USA : Sr. Therese Demers retires after 13 years as Chaplain at CMMC.
A warm reception was held at CMMC on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, for our sister Therese Demers.
The event was both sad and joyful. The staff and patients at CMMC will miss Sr. Therese’s serene and compassionate ministry. The people who came to the reception expressed their regrets at seeing her leave and their gratitude especially for her attentive listening, her encouraging words and her discreet presence with patients, families and staff. The joyful part of this reception was seeing the good relationships Therese was able to create and nurture through her ministry.
Therese was one of the chaplains at the Central Maine Medical Center. In recent years, she had worked especially in the Cardiac and Intensive Care Unit. This is a difficult ministry, one that needs a strong faith and a profound understanding of the life, illness and death experiences. It is a ministry that can be exhausting unless one can find support in people and prayer. Therese was able to do that and be herself a support for others. Her ministry was a powerful Dominican witness to our goal to proclaim the Word and to reach out in compassion to others.
Of course her Dominican community experienced great pride in seeing their sister so genuinely recognized for her generous contribution to the caring ministry at CMMC. The event was affirming not only for Therese but for all of us.
Needless to say, we are also glad to see that Therese will now be able to slow down a bit. For the past four years, not only did Therese attend to her ministry at CMMC, she has also been our provincial, and that too can be a demanding ministry at times. Therese applies her skill of good listening, affirmation and discreet presence to her role in the province. We are grateful to her for that and we wish her well as she enters into the next stages of her life.
In her ministry at the hospital or in our province, Therese witnesses powerfully to the section on Mission in the Acts of Caleruega : “Women of our time, we are bearers of the Word. For this reason, we wish to be attentive to everything that contains the promise of life, to try to establish close relations with our contemporaries, to hear the real questions, to walk beside those to whom we are sent, and daily to share their concerns and hopes.” (Caleruega, section on MISSION, “Vocation” paragraph)