Barbara Monaghan entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on September 8, 1940. At Reception, she received the name Sister Barbara Francis.
Barbara earned at BA in English and an MS in math from St. John’s University. She later received certification as a Spiritual Director. She used this background as an educator and later as a Spiritual Director.
As we begin this Lenten season we are called to return to our loving God with all of our heart. If we reflect honestly, this is a desire and yearning that draws all of us into the mystery of God’s unconditional love for all. What a perfect time to celebrate Barbara’s life journey with a loving family and as a Sister of St. Joseph.
Our congregation’s mission is rooted in the mission of Jesus to bring God’s healing and reconciling love to all. Barbara knew that love deep in her being. This awareness influenced everything she did and was reflected in the multiple ways she helped others to recognize God’s love ever active in their lives. As teacher, administrator, spiritual director and supervisor, Barbara’s faithfulness to listening to God moved her to be an attentive, patient and peaceful presence to so many over the years.
During this Lenten season we are asked to step back from busy daily routines, to put many distractions aside and tend to the stirrings of God in our hearts. Such stirrings move us to be more aware of others’ needs and extend ourselves to meet them. Barbara did this her entire life, not limited to a particular time or season. In her gentle and perceptive ways she encouraged others to know God’s power and presence in their lives.As Barbara lived her life, in active times and in times of diminishment, she longed to experience the fullness of life promised to us all.
As we look to the celebration of Easter at the end of this Lenten season, we can rejoice with Barbara that she is now united with the God who lured her, nurtured her and sustained her to live her life for others. In faith we believe that life is not ended but changed. So today we honor Barbara and thank her for the witness of her life drawing all into union with God and all creation.
Sister Barbara Monaghan, CSJ died on March 1, 2014 in the 74th year of her religious life.