We celebrate the life of Sister Judith Summerville, a Sister of Saint Joseph for almost sixty-nine years. This is “ordinary time” reminding us that that it is in the everyday activities of life that we ponder and deepen our understanding of God’s presence, strengthening us and enabling us to live out the gospel message to heal, redeem and liberate all in need. Judith knew this from an early age as her mother, Margaret, died when she was three years old and her father died soon after her first profession.
Judith’s faithfulness and sense of responsibility were evident as she ministered each day in the classroom as teacher and later as Principal of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Far Rockaway. It was in the ordinary that Judy drew closer to her loving God. God was present to her through all of creation, in her relationships with her family and in her love of fishing.
Her response to the call to do congregational service led her to coordinate special events in our motherhouse and eventually to be the Sacristan for Sacred Heart Chapel, a position she faithfully carried out for over thirty years. At the same time she responded to the spiritual needs of residents of Pilgrim State Hospital as their chaplain for over twenty years. She loved being with the staff and residents and again was a faithful, encouraging presence.
As Sacristan, Judith carefully tended the many details involved in preparing this space for ordinary days and the many extraordinary events that occurred here. Attentive and constant, she reverenced this chapel where Eucharist is celebrated daily. She knew in her heart that partaking in the Eucharist she was one with the Creator and believed as our gospel tells us “whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
Sister Mary Judith Summerville,CSJ died on August 20,2015 in the 69th year of her religious life.