This past weekend we placed the ashes (“cremains” is the current term) of our dear Sr. Dominica in our columbarium. This happened at the conclusion of a joyous Requiem Eucharist, during which we sang a few of her favorite hymns and remembered her committed prayer life and amusing quirks.
The columbarium is a stone structure located behind what used to be the convent and part of the school. It’s a bit like a mini-condo, each “apartment” a small copper box faced with an engraved plaque.
“Sister Dominica, CHS – 1931 – 1972 – 2010”. Her birth, profession and death etched in brass. She joins our other deceased sisters and our founder Mother Ruth back there. Over time the columbarium has been threatened by invasive plants, and Bill had a yeoman’s job of clearing the vines, unlocking the great iron door and cleaning all the little copper boxes, most of which are waiting for the rest of us.
We also had one of our wonderful bell-ringers there to toll her life in years (79) on the deep tenor bell. As we stood in the sun-dappled lawn, I realized that our many neighbors — if they have been listening to our bells over the years (and how can they help it) — would probably realize that one of us had passed into the greater presence of God; this is the only time this kind of ringing is heard from our eight bell, change-ringing tower.
May you rest in peace and rise in glory, our dear sister.