Remembering Stephanie

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I really like the Dec. 4 photo of Stephanie, the little child, and the kitten.  In the late 70’s I was on a one-year FCJ renewal program called Tertianship.  In the house where we stayed there were two very young kittens.  I still remember Stephanie playing with them and delighting in their antics!

Since hearing the details about Stephanie’s death and funeral, I have been pondering on the meaning of it all… One thing  moves me in a profound way.  Stephanie gave everything to the people of Argentina….even her body, buried in its ground, her organs to whoever might have a better life because of them.  For me this has brought alive the meaning of Eucharist: “This is my body. This is my blood. Given for you.” And Eucharist is at the heart of FCJ living.  So even when unconscious and dying, Stephanie was living out her call to faithful companionship.

Thank you, Stephanie, for this witness of the best of faithful companionship — total self gift in love.

4 Responses to “Remembering Stephanie”

  1. Aura Says:

    It really sounds Stephanie has meant a lot for you all and that a big piece of your hearts was ripped off when she suddenly died. I can really imagine her being a ‘woman of outrageous hope’.
    Make sure you are supporting each other at this time and be gentle to yourselves.

  2. Tamzin Says:

    I second what Aura has said. Stephanie sounded like a wonderful woman who will be sadly missed. Love and condolences.

  3. Madeleine, fcJ Says:

    As a professor in the Department of Special Education and Multiple Abilities Programs at the University of Alabama, I have long followed Stephanie’s work in special education in Argentina. In the 1990s, when I went down to South America to teach a course for masters students in my university’s overseas program in Paraguay or Peru, I usually took an extra week so I could visit our sisters while I was in the neighborhood, as it were. One time, my students in Alabama purchased children’s books written in Spanish and I took them with me for Stephanie’s students in Clodomira. There were two titles, “How crayons are made” and “Big Trucks”. Neither was great literature, but the books were colorful, short, and easy to read. For many of the children at her school, this was the first new book they had ever received. Their joy was indescribable. I thoroughly enjoyed the day I spent at the school, and became an advocate for special education in Latin America as a result.
    So for me, Stephanie’s death has been a shock and a great sadness because I have lost a sister with whom I could talk about special education and the work I do to form the minds and hearts of special education teachers. As both a religious sister and a professor, I am deeply committed to working towards a society in which it is taken for granted that, whatever their gifts or limitations, all people are bound together in a common humanity and have the rights to life, to care, to a home, to education, and to work. I am deeply concerned by the distress of people who suffer injustice and rejection because they have special needs and want to do all I can to defend the right of all people to a high-quality life that meets their particular needs. I want my home, my university, my church and my world to be places of welcome for all people, respectful towards all people, and in solidarity with all those who take part in this struggle for social justice.

  4. Theresa Smith (Terry) Says:

    Children at Our Lady of the Evergreens School in Calgary, Alberta, saw a photo I had of Stephanie and they were very sorry to hear of her death. May she be a special intercessor for all who work with special needs children and may her gentle companionship inspire us always. May she rest in peace.

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