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March 2, 2014, Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sister Joanna 100th Birthday (3-4-14 actual day)

Reflections by Sister Aurora Perez, SHF

Happy Birthday!

Today is a glorious day, a day of celebration, a time to give thanks to our God. We gather together to praise God and to honor our friend and sister — Sister M. Joanna Connolly.

Sister Joanna has been a Sister of the Holy Family for 80 years! She entered from Hollywood, where her first career was as a successful child movie star. Sister’s Mom decided it was best for her to retire at age 5 to enter Kindergarten. Her parents, her family, gave Bobbe (Sr. Joanna) a solid foundation of education, love, joy and abundant gifts to share with others. Sister Joanna has been generous in service and compassion. She worked in ministry in various parts of California and for 45 years in the state of Hawaii.

In today’s first reading the Prophet Isaiah reminds us that our God will never forget us. I believe no matter where Sister Joanna lived or worked, she has helped people to know a loving God who wants the best for them/us: a God who is the Source of all life, a God who knows us, and loves us, and will never forget us. St. Paul in the second reading states: He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness. Sister Joanna, like each of us, has had some tough and difficult times in her life; challenging events and situations over her 100 years. I know Sister has taken time to be, to listen, and to speak from her heart – to pray daily, to request help and to accept the graces/blessings of the Holy Spirit. She has grown in wisdom and understanding. God has brought to light what has been hidden in darkness.

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus says: indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things (food, drink, clothing); but strive first for the kingdom of God. Sister Joanna has a zest for life, she explores mysteries, and works for the Kingdom of God to be present here and now for all God’s people. Let us honor
her and join her in this engagement!

Happy 100th Birthday, Sister Joanna!