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News & Current Events

News & Current Events

Alice Whitehead, IBVM

Posted on January 11, 2017 in: In Memoriam

Entered Life: April 3, 1913  
Entered Religious Life:  August 15, 1932
Born to Eternal Life:  January 11, 2017

" With You, in You, to You"

 

Alice Whitehead lived the length and width of her life to the fullest for 103 years. And she departed this world leaning into the love of her God. What really mattered for her was not the bookends of birth and death but the middle time of life.

Her middle time consisted of three passions: books, library work and traveling. She was a book enthusiast, reading some books twice! And, like our founder Mary Ward, Alice knew the meaning of “galloping girl” visiting numerous countries and most of the U.S. More importantly, Alice yearned to know her God. She used the words of Hosea to express her life mission “Strive to know the Lord for you are loved.”

She accomplished this mission by living the motto on her ring tecum in te and ad te (for 84 years as an IBVM). In her words – “To live a life of service in companionship with Jesus keeps me aware of Jesus life of service. Dependence on the grace of the Holy Spirit directs me to provide what I can to simplify the life of another. And, when the situation is desperate all I can do is pray, go to God.”

Alice must have felt alone, a little desperate in later life, somewhat like Peter and the Disciples after Jesus’ death, asking: Where are you Jesus? How come I am still here? Then the invite came: Come Alice. Close the book of your life. Her response, “ad te TO GOD!”

–Jean Okroi, IBVM an excerpt from her homily at Alice’s funeral mass

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