In his homily Chaplain Fr. Michael Gribbon reflected on the lives of St. Edmund of Canterbury and Sister Barbara through the parable of the house built on a solid foundation from Matthew's Gospel.
"St. Edmund is an incredible example of bold learning. He studied in a country foreign to him and devoted himself to the study of mathematics and philosophy. He brought his knowledge back home to Oxford University, perhaps the greatest university in all of England, because of his love of knowledge. What is more interesting is the change in his life where the Pope made him a bishop and a pastor where he dealt with not academic things, but political things. He found himself in direct conflict with the King. He became a very pastorally sensitive, loving figure who stood up for the needs of his people. His bold learning transformed him into an uncommon leader.
Sister Barbara was somebody who practiced Bold Learning and Uncommon leadership in every aspect of her life. She took her learning and used it boldly to lead our community in every way, as a math teacher, an administrator and as campus minister. She found a way to lead all of us closer to God and to closer to understanding who we are in the eyes of God. She helped us to develop these gifts in our own lives, becoming the people God has made us to be.
We see in the life of St. Edmund, the prophet Jeremiah and in the preaching of Jesus, that we must be set on a firm foundation. Who in this room has given you the sense of the foundation which you are set upon? So many people in our lives build us up each day so that we can come to understand how the Lord is working in our lives to empower us to make a difference in our world."
Following the mass, Mr. Jim Grillo '02, Co-Director of Athletics, offered a reflection on Sister Barbara's life and dedicated a shadow box containing symbols of Sister Barbara's three decades of service to St. Edmund Prep in her honor. "What better occasion than the feast of our patron, St. Edmund – in whose service Sister Barbara devoted more than three decades - to take a few moments to celebrate and remember this remarkable woman of faith." said Mr. Grillo. "As we honor her memory, we give thanks to God for “a life that was simple, courageous, and compassionate. May she continue to be with us, to pray with us, and to inspire us.”
The SEP community was honored to welcome Sister Mary Ellen and Sister Grace who represented the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood at this morning's mass.