Less than a year before she died, she wrote: "I have lived long enough to be absolutely sure that in this life I can be absolutely certain of only one thing: one thing that will not fail me: one thing that every person must face. Some day, and very soon, no matter how far distant, time for me will cease, and eternity begin. I shall die. Some day, and very soon, curious eyes will pause before a little gravestone in God's acre and read:
BORN: IT MATTERS NOT WHEN.
DIED: YESTERDAY, IN THE LORD.
WHILE IN THE WORLD HE FILLED A
PLACE, NOW FILLED A LITTLE BETTER
THAN JUST AS WELL, BY ANOTHER.
It is wonderful to think that someone a little younger than my Irish grandmother, who liked to say similarly that we could be certain of two things in this life: death and taxes, that someone from New Jersey, the noisome-industrial-corridor-just-after-New-York-City part of the Garden State, might be canonized a saint. Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich died 75 years ago, but her luminous example and teaching are still very much with us. Venerable Miriam Teresa, pray for us.
Dwight G. Duncan is professor at UMass School of Law Dartmouth. He holds degrees in both civil and canon law.
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