Wake Reflection for Sister Mary Cabrini Foushee
July 28, 2016
At 1:10 p.m. on July 27, our God greeted Sister Mary Cabrini to her new life — a life of peace without pain, a life of celebration and welcome by our Ursuline Saints. Sister Therese Margaret and Sister Jean Madeline were surely there to greet her.
Mary Rosaline Foushee was born on Sept. 22, 1930, the third child of William Albert and Virginia Frances Mills Foushee at Ekron, Ky. She was the oldest girl in the family with six sisters and three brothers. She now joins her brothers Charles Albert, Bernard Alexander, James Aloysius, and sisters Rita Evelyn, Ann Jeanette and Dorothy Jean in heaven. Her sisters, Margaret Laverne, Therese Frances and Mary Martina were very important to her. Therese, we offer you and your other family members our sympathy and prayers as we celebrate the life of your sister and our Ursuline Sister.
When she was almost 7, she began her formal education at St. Martin School in Flaherty, Ky., where she had Mount Saint Joseph Ursulines for teachers. She graduated from St. Martin High School as class Valedictorian in May 1949. At that time, she received a scholarship to Brescia College.
In July of 1949, she made the decision to enter the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph instead of going to Brescia. On her entrance questionnaire she was asked, “What is your motive in wishing to become a religious?” Her answer was, “My motive in wishing to become a religious is to become a saint and help save the souls of others.” As we learn more about her life, we will surely see that she fulfilled her wish many times over.
Twenty-five people entered the community with her. The sisters remaining in her class are Sister Marie Goretti Browning, Sister Mary Elaine Burke, Sister Marie Carol Cecil, Sister Mary Jude Cecil, Sister Amanda Rose Mahoney, Sister Mary Alfreda Malone, Sister Mary Angela Matthews, and Sister Joan Walz. Sisters, we want you to know that we are praying with you and for you as you say good bye to your sister in Community.
On Aug. 14, 1950, Mary Rosaline received the habit and the name of Sister Mary Cabrini. She began her teaching career in 1952 at St. Columba in Louisville, where she taught the second grade for five years. During that period of time she was taking classes in the summer at Brescia to get her first degree. She earned a bachelor of arts in education in 1966. From there she spent the next seven years in Nebraska, teaching at St. Bernard, Nebraska City, and St. John, Plattsmouth. She also continued to go to summer school and in 1970 she gained her masters of science degree in administration and education from Indiana University. She taught school and went to school at the same time for 20 years.
From 1964 to 1994, she taught in Kentucky schools in Rome, Stanley, Radcliff and Leitchfield. Most of the time she taught the intermediate and upper grades along with being principal. In 1972, she received a Certificate of Recognition from Georgia State University School of Education for meritorious service to a program called Follow Through for Families and Children.
In June 1994, after 42 years of teaching, she retired from classroom teaching and principalship and became a director of religious education at St. Anthony Church in Axtel, Ky. At St. Anthony, she directed and taught the elementary and high school students, ministered to the shut-ins, visiting them in hospitals and rest homes and did many other activities around the parish. She loved working with Father Bruce Fogle, who was the pastor there and also her former student. She kept in contact with many of her students. To all her faithful students who are with us, we pray for you as well.
In June of 2000, she was named Citizen of the Week by the Meade County Herald News. The citation said,” A native of Meade County and the eldest of ten children, she grew up loving sports and reading and worked hard to improve things, helping tend to her younger siblings, white-washing out-buildings and making flower beds…. Inasmuch as this faithful and committed servant of God has successfully used her talents for the good of all people, the members of this august body are delighted to express sincere admiration for Sister Mary Cabrini.”
In 2004, Sister Mary Cabrini returned to the Motherhouse. At the Motherhouse, she was always busy quilting in the morning, writing letters to the homebound in the afternoon and in the evening she served at the switchboard, taking the many calls coming in to the sisters. Her quilts were beautiful and she completed many before her fingers could not make the stitches any more.
In 2011, Sister Mary Cabrini retired. She became quite ill but continued to smile, spread good cheer and began her new role of full time prayer for the community. She spent the past five years in the Villa. Our staff in the Villa loved Sister Mary Cabrini and took such good care of her. We are so grateful to you for your loving care of our sister and we thank you for all you do for all of our sisters there.
Last week, Sister Mary Cabrini must have realized that God would soon be calling her home. She decided that she didn’t want any more medicine and that she was ready to answer her final call. On Wednesday, shortly after she received the Anointing of the Sick, she fulfilled her wish to become a saint and help save souls.
Cabrini, we ask you to intercede for us before the face of God and send us five women to take your place. And if at least one of them can quilt, we will be grateful.
God bless all of you.
Sister Amelia Stenger
Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph