With Sr. Mary Daniel's passing comes the end of an era. Sister was the last of the sisters who lived during the time of our foundress, Mother Mary Imelda. That last living link to our beginnings has been lost, and with it the many stories and much wisdom that came from living in the monastery for more than 70 years.
Sr. Mary Daniel of God was the 12th of 13 children in her parents' Millburn, NJ home. Something of a social butterfly, "Flossie" was well known in the area and many were privileged to call her 'friend.' She entered the Monastery on April 30, 1946 at the age of 21, having first spent some time studying at the College of St. Elizabeth, and professed simple vows on December 9, 1947. Three years later Sister sealed her commitment with Solemn Vows on December 9, 1950.
During her more than 70 years in the monastery sister held a variety of offices including prioress, novice mistress, bursar, sacristan, and seamstress. She will, perhaps, be best known for her time spent as the sister in charge of maintenance. In this capacity she supervised as many as eight workmen at a time, many of them young men working as they attended college. She was a second mother to them all, young and not so young, listening to them with sympathy, seeing that they were well fed from the monastery kitchen and that they did their assigned jobs, while turning a blind eye to their hi-jinx. Often they would return in later years, growing families in tow, to tell her how grateful they were for the good start she gave them in life. Even after she “retired” from this position, the sisters would go to her with questions about the furnace or the breaker panel or the laundry equipment. She knew where everything was and how it worked!
In her later years, Sister was in charge of answering the community mail, taking the prayer requests to heart and doling out sage advice and words of comfort, promising the sisters' prayers. When she began slowing down sister was often found filling in whenever necessary at the rosary guard and applied herself to the mounting of Blessed Roses. Sister has always been a dedicated worker. Even in her last days, spent at the Caldwell Dominican Sisters' Infirmary, Sister would call to request more plastic slips or mounting cards as she continued her Blessed Roses work there.
Sister was thoroughly devoted to the community, always putting the community before herself. We will miss her many stories, her vast knowledge of the monastery and its friends throughout the decades, and most especially her jokes.
May she rest in the peace and joy of the Lord.