You have probably heard or read the news about Sister Rose Thering.
I am comforted by the memory of our last conversation. When we spoke she
had just returned from chapel where she received sanctification. She
told me she had been anointed and was ready for Heaven.
Her voice was strong and she was cheerful so I joked with her about how
much reminding her about what she said in her film about not being ready
beause she still had much to do.
She said she had recently taught 150 religious at a nearby theological
institute. And she had shown “The Passion of Sister Rose.”
She wanted to know when I would write her biography, a question she’d
been asking for often in the last few years. I told her I was hoping to
come out to Wisconsin again soon.

I also told her that the “Sister Rose Thering” exhibit we had created
was a huge successful. (When I visited her in March, I brought her a 8
and 1/2 x 11″ picture of the photomontage. Having seen our “From Memory
to History” exhibit and delivered the benediction at the opening, she
knew what it would look like and was very impressed.) Although the
Sister Rose Exhibit was up less than a month at our Whippany campus, the
response was far greater than our expectations. Fifteen groups had
scheduled visits to learn about her and view and discuss the film.
Twelve of those groups were schools and most of them were parochial
schools. She couldn’t have been more delighted. And I couldn’t have been
more pleased that she knew that through this exposure, at our center and
others throughout the state, her teaching would continue.

I will miss her more than I can say. We were more than friends. She was
my teacher, my mentor, my advisor, and my confidante. She was tickled
when people mistook us for mother and daughter, particularly when we
went to Italy to attend a conference at the Vatican. (That much Italian
she understood.) We loved and admired each other and that love extended
to my family. I feel extremely privileged to have shared so many of her
highs -and also her lows.

Though I mourn her passing, I am glad she had long, rich life filled
with good deeds and many friends. She “proved her doctors wrong” as she
said she would do in the film, died peacefully and in the company of Sr.
Michelle, one of the warmest, kindest, most wonderful people in the
Surely, Sister Rose deserves Heaven and may her memory be a blessing.
May she rest in peace.

Peace in deed,