Tuesday, November 3, 2015

This Side of Heaven

S. Modesta Arceneau

This fall I have been working at a hospital as a resident chaplain. I’m learning a lot about tending to the needs of patients, families, medical staff and my own emotional needs in this work.

One day I was covering a floor for a colleague. One of the challenges of chaplaincy I enjoy is getting to know patients and their families. I walked into a room and began to converse with a patient and family. I disclosed I was a Benedictine sister from Saint Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph. The mother of the patient jumped up and gave me a hug! Why? Well, that’s quite a story.

She shared with me that all her life she always wanted to be a Benedictine sister, but instead got married and had children. I asked her if she remembered some of the sisters who had influenced her. She told there was one sister she especially remembered “… because she was so kind and gentle with me. She always took me under her wing and gave me special attention. I will never forget her – her name is Sister Modesta.” She was keen to learn whether I knew S. Modesta and whether she was still alive?”  I replied, “I sure do and ‘yes’ she is!”   

I feel that writing this blog and being able to shine the light on our S. Modesta Arceneau is a privilege because she is a faithful Benedictine who goes quietly but tirelessly about the work of God. She is meek, caring and has a tender heart. I’m grateful to be able to acknowledge how, ever since I entered the monastery, she has always touched my life through her gentle caring and sincere concern for how I’m doing. 

It’s an honor to write this blog because I have a hunch S. Modesta has touched a lot of lives that we will not know of this side of heaven!

Trish Dick, OSB


  1. Dear Trish - you were a great influence when I met you and took away all my thoughts of nunnery. I do miss you and some day we will meet again. Thank you for being my friend!

    1. I'm the sister who loads the blogs and checks comments, so I'll make sure that Sister Trish sees your comment, Kulani. Blessings on you. Sister Karen