Sr. Mary Teresa Leindecker

Sr. Mary Teresa Leindecker

February 9, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON &– Born Dec. 1, 1911, in Clyde, Sister Mary Teresa Leindecker served 85 years as a contemplative nun before dying at age 103.

Sister Carmelita Ramos shared her life with Leindecker at the Edmonton Precious Blood Monastery.

Now living in Calgary's Monastery of the Precious Blood, Ramos says, "I miss her already."

She described Leindecker as "a most generous person. If you ask for something, she goes way beyond what you could use, especially food. It would just be more than what they can consume."

When they lived in Edmonton, the sisters celebrated both birthdays and feastdays.

"She would ask the (celebrating) sister what she would like and she would buy it for her," said Ramos.

Like most Catholics, Leindecker had favourite saints. When asked, Ramos' response was instant. The two Teresas – St. Teresa of Avila and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. "She also revered Our Lady of Fatima."

And for her birthdays and feast days, her favourite hymn was How Great Thou Art.

They two nuns had known each other since 1991 and then Ramos moved to Calgary when the Edmonton monastery was closed in 2012.

ASKED FOR MASSES

The Sisters of Providence cared for the aging Leindecker in their infirmary until her death Jan. 22.

"I just want Masses for my soul," she told those surrounding her as death approached.

Although there came a time when she could not speak, her lips moved to the lyrics "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine."

"The day before her death on Jan. 22, she squeezed her hand," recalled Ramos.

Father Jim Corrigan anointed the dying sister.

Ramos said those surrounding Leindecker "could feel a presence. Someone was there to take her to heaven."

The Mass of Christian Burial was concelebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Gregory Bittman and Father Paul Moret at the Providence Centre Jan. 29. Interment followed in St. Joachim's Cemetery.