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Sister Anna Marie, CSJ
We Remember Her
Be courageous to undertake what God wants of you
and constant to persevere in what you undertake,
never giving up, whatever difficulties occur and whatever obstacles may be placed in your path
unless you become totally powerless against them.
Maxims of the Little Institute #66
Sister Anna Marie Edge, CSJ
July 31, 1954 – February 4, 2022
Anna Edge requested that the three Community Councilors share the reflections this morning!
How blessed we are, to be in the company of each other as we celebrate the life and mourn the death of one of God’s holy ones. Anna Marie Edge witnessed, throughout her life, that God is alive! She truly was a visible sign of God’s presence in our midst. How blessed we are to have known her.
Anna Marie was born in Wisconsin. She was the second oldest of five children born to Margret Ann and William Thomas. The family moved to Malden when she was a young child and she attended elementary and high school in Malden. She often visited Wisconsin and her beloved grandmother. Anna loved all things Wisconsin, especially the cheese.
God planted the seed of vocation in Anna’s heart and she responded to that call. At the ripe old age of “24”, she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph! Her formation days were spent in Watertown where she nurtured friends she treasured all of her religious life. As part of her formative years, she ministered in Charleston. There she met Sister Pat Boyle who was her was cherished and faithful friend for over forty years. What a God given-gift they were to each other!
Mary Oliver, in her poem The Summer Day, ends her poem with this question: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” We know what Anna did. She gave her life away intentionally and purposefully with courage and strength – all in God’s name. Whether she was teaching at St. Clement’s, Somerville, studying computer science, ministering at Bethany Hill Place in Framingham, the Literacy Connection in Brighton, Casserly House in Roslindale, serving on Boards of Directors or Advisory committees or in the Information Technology Department at the Motherhouse for over twenty years (where she earned the title of “Computer Doctor”), Anna was a teacher in her very being and a life-long learner.
Anna spoke out against injustice at the School of the Americas in Georgia, stood with the migrant workers in North Carolina and with the people of El Salvador. She spoke out wherever the dear neighbor suffered. Her light shined on all with whom she came in contact.
I don’t think there is a Sister, Associate, Agrégée or Partner in Ministry in our Congregation that she didn’t know. Not only could she fix anything that needed fixing but she listened to our stories and got to know us in a deeper way! She held the act of listening as a sacred privilege.
Anna loved her family; she cherished her visits with her much-loved mother. She loved her garden, loved to cook, plan trips, pray, and summer walks with Pat in the early evening. Most of all, she loved being a Sister of St. Joseph.
What did Anna do with her one, precious life? She gave it away, to God and others, unconditionally. And that has made all the difference. — Reflections given by Denise Kelly, CSJ — February 11, 2022
The last time I visited Anna, last Thursday, her mother and sister, Deanna, were there. Deanna asked, “How do you know Anna?”
How do I know Anna? Where do I begin? We were in formation together, living at Sacred Heart in Watertown. I was turning 22 and she was 26, two years more seasoned than I in the life. We grew up in the Congregation together, sharing this unique call and all that came with it during the many years of multiple comings and goings – many more goings than comings. We stayed. Together, rooted in a love for the Gospel and this congregation we fervently believed we were called to. In the early days, and every day after, I knew Anna to be devoted to those issues and people she loved, justice-seeking, feisty, mischievous, generous, strong. She strictly adhered to the guidelines of the novitiate, except when she didn’t. She put her feet and heart where she believed God wanted her – at the School of the Americas as a witness, and in El Salvador, as a witness once more. And in every place there was a CSJ with a computer- showing up completely to serve a need.
Anna was sometimes a reluctant participant with our Federation cohort, and even our Boston cohort, knowing her own future was so uncertain. Yet on the times that she did participate in our weekends at the Hamptons at the Brentwood retreat house, she left a lasting impression. When I sent out a notice of her entrance into new life to our CSSJ Collaborative, – sisters under 70 across the Federation – so many who had been praying for her responded with how they had known Anna”
From Karen in Brentwood: “I have such fond memories of the many times that Anna and I shared our stories together. Our conversations started with our shared passion for technology and soon moved to our passion for life, especially life as a Sister of St. Joseph. I will treasure the memory of those moments.”
From Carol in Springfield: “We are praying for your community and for OUR loss.”
Mary Jo from the Congregation of St. Joseph: “once she settles in with God, she’ll get that little eye twinkle going again.”
Cathy from Philly: “We now stand on her shoulders and all those who have gone before us.”
Peggy from Brentwood: Anna was a delight to know. I am happy for her that she is in peace now with no struggle but I am sad for US. May she continue to bless us in her new presence.
This is how THEY knew Anna.
How do I know Anna? She’s my sister. She’s our sister.
Reflection given by Betsy Conway CSJ — February 4, 2022
It is said that “Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning”. If that is so, then Anna’s candle has burned brighter than most.
I lived with Anna in the 1980s when she was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a teaching license for elementary school. At the time I was at Regis, teaching students who, like Anna, hoped to become teachers. So, we often had conversations about theories and policies and their practical applications in the classroom. It was apparent that Anna thought deeply about what she was learning.
It was not surprising to learn that Anna had earned a master’s degree; what was surprising was her major: computer technology. This happened at a time when we were about to engage with computers, email, and First Class. Anna quickly became our computer “guru”, troubleshooting difficulties and making house calls. If she did not have an immediate solution to a problem, one could count on receiving an email with a link to a YouTube video that gave a solution or a clear list of steps one could follow. Now I picture Anna, chasing after Alan Turing, Grace Hopper and Steve Jobs, peppering them with questions about their research in technology.
There is a line in the book of the prophet, Daniel, which praises teachers: “They that instruct others to justice will shine as stars for all eternity”. On a clear night, take note of the stars in the sky for Anna shines bright among them. Let your light shine, Anna!
Given by Judith Costello, CSJ — February 11, 2022