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Funeral Reflection for Sister Rose Schweitzer, November 6, 2014
Funeral Reflection Honoring Sister Rose Schweitzer
November 6, 2014
~Sister Nancy Miller, prioress
On July 11 of this year, we, Sister Rose’s monastic community, her family and friends gathered in this chapel to celebrate her 75th anniversary as a Benedictine Sister. She was beaming with happiness that day. I trust she is beaming with happiness even more today as we celebrate her life and her entrance into eternal life with God. Thank you all for coming to rejoice in the life of Sister Rose and her going to God.
Sister Rose was a much loved woman. She endeared herself to so many people through her kindness, sense of humor and her special gift of hospitality. She had the ability to make people of all ages feel comfortable, joyful and at home in her presence. She eagerly welcomed others and gave them nourishment whether it was delicious food, a good conversation or both! Many if not all of us here are recipients of her gracious hospitality.
Open and accepting of others, Sister Rose always had room in her heart for the friend or the stranger. One of her goals in life was to make people happy and she did that so well. She was truly a delight to be with.
Sister Rose was a great cook and baker. Her German heritage came through in her cooking and baking and weren’t we the fortune one for that! She spent a good long time with our novice Idelle to pass on those good traditional German recipes. Throughout her life, she won the hearts of many through fresh homemade bread or delicious home cooked food. Even in her 100th year of life, she was still baking bread.
A woman of deep faith, Sister Rose dedicated her life to God through the Benedictine monastic life. She also had a devotion to the Blessed Mother and prayed the rosary not once, but many times each day.
She once said, “I have always been happy in this life. Community life and prayer brings peace. And, we have a lot of fun besides!” I remember as she was approaching her 100th birthday I would often ask how she was doing. She always responded without fail – as well as a person who is going to be 100 can be. God has been so good to me.”
In the last few months, Sister Rose was in a great deal of pain and longed to go home to God. She would often repeat, “Lord, take me home, how long do I have to suffer, how long do I have to wait?” When her patience really worn thin, she would say, “O Lord why do I have to wait so long?"
This past Sunday, on the feastday of All Souls, Sister Rose’s prayer was answered. While we were at Morning Prayer, Jesus came and took her home. He led her into a special dwelling place he had prepared for her.
In the Gospel which Sister Rose chose for her funeral liturgy, Jesus reassures his disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled…. I am going to prepare a place for you …I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am --- you also will be.”
Sister Rose knew this; she knew that Jesus would come and take her home. She knew that she would live happily in the Kingdom of eternal love with God and all the saints. She waited for this moment all her life.
We are happy for her. Yet we grieve and mourn her loss among us. We will miss her tremendously. Her joyful spirit and loving heart enriched us all. We were blessed to have her among us.
Our hearts goes out to all who loved her, especially her sisters, Sister Francis, Frances Fleckenstein and her brother Adam. She loved you all so much as well as her many nieces and nephews.
Sister Rose, we love you. We will miss your welcoming heart, your joyful way of living, and your wonderful smile. You did make us happy and for that we are grateful. Although we are sad at your passing from this life, we believe that you are now experiencing the newness of life with Jesus, free from all suffering and pain. We rejoice and give thanks that you have been a part of our lives. We will not forget you. You will live on in our hearts and memories forever.