Sister Marion Montague

We Remember Her In the blueness of the skies and the warmth of summer

marion montagueSeptember 2, 1930 – May 30, 2015

The quote from our Constitution noted on the cover of Marion’s booklet states:

Rooted in the mystery of our vocation, we recognize that the call to communal discipleship is also a call to be sent as apostles… we therefor seek ever-widening circles of communion, sharing our life with others and joining in solidarity with all who are a part of our lives.

On Tuesday, as I rode to and from Framingham, I was tuned in to WCRB, 99.5 FM. When traveling West on the Pike and then again during the return trip, I heard 2 different classical oratorio’s composed by Mozart. Each of them featured the clarinet. Of course these pieces reminded me of when I first became acquainted with Marion.

Some of you may remember that Marion was one of 4 or 5 Sisters who played the clarinet in the Sisters ensemble, formed in the early 80’s by S. Blanche, our Director.  On occasion Blanche was known to question, “Sister are you playing the notes that are written?” Although that comment was not directed to Marion but to one who had a real flair for improvisation, enjoyed being innovative enough to make her instrument come alive, who could creatively deviate from the musical score while keeping the rest of us in sync, reminded me of the manner in which Marion lived her life in community and engaged in her varied educational ministries and other pursuits… perhaps at times, Marion was a bit unconventional, having the ability to improvise, be innovative and creative, to assist in bringing resolution and harmony where there was dissonance, and to deviate just enough while maintaining and holding to the spirit of her chosen vocation. Marion extended her Baptismal call when she responded to the invitation of God’s powerful grace working within her, that of discipleship, of being sent as an apostle, of seeking to widen the circles of relationship. To use the words of the psalmist, we may say,  Marion played to her God a new song and God worked wonders in her.

Upon graduating from Emmanuel College, Marion entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph, and began her lifelong engagement in the teaching profession. No matter where she taught, whether on the elementary or secondary levels or at various institutions of higher learning, Marion was well prepared for the History courses assigned to her, challenging her students to expand their horizons and to learn from the past in order to build a better future. As you know, history was Marion’s passion. In an article written some years ago regarding her experience of teaching in secular educational institutions of higher learning, Marion was quoted as saying that teaching world history offered its challenges and rich opportunities for cultural exchange. Students were a microcosm of the global community offering mutual understanding and acceptance of ethnic diversity.

Many who know Marion well, commented on the special love and affection she demonstrated for her sisters, Ruth and Frances, and their families, often visiting them and being involved in their activities.  Even prior to Marion’s latest illness she visited Frances on a regular basis.

I am told by some present here today that as a member of a local community, Marion possessed an affable manner, exhibited a sense of freedom and generosity of spirit, and was always a welcoming presence to all those whom she encountered. Her smile said it all!

Marion loved her life as a Sister of Saint Joseph. She was rooted, as one would expect, in our history, lived our charism of unifying love, and found encouragement in the courageous spirit of our foremothers. God invited Marion into a life of love and service to the dear neighbor. Her response to that invitation was a simple, open ended, YES.

Marion was aware that each of us, in the words of Richard Gillard’s The Servant Song, are pilgrims on this earthly journey, and are travelers on the road, we are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load.

During one of Sister Marie de Sales’ last visits to her dear friend, Marion, Marion told Marie that she was going home. Indeed she knew she was going home to be with her God and all those whom she loved.

Marion, your life of faithfulness and your pilgrim journey is over. Sing and play your new song of joy to your God; you are at home.

Given by Roseann Amico, CSJ

June 6, 2015