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Remembering Sister Luzia Aparecida Daniel

Luzia-webEarly in the morning of December 4, 2014, our Brazilian Sister Luzia Aparecida Daniel, a lifelong ambassador of Gospel joy, completed her amazing eighty year journey home to God. How appropriate was the timing of her departing since throughout her life, and especially in her final days, she embodied the Advent prayer: “My heart seeks your face, O God; come and do not delay.”

On January 1, 1934, Luzia Aparecida Daniel was born in the town of Santa Cruz das Palmeiras, in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. She was the only child of her loving parents, Avelino Daniel and Marian de Lima, immigrants from Southern Italy who had arrived in Brazil the previous year. By the time she was four years old, Luzia had lost both of her parents to death. In early childhood, she also lost her eye sight due to a medical error. Orphaned and blind, Luzia became a resident at the Instituto de Cegos Padre Chico (now known as the Colégio Vincentino Padre Chico) in the capital city of São Paulo which was staffed by the French Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Much beloved by the sisters who cared for her as well as the teachers who served as her instructors, Luzia thrived despite the challenges and difficulties posed by the circumstances of her early life. Blessed with an unwavering confidence in God and an amazing resiliency, Luzia made the most of her other four senses, as she devoted herself to discovering and making meaning of the world around her. Gifted with a creative imagination, Luzia’s intuitions and perceptions provided her with a heightened sensitivity to everyone and everything that she encountered. Finding strength, hope and joy in in the enduring memory of her Calabrese parents to whom she attributed her natural talent for music and poetry, Luzia always had a song in her heart and a poem for every occasion.

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Remembering Sister (Mary) Alcuin Kelly, OSF

alcuin_webAs Pope Francis, along with Franciscans throughout the world, celebrated with great joy the feast of Godʹs Troubadour, our Sister Alcuin peacefully completed her transitus from this life to eternal life, a passage accompanied at its end by the soft notes of sparrows whose autumn medley gave expression to the heartfelt religious sentiment that served to orient the life of our beloved violoncellist: ʺsoli Deo gloria ‐ glory to God alone.ʺ (JS Bach)

Born in Sidney, Nebraska, on July 23, 1917, Agnes Kelly was the third of twelve children born to Francis and Anna (Reinke) Kelly. As a young child, she moved with her family from Nebraskaʹs panhandle to Falls City in the southeastern part of the state. Raised in Saints Peter and Paul Parish, she attended Lake Side Public School and Sacred Heart Academy where she was taught by the Ursuline sisters. As a young adolescent, following the example of her two older sisters, Bernardine and Marie Terese, Agnes made her way to Joliet, Illinois, to become an aspirant with the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate. She attended St. Francis Academy and as her 16th birthday approached, with a supportive recommendation from her aspirant mistress, Sister Apollonia, she prepared to enter the Postulancy in the Fall of 1933. In August of 1934, she was received as novice by Mother Thomasine and given her religious name, Sr. Mary Alcuin. Two years later, she professed her first vows and proceeded on her journey into an unfolding future of 80 years of consecrated life as a Joliet Franciscan.

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