Today we join all our Dominican brothers and sisters worldwide in celebrating the Anniversary of Deceased Parents, in which “we commemorate our deceased parents, who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith and who now rest in the sleep of peace. In this way the Dominican family, joining together in one accord, shows affection towards their parents, in death as in life, to those who gave birth to us in Christ and who brought us up and urged us on in the following of Christ.” Our monastery Mass today was offered for the repose of the souls of all deceased parents of all Dominicans (and that’s nearly 800 years’ worth of parents!) and we also marked the anniversary by praying the psalms from the Office of the Dead.

A good number of our sisters' parents have gone to their heavenly homeland. I am sure that many memories have been called forth today, especially the memory of the mingled joy and heartache our parents experienced in giving their daughter to God. My father, Vincent T. Boneski, died suddenly in September 1998, two weeks before my solemn profession. The outpouring of love and support which I received from my sisters here and in our other monasteries, and from our brethren in the Order was simply incredible. When I entered the monastery, I knew that I now had a “second family,” but this experience of loss proved that to me in such a powerful and unforgettable way. Truly, when we share news of our families or stories about our childhood or prayer requests, we listen, not just with interest, but in deep communion, for, united in Christ and in St. Dominic’s Family, we are all related. In fact, one of our sisters likes to call my mother, “Mom”!

I remember how concerned my father was that I would be happy in the monastery, and, later, how very proud he was of my vocation, especially since he had two cousins who are religious (one, a Dominican sister and another, a Benedictine monk!). When I received the habit, I gave him this prayer card (given to me by one of my sisters) which seemed to express his feelings so perfectly. He kept it in a place of honor on his dresser.


That day she left me early
I was feeling mighty blue,
Just a-thinking how I’d miss her
And the things she used to do.

But now, somehow it’s different—
With each rising of the sun,
And my heart is ever singing:
“I’m the daddy of a nun.”

Since to err is only human,
There’s a whole lot on the slate
That I’ll have to make account for
When I reach the golden gate.

But then I’m not a-worrying
About the deeds I’ve done,
I’ll just whisper to St. Peter:
“I’m the daddy of a nun.”

(Posted by Sr. Judith Miryam, O.P.)

This photo of Sr. Judith Miryam with her parents and sister Ellen and nephews, Sean and Patrick, was taken in our monastery parlor in February 1998. (Her brother Vinnie took the photo).