The Gift of Sister Hermine

Dear Friends in Christ, mid-December, 2017, Sister Hermine became very ill. The Hospice nurses told us that she will be passing soon. Sister Hermine, as some of you know, is very significant in our Community, the first young woman to join a younger Ida Peterfy in service to the Church, in a growing company of young women that would be The Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart. For that reason, we gathered the whole Community in California. Our Sisters also came from Taiwan, Hungary, and St. Louis. We spent Christmas together, privileged to have Mass at the Motherhouse where Sister Hermine was living. She expressed how grateful she was to be the cause of all of us being able to be together in these joyful, holy days. Some Sisters in the Missions had not been with us at Christmas for 38 years. As we know, our lives are in God’s hands. Sister Hermine survived two crisis points, and is recovering in our home at the Motherhouse. The following letter was sent to the Community to update her ongoing recovery.

November, 2018

Dear Sister Mary and Sisters,
First, a joyful welcome home to you, Sister Mary and Sister Eileen. Sisters, I wanted to share with you how Sister Hermine is doing. And yes, a picture says a thousand words!

On Monday, Sepi, the Physical Therapist came; she has been taking Sister Hermine taking her outside for “walks”. Sister Hermine starts in the wheel chair. Once outside, the walker comes out, she stands, with help from Sepi and Maria and takes steps: for the past month 11 steps, 20s, 40s, 70s. On Monday they came indoors, from the dining room to the chapel and Sister Hermine walked with the walker unaided (but surrounded), into the chapel. Altogether an 81 step day!

Sister Hermine prays morning prayer with the caregivers, reads daily, prays evening with us; basically she prays “always”. She writes letters and notes keeping contact with so many of our Community friends old and new, and of course responding to all her Sisters.

Sister Hermine is so attentive to all our activities. Sister Susan and Sister Sophia have kept her informed of all we are doing and that continues. Every morning we write the Community activities on her little white board. Yesterday I read Sister Rosemarie’s letter and showed her the pictures she sent from Sacramento. At the end Sister Hermine said, “Oh this is so good to hear, I was wondering how she is doing in her new assignment.” She prayed for our Sisters and the ladies on the Women’s retreat at Big Bear on the weekend and was grateful to hear how it went from Sister Joan’s phone call – Our charism of caring for one another incarnate.

Speaking of our charism, what a surprise to see Sister Mary and Sister Eileen here at the Motherhouse on Thursday evening, when they had just arrived home from Taiwan! They came to say hello, to greet Sister Hermine, and of course were bearing gifts—our charism; it really touched our hearts to see them so cheerful and sharing so happily, shining with the double *Jubilee Joy.

God has blessed us; may we continue to be a blessing to one another.

In the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Sister Catherine Marie

* Celebrating 50th Jubilee of Cardinal Tien Catholic Hospital in Taipei where Sister Mary Ann and Sister Arlene are doctors. Sister Mary Ann has served 33 years, 14 years as the hospital Administrator. Two days later, the Sisters, hospital staff and friends celebrated Sister Arlene’s 25th Jubilee in thanksgiving for her faithful love in religious profession.