Sister Mary Ellen was 13 years my senior. I suppose that was more significant for me in our early days together; in more recent years, we were the same age. We had walked together through deaths of each others parents and siblings and through multiple changes in our Franciscan community as well as in the world at large. When I consider the very large hole her absence leaves in my life, I am also aware of what she bequeathed to all of us:
- a model of humble service - she accepted any task she was assigned, be it bookkeeping, administration, finance, or prayer from her room in hospice.
- a model of fidelity to prayer, to community, to family and friends. She could be counted on to "be there."
- a model of integrity, a woman of her word.
- a model of balanced living, enjoying music, games, and visiting as well as work and prayer.
- a model of a vowed religious. She clung to no material possession. She gave her all for our health care facilities when we had them and led us in letting go of them when the time was ripe to turn them over to others.
- a model of foresight in developing the talents of lay co-workers. She was the first of our Sister hospital administrators to give that position over to a lay man.
We are honored to count her as one of our Sisters.