Sister Marie was a wonderful teacher, mentor and lifelong friend to me.
She encouraged me as I went through the typical growing pains of adolescence. She shared her vocation story with me and told me she thought I might have a religious vocation. I did become a religious, but as a Benedictine, not a BVM. That never made any difference between the two of us.
Throughout the years Sister Marie and I stayed good friends. It didn’t matter whether we had seen each other recently or whether the time between visits was several months. She was always interested in what I was doing and how my parents and family were.
Four years ago I went to see Sr. Marie in Dubuque. She had slowed down considerably, but she knew me and we had a wonderful visit. Before I left she gave me a poem/psalm she had written for her 50th Jubilee. It was a beautiful prayer of thanksgiving.
Sr. Marie Canfield died two years ago, but I still have her poem, and the wonderful memories of her influence on my life. I credit her and the love of my parents with the gift of my vocation.