged and less healthy members of the community with service and affection, noted and appreciated by all.

Even in these days when she may need more help herself, she continues with inner joy and peace her thoughtful ways for others.

Sister Marguerite is also a thanksgiving person. She is grateful for her life, grateful for her faith, and especially grateful for the loving faith community with whom she seeks God in peace. Here is where she continues trying to be an instrument of Christ’s love and compassion to all.

I consider it fitting that we acknowledge Sister Marguerite’s gifts among us while she can enjoy the recognition. Being honored in this way will not lessen her angel-like concern and compassion for those with whom she lives and loves. May God continue to reward her here and hereafter.
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