SISTERS OF ST. MARY OF OREGON JANUARY 7, 2017
After graduating from Oregon State University with my degree in Education, I entered the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon. February 1980 was my entrance month. One of the things that I found interesting was when a Sister would go through the dying process and pass away. I have to be honest, I was uncomfortable with the idea of death in the early days of my religious life. Thirty-seven years later, I am very comfortable with all aspects of the process and I understand clearly that we will all make that journey one day.
This morning, Sister Janice Boogard left us after a struggle with her health. We all walked the journey with her, drove her to appointments, visited with her, prayed with her, and these past several nights, stayed at her bedside 24 hours per day until she made her way to our Lord this morning around 9:30am.
I heard a call over the intercom from Sr. Julie, our house superior, announcing that Sr. Janice had passed away. Our tradition is to go to the room of the deceased and pray together with the body as the soul continues on the journey to God. We gathered together and prayed the prayer of departure then sang together. Each Sister says goodby as we prepare for the body to leave the convent and go to the mortuary where it is prepared for the funeral.
After you have lived several decades with a person there is a sorrow that accompanies the process even though you are happy they are free of the suffering they have endured. The feeling you have for their family members are deep as well as you have come to know them as a result of your association with the Sister and the families association with the community. One of Sister Janice’s blood sisters was with her as she passed this morning which was very special.
I will write about her funeral next week.