Entered Life: November 4, 1933
Entered Religious Life: September 8, 1951
Entered Eternal Life: July 10, 2023
“Finding God in all things.”
Rosemary Lynch, IBVM – Rosemary Beth Lynch, (Sr.Donald) Graduating from Loretto Englewood in 1951, Rosemary entered the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, (Loretto Sisters). A woman of many talents and interests, Rosemary’s areas of ministry included teaching at St. Cyril, St. Adrian, St. Bride (all in Chicago), St Francis High School in Wheaton; Religious Education in Joliet, Elk Grove, Bensenville and Naperville. She started Mary Ward Center in Chicago. Her leadership ministries were in Toronto as General Councilor, and Wheaton as the US Provincial. In all areas, she was known for her passion for justice. Rosemary was predeceased in death by her parents Ernest and Rose, her brother Ernie.
Memorials may also be sent to IBVM Development Office, Box 508, Wheaton, IL 60187.
Funeral Reflection by Betty Crotty, IBVM
July 15, 2023
Readings: Revelations 21:1-7; 1 John 3:18-24; Matthew 25:31-46
“This is the hardest thing Rosemary asked me to do. First, I am not a good homilist and more importantly, it means that we have to say goodbye at this celebration of her life. When she asked me to do this, I said “yes” figuring I’d go first and she would have to do this for me. We have been friends and sisters together for almost 72 years. Sometimes we were very close at other times a bit distant but always there for each other.
Rosemary’s choice of the readings today express so much about her. She looked forward to a new Heaven and a new Earth when she was no longer crippled by infirmity. She could rejoice with her family and friends, she and Mary Catherine could finally see the white sox have a winning season and party for all important events like St. Patrick’s day, July 4th, and any other occasion that they could think of.
The reading from St. John tells us that our heavenly home will be ours if we just love. Rosemary’s love extended to all she encountered – the IBVM community, the people she worked with in her ministries, her family, the people at St. Patrick’s who helped her daily as she became more and more disabled. When Rosemary had visitors she felt love and loved those who came to share their life with her.
Rosemary was so grateful to all those who cared for her especially Sister Julie, Nancy and of course her chauffeurs Andy and Dana. She loved the times when she was visited by our IBVM family and had a wonderful day visiting with all of us at Sr. Carmel’s Reception. She loved seeing or hearing from old friends and when it was no longer possible for her to visit them, she was thrilled when they came to visit or call.
One of the great gifts Rosemary gave me was our daily phone calls. Each day around 1:00 we would connect to share our everyday joys and sorrows. We talked about the Cubs and the Soxs, the food for dinner, the latest book she was reading, the weather, but also all the things that were going on in the Community.
There were also times when one of us, or both, were just a listening ear to our venting. The conversations topics were not so important but really ways we could communicate our love and care for each other.
Sometimes just Presence is the gift of love we give each other.
The Gospel Reading speaks to us of ministry. Rosemary’s life was one of service to God and all of God’s creation. Her list of ministries include teacher, director of Religious Education, founder and director of Mary Ward Center, pastoral associate, part of the Loretto extension staff, development director, and provincial just to name some of the official ones.
Rosemary’s ministry was not always easy. When trying to serve God’s people Rosemary sometimes ran into difficulties (good ones). She was fired twice for trying to promote Vatican II reforms . She says she maybe lacked “tact,” …I think she was acting exactly like a Mary Ward Woman .
As a Provincial, Rosemary worked with the California Sisters in the selling of our School—a very difficult time , she also had to start working on our Wheaton property only to have the whole plan collapse.
Rosemary sought to serve our needy in Chicago and we started Mary Ward Center. It was her way of feeding the hungry and shelter to the homeless. Giving people help in language and reading enabled them to get jobs so they could feed their families and provide housing for the homeless.
One could go on and on extolling the virtues of this great woman, needless to say Our God says to you, ‘my dear daughter, Rosemary, come to your new heaven and your new earth, rejoice in the joy of no pain or sorrow. You have been a loving presence in the lives of so many of my people, you have served Me well.’
Knowing what is in the heart of our beloved Rosemary, please accept a sincere gratitude for every gift of time and friendship you have been for her.
There is so much more we can say about our Rosemary and I invite you to share your stories with each other.”