Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Loving God and neighbor without distinction: A pontifical institute of women religious of the Roman Catholic Church

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Sister Rosemary Foreman

January 5, 1951 – December 4, 2023

“It’s a belonging, an inner strength, a different kind of energy, a greater confidence in what I’m about and what I’m doing… that all feels like part of the mystery of religious life in today’s world.”

That was Rosemary Foreman’s reflection when she made her vow as an Agrégée sister on August 2, 2009. Rosemary described one of the most fulfilling aspects of being an Agrégée as “being part of something bigger than myself. That has given me inner growth and a greater sense of wholeness and peace within”.

She understood that at the time she was feeling called to the Concordia congregation, she was also facing what she called the “middle-of-life stuff” – her parents were ill and required care. She herself was a couple of years away from retirement.

Yet, there was a call. She and Sister Rosabel Flax, the first woman to pronounce her vows as an Agrégée helped define what would be the Agrégée form of membership for the Concordia Congregation. Rosabel professed her vow a year before Rosemary did. 

Rosemary grew up in Topeka Kansas, the third of five children, all girls. She attended Catholic elementary and Catholic high school. She saw her mother as the “cornerstone and strength” of the family and her father as the “breadwinner”. He owned a Phillip 66 full-service filling station and she got to go on service calls with him learning about auto mechanics. She had a lifelong love of cars! She was grateful to both of her parents for the legacy of love and appreciation of travel.

That love of travel and adventure took Rosemary to many jobs all over the country. She managed a flower shop in Denver, worked for Goodyear Tire Company in Akron Ohio, and became a service representative in Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota. She also worked in Dallas for a while before returning Topeka in 1984, where she began her career with the Kansas Corporation Commission as the Public Information Officer in charge of communications and spokesperson for the agency.

Rosemary immersed herself in the Concordia congregation attending meetings, making retreats and serving on various committees in the community. When not in Concordia Rosemary was doting over her niece and nephews and the great nieces and nephews. She had a great love a family and enjoyed getting together for family holidays.

She also spent time helping others where needed. Rosemary had a lifelong love of learning and continued to keep abreast of technology and current events. She enjoyed reading, especially spiritual materials and historical or biographical books.

Rosemary was diagnosed with lung cancer in the fall of 2022. She knew from the outset that this diagnosis would take her life and she spoke openly about that.  She pursued the best treatment options offered by her physicians because – in the meantime –  she wanted to continue to live her life and enjoy each day. She was able to do that fully until the last month of her life. She surrendered all to God and died peacefully  on December 4.