I am with you on the journey, words we sing so often but not necessarily see the power and influence of God’s companionship on our life’s journey. Today we celebrate Eleanor Ann Novak, a Sister of St. Joseph for sixty years in this her Jubilee Year. Eleanor knew early on that God was with her on her life’s journey. Born to Anna and Peter in Brooklyn, Eleanor’s father died when she was just thirteen years old. As her mother worked at night to support her family, Eleanor took on the care of her two younger siblings, Mary Ann and Eddie. After her high school years At St. Joseph’s in Brooklyn Eleanor continued to work and entered the congregation in 1957.
As many of our sisters did at that time, Eleanor began teaching in Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Martin of Tours, St. Francis de Sales, Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Brendan’s.
Her sense of responsibility and her experience organizing things to help care for her family helped Eleanor when she began her clerical ministry in Catholic Medical Center in Queens and Mary Immaculate Hospital. For twenty two years, Eleanor ministered at St Joseph’s Children’s Center in Brooklyn.
Eleanor put her trust in her loving God as her ministry touched so many who cared for the ill, the infirmed and vulnerable children. As always, doing what needed to be done, a true Sister of St. Joseph, Eleanor remained faithful and attentive to her family. Never forgetting special days with cards and gifts she created for her them, Eleanor enjoyed times with her nieces and nephews and of course they were delighted. She had a deep sense of God’s unconditional love for all of God’s children and she shared her gifts where they were needed.
Struggling over these past years with illness and vulnerability, it was that trust in God that enabled Eleanor to place the ultimate trust that enabled her to move into the loving embrace of the God she trusted all of her life. Now the clouds of sorrow are removed and Eleanor is at peace, happy and joyful because God has saved her.
Sister Eleanor Ann Novak, CSJ died on September 3, 2017 in the 60th year of her religious life.