March 1, 2000 Vol. 14, No. 1 [p. 3]

"Each life is a miracle that changes the world... and leaves it a better place than it was before."

Sr. Maggie Kosse

The Sisters of St. Francis,
Dubuque, Iowa

and the
Dwelling Place Community,
Brooksville, Mississippi

invite you to celebrate
the birth
into eternal life

Sister Margaret Kosse, O S F

Born: July 20, 1927 in LeMars, Iowa

Departed this life: March 31, 2000 in the 55th year of her Religious life.

Mass of Christian Burial at Mount St. Francis, Dubuque, Iowa April 5, 2000

Entered the Sisters of St. Francis: August 25, 1944

Made Final profession of vows: August 12, 1950

Served in Iowa at Ashton, Ossian, and Dubuque

Served in Illinois at Midlothian and Niles

Served in Mississippi at Brooksville since 1987

"The reign of God is like a merchant's search for fine pearls. When one pearl of great value was found, the merchant went back and sold everything and bought it." Matt. 13:45-46

Maggie was indeed God's precious pearl-- for Margaret means pearl. I wanted each of you who knew Maggie to receive this last tribute to her. Each of us has our own story to tell: "Maggie stories" of card games, brats and beer, rhubarb pie, and prayers answered. She lives on in our hearts.

Maggie had elective surgery at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo on March 30 and came through the surgery fine. On the following morning Mary Horrell and I went to take her home to heal. We stepped out for a sandwich while the nurse was checking her out.

When we returned hospital personnel filled her room. After some minutes we were informed that Maggie had died of a massive blood clot in her lung. The subsequent autopsy revealed that she had died instantly after she rang for the nurse and informed her that she was experiencing shortness of breath.

We, her community and friends, were shocked. We immediately felt the pain of our loss but had to admit that for Sr. Maggie it was exactly what she would have wanted. If God had asked her how she wanted to die, she would have said, "To die with my boots on." Her wish was granted.

We returned her body to The Dwelling Place for the last time for all her friends in Mississippi to say Goodbye as they came for visitation, a Wake Service on Saturday and a Special Eucharistic Liturgy on Sunday.

Her body was laid out in the very room and under the same San Damiano crucifix in Umbria Guest House where she had celebrated her Golden Jubilee- a most appropriate place, a place she loved so much. It was all done in true Maggie style-- with lots of prayer, good stories, and lots of food! The crowd of mourners overflowed to every room and the porches.

I used to tease her, "Maggie, you think food!" Food was the vehicle for an essential part of her ministry of hospitality. Everyone felt love from her, whether she was conversing and giving advice over a cup of coffee or preparing their special food.

But there was another side of Maggie's ministry, too. I knew her as a woman of deep faith and prayer. She had much power with God in her prayers of intercession, especially for healing. Many people attested to the effectiveness of her prayer during the Wake services. Through her gift of wisdom and discernment, she spoke God's truth to people.

Though Maggie and I had known each other and had shared life, our faith and prayer many times before coming to Brooksville, during these last 13 years, "Clare-n-Maggie" became one word.

She was also a 'precious pearl' to me-- a real friend, confidant, support and soul mate. Though we did not always agree, our love and acceptance of one another was always evident to those around us.

Though I learned to slow my pace to match her painful stride, she was always in step with me in my vision and plans for The Dwelling Place. She endured much physical pain through her many surgeries but she never complained. Pain was her life partner.

She was supportive of the new community forming at The Dwelling Place but wanted always to remain a Dubuque Franciscan. Her death severs an important tie with the Franciscan Community as The Dwelling Place Community stands more separate. We have a great intercessor in Maggie.

We are most grateful for all who have sent memorials. Those and all future gifts in her memory will be put toward "Sister Maggie's Kitchen" in our new staff house. We still have payments to make on our note; when she died she was storming heaven that it would be paid off this year.


Also, if anyone of you reading this feels called to provide food service at The Dwelling Place, we are eagerly accepting offers!

Please do stop by for prayer or a cup of coffee and chocolate chip cookies. Mary and I will keep those traditions alive.

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