Editor: Sister Jacqueline Walsh has now been laid to rest.
Jackie’s motto: “Never grow weary from doing what is right,” was exemplified in her life and in the lives of the Sisters of Mercy. The tributes paid to her and the hundreds who attended her Mass on July 14 were “visible signs” of God’s love, thanking her for all her years of service. I was at that funeral and so often I wished the world could have seen and heard what we saw and heard that morning.
Sister Jackie was the guiding light, the shining star of Saint Edward the Confessor Parish. As many parishioners attested, she was special, she was unique, and she will be greatly missed.
Jackie’s impact went far beyond the parish of St. Edward’s. She did so much during her religious life, running the gamut from high school teacher, to director of youth ministry, to campus minister, to pastoral associate, and all that each of these positions entailed.
At such an occasion, one is filled with appreciation for a person such as Jackie and for all the wonderful women of the Church who go about their daily lives, pouring themselves out for the love of God and for others. They are unsung heroes (heroines) that never look for praise or adulation.
Only when a tragedy such as this allows a glimpse in to their real lives, do we realize the impact they make daily in a myriad of ways.
God bless Jackie. May she rest in peace. God bless the Sisters of Mercy for their presence in this world and God bless Sisters everywhere for the difference they are making, every single day — without any fanfare, without any need to draw attention to themselves, but with a deep sense of commitment and devotion to the people of God.
Editor: Having just returned from the funeral of the beloved Sister Jackie Walsh, R.S.M., we felt compelled to share some thoughts.
First and foremost, the outpouring of affection, respect, love and sorrow was an experience we will not quickly forget. Thousands waited on line more than an hour to visit her wake, more than a thousand spilled into the church foyer and patio for her Mass of Christian Burial. Hundreds gathered virtually spontaneously Tuesday evening when Father Tom Fusco led a much needed prayer service and open sharing. While the circumstances of her death heightened the sadness, let’s not lose sight of the exemplary life. Jackie was a woman of compassion, mercy, justice, forgiveness, hospitality, laughter, consolation, education, music and photography. More importantly, she lived the Gospel we hear preached and walked the walk for us.
We could not help but think this past week that we wish the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome could have witnessed the mourning for Sister Jackie, heard the stories, enjoyed the laughter, soaked in the tears. Jackie exemplified all that is right, just and Gospel- oriented in women religious today in the United States and certainly locally.
Rest in peace woman of Mercy. You left us richer, holier and happier than when you found us.
Nick and Janet Tortorella
Fortnight for Freedom II
Editor: In light of the recent Supreme Court decision upholding “Obamacare” I would like to suggest that a Fortnight for Freedom II be considered. We could easily utilize the same prayers and protocols that were in place for the original Fortnight. As millions of Catholics once again come together in prayer and fasting, I see a tremendous outpouring of grace for our country, which is greatly needed at this time.
Perhaps we could begin on Oct. 24, 2012 (Feast of St. Anthony Mary Claret) and end on Nov. 6, 2012, which of course is Election Day.
I hope the Catholic hierarchy will consider this idea.
Anthony M. Bentivegna