Eulogy for Sister Ann Glatter — March 28, 1929 – Aug. 8, 2020

August 10, 2020 by

Vigil: Aug. 11, 2020, at the Nazareth Motherhouse
Eulogist: Written by Sister Mary Savoie and read by Sister Jean Rosemarynoski

Sister Ann Glatter, daughter of Vincent and Ann (Frank) Glatter, was born on March 28, 1929 on a farm northwest of Amherst, Nebraska, and given the name Mary Alice Glatter. She had three sisters and three brothers; three died in infancy and Margaret, Nancy and Don are all deceased. Her 18 nieces and nephews have always been the highlight of Mary Alice’s life.

Mary Alice Glatter left home to follow God’s call when her parents would, no doubt, have appreciated her assistance with their busy family life on the farm. But God had always been first in her life and the life of her parents and family.

Mary Alice Glatter attended Sunny Side Grade School which was across the pasture from her home. She graduated from the Amherst, Nebraska, High School in 1947.

On February 2, 1948, a blustery blizzard cold day, at the age of 19 years, Mary Alice Glatter came up the long front steps of Nazareth Convent in Concordia, Kansas. Her possessions were a deck of cards, a little toy tractor, and a 10 cent set of silverware purchased at a store on her trip to Concordia. She walked in the front door totally unexpected as she had never answered the letter from the convent stating the date of entrance for the postulants.

When she entered the novitiate, Mary Alice received the name Sister Ann Vincent. In August of 1949, she pronounced her temporary vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity. She pronounced her final vows on Aug. 15, 1953. Her surviving band member is Sister Charlotte Lutgen. She later dropped the name Vincent and preferred just Sister Ann.

To share some highlights of Sister Ann’s life among us, I would like to quote some of the personal messages she wrote about herself for her 70th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph. We all know about the many years she provided tons of fresh vegetables and fruit for our meals here at the Motherhouse. But here is what she shared about herself as she celebrated her 70th year among us.

“There have been many joys in my life as a Sister of St. Joseph. I was able to serve the poor and needy in many ways. I supported many teenaged boys who were going through the court system and had them work out their probation with me in our community garden. Many other young people came and worked with me in the garden. I also appreciated the many times I was able to help men traveling through Concordia and in need of assistance. I called them ‘St. Josephs’ and tried to be, as Jesus would have been, helpful to them. Also, over the years I have been able to belong to and help the St. Joseph’s Hospital Auxiliary, especially their Mardi Gras celebrations. I also spent many hours praying in the chapel, especially during the funeral services of our Sisters. In fact, I had the privilege of being a Hospice Volunteer during which I visited and prayed with many dying persons. Letter writing was also a wonderful way to stay in touch with friends and offer prayers for them. I am very grateful for my life among my Sisters of St. Joseph. I am truly blessed. My life has been full to the brim.”

Sister Ann Glatter’s life was one of admired talents, hard work, total self-giving, sensitive compassion, assistance to people living in poverty and down-trodden, and fulfillment of her deep and life-time oneness with the earth and God’s creatures. All she did was for the benefit of others.

She entered into contact with soil and she felt at one with the Earth. She once said of herself: “I probably would not have persevered in religious life had I not been able to be in touch with the soil and roam around through garden paths each day and night. A garden’s beauty is not only a thing of joy to me, but also a sign of God’s loving providence over all of us, his children.”

Sister Ann would not be happy with us if all we concentrated on were the so called ‘flowers’ of her life. As we all know, some of the garden in her life wilted and was drought stricken. There were several crooks and curves and near dead-ends in her life. She recently said this about her life: “There have been many trials in my life when temptations to live respectfully were painful to me, but with God’s help and the help of my community members, I labored untiringly in the Lord’s vineyard”.

Sister Ann also asked that the following reflection be added to her eulogy. I believe it is an honest reflection of her daily conversion of heart.

“In a sense my religious life mirrors the work undertaken in the garden. Daily existence in the convent has its quiet succession of hours, days, months, seasons and years in which I was given the time to labor spiritually for the good of my soul. The autumn of my life has arrived and I look forward to reaping from the seeds of my life with sincere humility. I pray daily to the Lord of the harvest, to be able to yield a bountiful crop rendering fruit into eternal life knowing that the humble work of my hands has been a form of prayer.”

Faithful to prayer, retirement offered Sister Ann the opportunity to spend a notable amount of time in the Motherhouse chapel, communing with, as she put it, ‘Our Blessed Lord’ and inspiring those who observed her daily communing with God, manifested in her relaxed, smiling, contemplative countenance.

Sister Ann died on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020.

So now we say, thank you, dear friend, for your life among us as we return you to God’s loving embrace.

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