Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Johanna's Jubilee

The week of August 21st until the 28th I was in Omaha for my aunts Jubilee. Sister Johanna Burnell, RSM has been a nun for 50 years. What an exciting day starting with Mass on Sunday, the 22nd, said by Father Charlie O'Rourke, Sister Jeanne's brother. After Mass dinner followed in the auditorium at Mercy High School where Johanna had been President for 21 years. (She retired last year.) There were four other sisters celebrating so I am not sure how many people were present for the entire event. Lots of friends and families for all of the sisters.

The sad part of the trip was that Johanna was diagnosed with pneumonia the week before. It was really hard for her to work and to do the preparation for the event. We worked at the school a couple of hours on Saturday getting tables, etc. set up and there were a lot of people there to help.  On Tuesday the doctor diagnosed her with severe bronchitis and put her on heavy doses of medication. 

Then on Thursday the 26th, Sister Jeanne's brother-in-law died from a massive heart attack. He lived in Council Bluffs. His wife is in a wheel chair, a polio recipient, and depended on her husband for help.

Sister Jeanne and Sister Johanna share an apartment and are best friends. Jeanne is part of our family and comes to all of our events and Johanna is part of Jeanne's family and goes to all of their events. It was a very sad and tragic loss for both of them.

On Saturday night, before the big event, we had a family picnic at Mercy Acres. We had a wonderful prayer time and lots of memories of childhood flowing. There were only 20 of us there plus Sister Jeanne. One of my highlights was getting to ride on my cousins Harley Tri Bike. I had to borrow shoes and socks and a helmet but at least I was able to ride. I might just make a good biker-chick.

All in all it was one of those very exciting weeks and a very sad week. Like good news, bad news. However, I will be going back to spend Christmas in Omaha. Hopefully there will be no blizzard this time.

Speak of God, for God, with God. ~C. McAuley
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