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  • Monica Daniel Madden, SNDdeNM

Sisters Garden of Prayer and Peace

Sister Monica offered the following reflection as we dedicated the garden to all of the religious sisters who have served South Boston.

Our Place of Hope - Monica Daniel Madden, SNDdeNM

This is a great day. We, as a community are giving a piece of land a new purpose. As I reflected on what I would share with you this morning, I added four more words to its name: Peace Garden - Our Place of Hope.

Human hands turned the earth over, tidied it up and freed it from any litter that marred the beauty that was within it. New seeds were put down and familiar bushes were planted to add special spots of beauty. In time they will be sturdier and offer shade from the hot sun to some of the plants beneath them.

Some familiar people to us, whom we have known from childhood in a certain sense, have come to live here. St. Francis brought the animals and his love of nature. Mary, our mother is here also. Many of us “old timers” remember putting a May altar together in our homes and participating in May processions around our city streets, asking Mary to bless our families. Jesus on the cross tells us once again in a vivid way his love for us, even to death of a cross.

When it was decided that this “Holy Ground” would be dedicated to all religious sisters who ever ministered to the people of South Boston in the past, presently, or in the future, we were so happy about that announcement. When tracing back how many religious congregations have been here the list was long. Many educated the children along with adult learners. Others helped new mothers learn the intricacies of motherhood and supplied child care when parents had to work. As immigrants arrived, sisters helped people with language skills and become a citizen in a new land. How many of our loved ones were nursed at the “Old Carney”, which ultimately became Marian Manor, where the Sisters accompanied our loved ones on the road back to heaven. These are only a few examples of our ministries.

The community of South Boston has sent many women to explore religious life. These Sisters continue to minister outside the borders of South Boston. It is so evident that members of this community along with the Sisters encouraged your children to “give back” to the community. We could go on and on but a pat on the back may be physically hard to give yourself, but very easy to give one another.

Many aspects of life and transitions have impacted the lives of religious sisters. We too have moved in response to the needs of the times and it has been a challenge for all of us. The Sisters will always remember you in their prayers. You can always depend on that.

So, the Peace Garden has brightened Preble Street and it is, I believe, the wish of every Sister gathered here today that as you drive or walk by you look at this ‘holy ground” and remember that the Sisters are praying for you and the community of South Boston. Thank you for supporting us in this community, even when you couldn’t quite understand some decisions we had to make. You have honored us today. We ask you to pray that we continue to be religious sisters who, with you, spread the Good News that God is with us.

May we continue to place our trust in Him and in the goodness of one another.

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