Sister Mary Beata Galvin

We remember her In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter

Mary Beata GalvinMarch 14, 1926 – March 5, 2015

“Let Christ’s peace reign in your hearts.

Dedicate yourself to thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you.”

These three statements from St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians which Sister Beata selected for her funeral, gives us an insight into how Beata lived her life. I imagine each one of us can think of a time when we experienced her peace-filled heart, her thankfulness and how she lived the Word of Christ throughout her life.

Over the last three years it has been my privilege to get to know Sister Beata. The memory and image that I will always hold in my heart is how I found her every time I entered her room. Up until last Sunday, March 1st she was always in her recliner, praying. In her hands was her Office book, or her Bible, a spiritual reading book or her Rosary beads. The Word of Christ was always in her heart and thankfulness was always on her lips. Sister Beata radiated Christ’s peace to all who visited her. Beata was grateful for every kind word spoken to her and every kindness shown her. She was forever thanking not only God but also everyone who crossed her threshold. Her heart was always full of gratitude for her devoted cousins and their families.

Paul’s letter to the Colossians gives us directions on how to live a life worthy of being chosen by God. “We are to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and above all love”. Virtues Sister Beata possessed in abundance.

On April 26, 1926, Mary Josephine Galvin was chosen by God at Baptism. Her Baptismal name reminds me of her two patron Saints, Mary and Joseph. Mary a model of humility and Joseph a gentle and just man.  Virtues which describe Sister Beata. On March 19, 1945,by her religious profession she was named Sister Mary Beata, which means blest by God. Sister Beata knew that her life was blest by God and was grateful for her vocation as a Sister of St. Joseph.

In her funeral plans, Sister Beata had very specific directives. She requested that there be no reflections by the Area Councilor or by others present at her funeral. So I am praying, that as St. Paul says in our reading from Colossians, “that we should forgive each other as God forgives each of us, “that  Beata will forgive me for this brief reflection.  There was one last request from Sister Beata which all of us can fulfill.  When we sing our closing hymn, SING A NEW SONG, she would like it and I quote “sung brilliantly and lively – not dragged out like a funeral!”

May our God who claimed Mary Josephine in Baptism (humble and gentle), and Sister Mary Beata by religious profession (blest) now enfold her in love, peace and joy for all eternity.

Given by: Patricia Mc Carthy, CSJ