Update (November 2011)
An LCWR Litany of Saints
As we enter into the month of November, the first two days — All Saints Day and All Souls Day, serve to focus our prayer and reflection. These feasts invite us to reflect upon the lives of those who have gone before us as well as upon the exemplary lives of those who have earned the official church title of saint. In many, if not all of our communities, we hold liturgies of remembrance or special prayer services in honor of those women who have returned home to God during the past year. Our own communal celebration has become a kind of holy day for us. The pictures of our deceased sisters are displayed outside the chapel and we gather along with their family members to retell the stories of how their lives intersected with our own. We remember their contributions, we laugh at their foibles, and we thank God for the gift of their lives.
The saints are held up to us because their lives remind us that ordinary people, with the grace of God, can accomplish wonderful things. We pray to different saints for different purposes. Saint Anthony and Saint Jude must work overtime for the special intentions brought to them. We have the saints from our various charism groups and they remind us of the ways in which we too want to live authentically.
In LCWR, we have our own litany of saints. They are the women who have been presidents and/or executive directors of the conference and whom God has called to their eternal reward. They are women who loved their own congregations and their own charisms deeply, but they also found room in their hearts to work on behalf of women from all congregations within our country. They represented us in important places. They spoke on our behalf, both in the easy situations, and in those that merited greater delicacy. They shared their energy, their wisdom, and their love for consecrated life in ways that truly mattered for all of us and for the church. Each woman probably considered herself to be an ordinary person but, with the grace of God, she did extraordinary things for the sake of all.
by Mary Hughes, OP — LCWR Past President