In a reading from the Book of Wisdom we hear “those who trust in God shall understand.” Today we come together to celebrate the life of a woman of great trust who understood, a Sister of Saint Joseph for nearly sixty eight-years, Sister Virginia Zimmermann. Virginia had a deep understanding of God’s love for her and the importance of bearing that love to others. As a teacher of children she was deeply connected to her students and to their families who recognized her deep faith and the encouragement and wisdom that flowed from it.
Marie Zimmermann entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on September 8, 1945 and at Reception, she received the name Sister Virginia Maria. She earned a BBA from St. John’s University and spent most of her years of ministry teaching in elementary schools. In 1993, she began her ministry of visiting the homebound and continued in that until her retirement.
As Sisters of Saint Joseph we live our lives to witness to God’s inclusive love and work for justice to break down barriers of poverty, discrimination and exclusion. Virginia lived our mission wherever she ministered and all were welcomed with her warm smile and encouraging words. Whether as a classroom teacher for forty-five years or ministering to the homebound, she clearly helped others discover God’s limitless love in their lives. Despite difficult challenges in life they could always turn to a benevolent God. Virginia modeled this as she faced multiple challenges in her own life.
The Sisters of Saint Joseph work to bring all into union with God and with the dear neighbor. Relationships were core in Virginia’s life as was her long friendship with Sister Helen Geagan and her dear family. She stayed close the people of Precious Blood and St Francis de Chantal over the years. Those relationships are not limited to the time and space of this life but live on in the memories, thoughts and spirit of Virginia who is part of our lives through all eternity. Yes Virginia, you trusted and now fully understand. We know as Wisdom tells us “grace and mercy are with you, the holy one, and God’s care is with you as one of God’s chosen ones.”