Mass of the Resurrection Welcome for Ellen Catherine Jackson

delivered by Carol Wagner, RDC

 

Welcome to the Mass of the Resurrection in celebration of the life of Sr. Ellen Catherine Jackson.  

 

I met Ellen Catherine very early in my life.  Ellen’s family lived on Gerber Place block away from my home. 

 

She frequently passed by my mom rocking me in a baby carriage while on her way up Logan Ave.  Then she passed the Kelly and Graham houses on Lawton Ave, and the McCanns on Milton place on her way to St. Frances de Chantal and her family and friends in Silver Beach.  How did we all end up together in this community? 

 

Ellen’s warmth, her friendliness and kindness along with the rest of the Jackson family – deeply influenced our parish, and the Silver Beach and Throgs Neck community.

Kathleen McGrory and her brother, life-long friends of the Jacksons, spoke of Ellen Catherine being like a mother hen to all, and as a great life-long friend to her classmates of St. Frances –

they graduated in 1944, and in later life and more recent years

Ellen kept her elementary school classmates together via email.

 

As an adult, Ellen touched the lives of so many in need

during her 60 plus years in mission and ministry as a nurse. 

Her compassionate nursing care included years at Good Counsel College and the Good Counsel Convent infirmary,

and also included several local NY hospitals after she broadened her nursing skills with a degree in pastoral care, and certification in both Aides and addiction counseling. 

 

Her generous spirit, wisdom and unending kindness touched and led so many people from deep pain and suffering into healing and recovery. 

 

Ellen, always patient, kind and full of compassion took care of people AND loved them tenderly and deeply.  She was truly an instrument of God’s compassion in the lives of our sisters, her family, her many friends and all the patients and clients she cared for for so many years. 

 

Throughout her years in our congregation, Ellen was a woman of courage and commitment, deep faith, gentle humor and, more important, a compassionate presence to each of us.

She graced us with her beautiful singing voice for years in our choir. 

She was filled with kindness and gratitude to all our staff and all who cared for her during her own illness for so many years.

 

We welcome the Jackson family members, cousins, nieces and nephews and her friends who are able to be here with us today today – ‘

we welcome you and share your loss and sadness as we say goodbye to dear Ellen Catherine.

Her gentle and holy presence will be missed by each of us who knew her and loved her.

 

Ellen was someone whose smile and warmth made us all feel special, welcomed and at home. 

Today we celebrate that welcome she received on Friday morning

from her parents, and brother, family,  friends and sisters…

back into the arms of Divine Compassion –   

as she returned home to God.

 

As we celebrate this Liturgy of Resurrection for Sr Ellen Catherine,

let us embrace life as she did with its struggles, challenges and its joys,

filled with gratitude to God for the gift she has been to us,

and for the legacy of compassion

we carry from her in our hearts and lives.