Written by Michael Fones
Thursday, 13 November 2008 17:06
Sr. Renilde Cade, OP, former Prioress General of the Mission San Jose Dominican sisters and more recently a member of the Tucson Dominican community, passed away a few minutes ago. A week ago today she fell in a hall at the Newman Center at the University of Arizona where she was on the staff, and suffered a fractured skull with internal bleeding in her brain. Although the bleeding had stopped and the swelling had been reduced significantly, her brain function steadily decreased and she entered the arms of her Lord peacefully, surrounded by members of the Dominican community and friends from the Newman community.
Renilde was a lovely person. She was always kind, patient, gentle, loving and hard-working. She was incredibly charitable towards people who didn't seem to deserve such charity - and who didn't necessarily reciprocate.
She loved Jesus.
I loved teasing her, because she would smile and say things like, "Michael, you're terrible!" When she was Prioress General - for ten years, no less - she said that whenever things were tough she'd clean the bathrooms of the motherhouse. Then Sr. Diane, the other MSJ sister in our community, and Renilde's dear friend, would say, "and boy, were they spotless!"
Some people age gracefully; and by that, I mean God's grace becomes all the more obvious in their lives. That was Renilde. Her sudden death is a shock to her many, many friends, and especially to her Mission San Jose sisters who love her dearly.
Our lives are so short, really, and so incredibly fragile - much more so than we suspect. We almost never know when the dawn brings our final day on earth. The last time I saw Renilde, we hugged and wished each other well and said, "See you at Thanksgiving."
Little did I know that the thanksgiving we'd be joining with each other would be the Eucharist. Tomorrow when I preside at Mass, I'll remember dear, dear Renilde, and trust that she will be among the cloud of witnesses surrounding the altar who have gone before us in faith and through the door of death into the fullness of life.
Therefore, "let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us
while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God." Heb 12:1b-2
Please pray for Sr. Renilde.