Wake Reflection for Sister Mary Lucy Mattingly, OSU
Everyone who loves is begotten by God, and knows God,These were words proclaimed from the second reading at the Eucharistic Liturgy a few hours before our Sister Mary Lucy began eternal life with God, her Creator.In the name of the community, the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph, I offer our love and sympathy to Sister Mary Lucy’s family and friends. To the staff in health care and pastoral care our loving gratitude. To Sister Agnes Catherine, classmate of Sister Mary Lucy, we express our heartfelt sympathy. To you, Sisters Sara and Monica, a special thank you for making our Sister Mary Lucy’s days in Saint Joseph Villa such cheerful ones. You filled her days and evenings with your tender care for her.
Sister Mary Lucy was born Mary Elizabeth, the daughter of William Monroe and Edna Elizabeth Sapp Mattingly on August 20, 1908 in Loretto, Kentucky. Mary Elizabeth was the third of twelve children. She had four brothers and seven sisters. Sister Mary Lucy’s oldest sister was the first of her family to become an Ursuline Sister of Mount Saint Joseph. She was our Sister Joetta. In reflecting on her early memories of childhood, Sister Mary Lucy stated in a June 1, 1978 interview, profiled in The Hancock Clarion, Hawesville, Kentucky, that she grew up in a farm family and devoted quite a bit of energy to outdoor activity, but did not consider herself a tomboy. With twelve children in the family, games were easy to get started. Someone was always in the mood to play. “We had a large lawn, and we could go to a big field if the games needed more room than we had in the yard,” she reminisced. “We played ball and we liked to play croquet. I always managed to have a pet. I never cared for cats. I did like dogs to some extent. It was the small undersized calf or pig that I claimed as my pet. That particular tiny creature was all mine.”
When Mary Elizabeth was 15 she made the decision to become a sister. “Mainly,” she said, “I wanted to dedicate my life to God and to teach little children.” On June 21, 1924, at the age of fifteen going on sixteen, Mary Elizabeth entered the postulancy program of the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph. On March 19, 1925, Mary Elizabeth received the name of Sister Mary Lucy.
Sister Mary Lucy professed temporary vows on August 15, 1927 and perpetual vows on August 15, 1930. The initial years as woman religious for Sister Mary Lucy were spent in the ministry of housekeeping in missions in Nebraska and Kentucky. In 1953 Sister Mary Lucy began the ministry of education and taught the very young in schools throughout Kentucky
for the next 22 years. Twelve of those years were spent at Immaculate Conception School in Hawesville, Kentucky.
When Sister Mary Lucy retired as first and second grade teacher at Immaculate Conception School, she was missioned to Saint Martin School in Rome, Kentucky. There she tutored little children and found time to sew, crochet, and knit. She also found time to cultivate and care for flowers. Gloxinias, begonias, and African violets were some of her favorite floral plants.
Known as a revered teacher and a valued friend, Sister Mary Lucy retired here to the motherhouse in 1981. She continued with her sewing and needlecrafts. There were many times in these recent years that Sister Mary Lucy seemed to come near the threshold of death. God allowed her to stay on earth, where she delighted us and graced us with her sweetness and child-like response to life.
Then deep in the Easter season, prior to the celebration of the feast of the Ascension, on May 25, 2003, in the 78`a year of her life as a woman religious, Sister Mary Lucy, age 94, came to the threshold of death and was called by name by LOVE to new life.
Sister Mary Lucy, God placed in your heart a marvelous love. You are a sign, a message through which God’s love was made tangible in a world that so longs to live in love and peace.
Sister Rose Marita
Congregational Leader 2000-2004
May 27, 2003