Lessons of Yesteryear Ring “Truth” Today
As the season of Jubilee Celebrations begins, the occasion of the 50th Jubilee of Mother Aquinata Fiegler, Superior General of the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids from 1897-1914, is notable. In fact, the head of the Diocese, Bishop Richter, insisted that Mother Aquinata be well-celebrated on her golden anniversary. Friends gathered in great numbers to celebrate the leader who oversaw operations at St. John’s Home, Girls Catholic Central and Boys Catholic Central, and many other ministries of the Congregation. Within months of her Jubilee, this beloved Sister would became ill, cancer was diagnosed. Less than a year later, after a restorative visit to a hospital in San Antonio, she returned to Marywood, called the Sisters together and spoke her farewell. Her words prove how very rich the lessons of yesteryear can be.
“My dear Sisters, do not go into the world; have nothing to do with its gossip, its seeming grandeur nor its styles and fashions, but bring the world to you by your goodness and exhortations; attract it by your example of a truly Christian life, a life in conformity with evangelical counsels, and then by your contact with those children who in later years must needs mingle with the world, you will elevate their tastes and teach them to reduce to practice the Gospel precepts, by which means alone peace is preserved in the family, the basis of society, and thus peace and union may be preserved among nations. Do this, and the work entrusted to your care will continue to be a subject of joy to men and angels.” (Period Pieces, p. 75)