Hugs, Hope, and a Cardinal
Today I am grateful for the day I shared with family members, my aunt's Franciscan sisters, and many others who honored the life of Sr. Norma Jean Holthaus on Wednesday. I am grateful for safe travels that brought us all to and from her funeral and burial.
Add to my gratitude list hugs, hope, and a cardinal.
The hugs of recent months, after so many months when they were so limited, have felt powerfully human and connecting. I appreciated sharing hugs with cousins, some who I hadn't seen for years.
The hope was palpable too. In the energy of songs, readings, and the stories of Sr. Norma Jean that were shared. You made such a difference Norma Jean, and the hope you helped create will continue to spread and heal others.
The Reverend John Haugen gave a beautiful homily at her funeral mass. They knew each other for over forty years, and I could hear in his voice the genuine love, admiration, respect, and connection they shared. Here are some of his words:
“We are people of hope.”
"She had a profound sense of acceptance."
"Her hope is our hope."
"How she glorified God was a lived reality."
"She met people where they were at. Listening. Listening. Listening."
"It was a search for meaning, not about fixing things."