We celebrate the life of Sister Rose Damien, a Sister of Saint Joseph for nearly seventy-two years. All who knew her knew of her deep faith, integrity and steadfastness. Love of God and neighbor without distinction is inherent to our congregation’s mission. We believe that openness to the power of God’s love, active in all creation, will empower us to bear that love wherever there is need. Rose’s relationship with our loving God was intimate and formative in her own life.
Rose earned a BA in Italian at Manhattan College, an MA in History at St John’s University, an MLS in Library Science at St John’s University and Certification in Chaplaincy from the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.
Attentive to the Spirit, Rose opened herself to minister as teacher in elementary and high school. She willingly served the congregation in the Novitiate when there was a need and eventually returned to school to study Library Science and minister in Brentwood College.
Rose cared deeply for people and in consistent and simple ways reminded them that whatever was happening in their lives was in God’s loving hands. She brought her deep faith and trust in God’s healing and reconciling love to all she ministered to as hospital chaplain. As a true sister of the neighbourhood, Rose quietly and efficiently did whatever needed to be done as she ministered to the parishioners her eat St. Anne’s. She did it with compassion and the understanding that she was extending Jesus’ invitation to all who labor and are burdened to come and be refreshed.
We all know Rose was organized, thoughtful and planned carefully. She was attentive to detail and I am sure that flowed from her careful listening to God’s whisperings in her heart. Rose’s love and care was extended to her sisters in community and to her family whom she loved dearly. In her last illness she was at peace because she knew in her heart the words of a loving God we will hear in our first reading today: Because you are precious in my eyes and glorious and because I love you, fear not.”
Sister Rose Damien Killeen, CSJ died on July 8, 2014 in the 72nd year of her religious life.