On Palm Sunday, April 1, 2012, the Divine Bridegroom called our Sr. Mary Peter of Jesus Crucified, OP to Himself. Sr. Mary Peter was surrounded by her community and by sisters at the St. Catherine of Siena Infirmary, Caldwell, NJ as she peacefully breathed her last.
We received a call in the morning toward the end of Mass that Sister wasn't doing well and probably would die soon. So we went in groups to be with her. Fr. Gregory, our chaplain anointed her and gave her the Apostolic Pardon with the large relic crucifix that contains relics of the True Cross and the Apostles. Sr Mary Peter had been very deaf for many years but when Fr. Gregory asked, "Sister, do you want to kiss the crucifix?" she opened her eyes wide and gave her Beloved a big kiss!
We laid our dear "little Sister Mary Peter" to rest on this beautiful spring day. Fr. Gregory gave a tremendous homily on Sister and the significance of her name Peter and her title of Jesus Crucified and how fitting it is that she went home to God as we begin this most sacred of all weeks. Although Fr. Gregory didn't know Sr. Mary Peter (he met her only a few times) he told us in the homily that in the Providence of God he did meet Sr. Mary Peter before...through her fudge! As a novice, his novice master, Fr. Cassidy, would come here to Summit to visit his sister and bring back boxes of Sr. Mary Peter's famous fudge. Fr. Gregory stated that she made a lot of novices happy!
She made many happy! She was loved by all at St. Catherine's Infirmary. Despite her health problems, including senility, she was always joyous, always happy to see anyone! When the Sisters would go to visit her on a Sunday morning they would always bring her Holy Communion since there is no Mass on Sunday for the sisters in the Infirmary. Sr. Mary Peter would then go down the hall with her tiny walker and tell everyone excitedly, "I just received Jesus! I just received Jesus!"
She would tell the young sisters, "It's a great life if you don't weaken!" and "When God calls...you go!"
Sr. Mary Peter was very gifted with her hands. For years she made shoes and custom sandals for the sisters. Her hobby was making stuffed Snoopy's, bears, and various other animals. Probably every doctor in town has one! The young sisters would always get a special one in their St. Nicholas stocking.
Until very late in life she would go out for a walk—three times a day! She would say, "I go out no matter how I feel! I say, 'Peter, you're going to walk!'" except she said it with her Providence, Rhode Island accept which she never quite lost!
May our sister, Sr. Mary Peter, live forever in the joy of the Lord and may she intercede for us!
Sister Mary Peter has been featured on our blog in the past. Go to the following links:
http://www.monialesop.org/2011/08/wisdom-of-sr-mary-peter.html http://www.monialesop.org/2011/08/wisdom-of-sr-mary-peter.html(the photo is missing!) http://www.monialesop.org/2006/10/just-another-boring-day-in-monastery.html