Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Remembering a Beautiful Life


For whatever reason Agnes Tully Stevens chose to save the article recounting the funeral of Sister Mary Mercy, she merely expressed the same deep feelings of respect and appreciation mirrored by many at that 1912 funeral.

The outpouring of love expressed during the funeral must have been overwhelming. I have no doubt Agnes Tully—the by-now newly married Mrs. William Stevens—was among the mourners. She may even have accompanied the funeral procession as far as its destination at the Calvary cemetery to the north of Chicago where her own family members had also been laid to rest.

But was it only for the sentiment of the moment’s poignancy that she saved this clipping? The article itself was cut, folded, and unceremoniously pinned together with a common straight pin. The holes and bending of the paper are marks cemented over time and still visible in the scanned copies.

What I now need to puzzle over was whether there was any further connection between this former student at the Saint Anne’s Parochial School and its former Sister Superior.

As a last token of their love and gratitude for Sister Mercy, several hundred members of St. Anne’s Parochial School, St. Anne’s Alumni and the parochial sodalities accompanied the remains of the departed Sister to the northern boundary of the parish and many all the way to Calvary.
            Though Sister Mary Mercy has gone, her work and her influence will remain for many years in the hearts of those who knew and loved her. She has labored faithfully and well. She merited by her life that great calm and peace of soul which came upon her a few days before she passed from this world. We know that now she is happily enjoying the reward which belongs to those who cut themselves off from this world by choosing the Lord as their portion and giving themselves up body and soul to His service. May her soul rest in peace and may her memory remain fresh in our hearts for many, many years!

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