Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mission of Friendship Remembers Sister Mary Margaret Kraus, OSB

Sister Mary Margaret spends an afternoon with children
 from Los Amiguitos Daycare Center during a visit in the
early 1990s.
The Mission of Friendship of Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico, wishes to express its deepest sympathy to the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania at the loss of their beloved Sister Mary Margaret Kraus, OSB.  Sister Mary Margaret, who passed away peacefully on May 15th, 2011 in the company of her loved ones at Mount St. Benedict Monastery (Erie, PA), will continue to be remembered for the joyful and compassionate nature that defined her life as a Benedictine sister  wherever she served.
A pillar of the Erie Benedictines for over the course of seven decades, Sister Mary Margaret held a number of important positions throughout her life in the community. Her hallmark achievement was a 14-year position as Monastery prioress, in which she gently guided the community through the challenging transition brought about by Vatican II.  During that time, she also assisted in the planning and development of a new Benedictine Motherhouse.   When her term ended as Prioress, she became the director of the community’s Camp Glinodo. It was work that was tailored to fit her great love of nature and of gardening. Prior to her death, Sister ministered to the women inmates at two local prisons.
Despite her numerous responsibilities in Erie, Sister Mary Margaret fulfilled a life long dream of being a missionary by spending some time at the Erie Diocesan Mission of Friendship in Mérida, Yucatán, México in the 1990’s. She is best remembered at the Mission for her kindness, gentleness and compassion.

Gladys Vasquez-Peña, Coordinator of the Amigos Program for the Mission of Friendship, remembers how faithful Sister was to the children she sponsored, even arranging to be present for the XV birthday celebration of one of her sponsored girls, an important milestone for young girls in Mexico.

As Director of the Los Amiguitos Day Care Center, Silvia Gonzalez Garcia remembers Sister Mary Margaret's compassion and playfulness. "When she had a free moment, she would come to the Day Care Center and play with the children. Even though she didn't speak Spanish, it didn't matter.  The children knew she loved them and they responded to that love and concern.  She was a remarkable woman."

Cari Serafin and Marilyn Randolph, coordinators of the Mission recall numerous times when the Mission community would gather for morning prayer and reflection and Mary Margaret’s name would come up as a model  of holiness. For those who knew her, she was truly a modern saint, in the company of those who knew how to bring virtue to life, especially deep faith, unconditional love, compassion for those who suffer and gentle peace. 

At this difficult time, the Mission of Friendship extends its profound sympathy to all of the Benedictine community while continuing to remember Sister Mary Margaret, her gentle compassion, her deep appreciation of each person she knew and her readiness to celebrate life to the fullest at each moment.
May she rest in peace.

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