Jan 17 – A Poet More People Should Know – Mary Lou Kownacki

Sister Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB
November 29, 1941 ─ January 6, 2023

“Sister Mary Lou published several books of poetry as well as chapbooks of prayers and poems. Her writing appeared in National Catholic ReporterSojournersCommonweal, and others. She compiled and edited numerous books during her time at Pax Christi and later for other publishers including Orbis Books … Her book Between Two Souls: Conversations with Ryokan (Eerdmans) won a first place Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) in 2005.” https://eriebenedictines.org/story/memoriam-sister-mary-lou-kownacki-osb

“Of the hundreds of poems that Sister Mary Lou wrote, this one, published in her 2004 book, Between Two Soulsseems especially relevant now.

A Friend’s Funeral

She never gave in to weakness
The eulogist said.
And I prayed my mourners
Would hear a friend who preached:
She gave in to every weakness,
All commandments broken with abandon,
All vows stretched to the altar rail and
Pushed through the pews.
In this way
She immersed herself in the human condition.
Weakness was her strongest virtue.
       —Mary Lou Kownacki

from this week’s Vision and Viewpoint e-newsletter from Joan Chittister.

Here is my humble senryu in response: I Wish We’d Met Sooner

our paths crossed too late

to share a bright high noon – yet

sunsets still bring smiles

Thank you, Mary Lou Kownacki, Joan Chittister, and this week’s e-newsletter “compilers” Jacqueline Sanchez-Small, Anne McCarthy, and Benetvision Staff. See https://joanchittister.org/~joanchit/content/newsletters

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