By Msgr. Frank Henricksen
I find it next to impossible to offer you my sympathy for Sr. Bea. Our prayers for her were for a miracle or a happy death. We can only be grateful that our loving God has decided for the latter. Now we ask Sr. Bea to pray for us, that her lesson of life may be lived by us.
To her brother and other family members, friends and former students, we offer peace in knowing of Sr. Bea’s final rest and eternal joy.
My earliest recollection of meeting Sr. Bea was her patient pushing of her walker. Always a welcoming smile with no evidence of the pain she was hiding.
In her obituary, I discovered that the name she received as a young Sister was Mary Grace. How fitting! Grace – gratia – gift. She was a gift, and she was gifted as well. Music was her gift and her life in ministry, shared in the classroom for 43 years and with her community for 65 years.
One afternoon, I came into the chapel as the sound of organ music filled the air. The chapel was empty but for me and Sr. Bea. There she was, intense in her effort, painfully positioned on the organ bench.
She played and prayed with her gift of music.
In opening my Bible last evening preparing for today, a program fell out. It was from the dedication of a new organ at the parish of a friend. The hymn seemed to be sent from Sr. Bea in celebration of today.
When, in our music, God is glorified,
And adoration leaves no room for pride,
It is as though the whole creation cried: Alleluia.
How often, making music, we have found
A new dimension in the world of sound,
As worship moved us to a more profound Alleluia.
So has the Church, in liturgy and song
In faith and love, through centuries of wrong,
Borne witness to the truth in every tongue: Alleluia.
And did not Jesus sing a psalm that night
When utmost evil strove against the light?
Then let us sing, for whom he won the fight: Alleluia.
Let every instrument be tuned for praise!
Let all rejoice who have voice to raise!
And may God give us faith to sing always: Alleluia!