Monday, October 12, 2009
Each of us is a Word of God spoken once
I returned from Navotas to hear that Sr Peg, a saint in my life, has gone to God – to the other side of hope. Sr Peg is a remarkable woman of faith, of love, and of justice. She embodied the compassion of Jesus in very fruitful ways. She helped my sister and her family decisively at a crucial time in their lives and she has helped many California Jesuits for years, serving as a spiritual director on our Province Retreats and keeping us LMU Jesuits “honest” in our witness of Gospel and Ignatian values. She lived such values with a wholeness and contagious joy that inspires me!
“Each of us is a word of God spoken only once.” This is one of Sr Peg Dolan’s favorite phrases. She would often add: “And we have a word to speak with our lives, that if we do not speak it, it may never be heard.” Again and again I have seen this key grace flowing through her life of service: helping people, like myself, embrace and live out this truth that we are God’s unrepeatable masterpieces; that God has blessed each of us with gifts and talents to live life to the full, and to fulfill God’s dream for our lives. Her constant smile, peaceful presence, lively spirit, generous heart, and firm resilience were her unique gifts on her special mission.
Like Pope John Paul II, Sr Peg also showed me how to die with grace. That is, how to live the latter phase of one’s life with poise and integrity. She fought cancer for the last six years of her life with such peace and trust. She was able to integrate her illness into her active life of ministry. Throughout the last few months, she ministered at home, through her sickness. A novice Sister who lived with her remarked: “She was the most popular Sister here and had so many visitors! I hardly ever see her going a day without having somebody visiting her.”
Sister Peg, in prayer I saw you smile with Mary and Jesus in the presence of the angels. You are home now. Thank you for letting God’s word speak clearly, eloquently, and compassionately through your 75 years of life. You are dearly missed! Albeit on the other side of hope, you continue to be a living channel of grace to me and many others whose lives you’ve touched in your 35 years at LMU!