Thursday, April 26, 2012

Celebrating Life

From the eulogy for Sister Kathy Ruszkowski, given by Joan Chittister:

"Kathy had the eye and the skill of an artist. Any room that Kathy walked into, however bare and ordinary, became strikingly beautiful under her touch. Most of all, she made artistry around her. She worked in every medium: flowers, cloth,wood, whatever. She left no piece of life where she was untouched by color and form, grace and graciousness. And she did it casually, naturally, wholeheartedly."

"She simply lived artistically trailing beauty for all of us to enjoy as she went. Her works will be on these walls for years. She was one of a kind. She made order out of chaos wherever she went. She turned the haphazard into efficiency and disorder into effectiveness. And she brought a kind of "tidiness" into the lives of everyone around her...if for no reason other than that she herself could not bear not doing everything well, to the utmost, to the ultimate, to some unknown consummate degree known only to her mind's eye foreseen only in her mind's eye for the chapel decorations, or the library courtyard, or the garden with its always very specially chosen colors, or the papers and programs and projects, or the family gifts of all breed and sorts."

"Everything was perfect, right down to her insistence that every hamburger on the community picnic grill be tested by a meat thermometer before serving or that her hair not be messed up as she lay dying! It was a gift, trust me, that was often as much a scourge as it was a joy to many!"

Photo: Sister Bernadette Sullivan

"But it made all of us sharper-eyed about such things than we had ever been before. She saw life through the filter of prayer and made liturgy the very center of her being. The last dance she danced in this chapel in October was a message in itself: it was precise and meditative and meaningful. It was the living incense of her life and it touched to the depths every heart in this chapel and wetted every eye. Because we knew in a way we had never known before that she was dancing the very story of all our lives together."