Monday, September 8, 2014

Sister Maura, Mahalo

May love and laughter light your days and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours wherever you may roam. May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures. May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!
- An Old Irish Blessing
In the fall of 1986, I started the sixth grade, not even a month after visiting Hawaii for the fourth time. I mention this only because that is when I became a pupil of Sister Maura Redington, and only now - after decades of service to my church and grade school - she has just been able to go visit these wondrous islands herself. It was a gift from the parish for her retirement, and at long last she has been able to discover this place many call "paradise."

Sr Maura claims her prize from Our Lady of the Assumption Parish

I wonder now how many of us filed into class and bragged about our vacations to each other, and I wonder what she thought. I wonder how many students came and left her over the years and vanished off into our dreams and endeavors of curiosity. Certainly, one should never presume that a woman who followed her calling from God to serve thousands of miles from Ireland in a far-from-glamorous locale such as San Bernardino has regrets from such a sacrifice. It is only my own uneasiness about being prevented from travel for any significant period of time that gives me pause... and I appreciate my teacher even more.

So, in honor of Sister Maura - who flies home today to Ireland to fulfill her own journey - she should know that she helped me and so many others prepare to launch our own adventures into life. She is one of those magnificent people whom we take a little piece of wherever we go and will never be forgotten. How fortunate we all were to have had her as our guide to our own eventual paradise. Mahalo.
Reunited after 25 years - Praying before we ate, of course

Class of 1989 members gathering for photo opp