SISTER SHAUN SHEFLOTT, OP

 

SISTER SHAUN SHEFLOTT, OP

Sr. Shaun Sheflott, OP, a member of our congregation for 67 years died peacefully at St. Catherine of Siena Healthcare Center in Caldwell, NJ on March 9, 2019 at the age of 97. Sister entered the community on September 15, 1953, received the Dominican habit on June 29, 1954, made first profession on June 28, 1955, and final profession on June 30, 1960.

Sister was well and widely educated, earning a BS in Child Psychology from St. Joseph College, CT, an MA in Elementary Education and Reading from the University of Connecticut, and an MS in Religious Studies and Scripture from Providence College, RI.

Sr. Shaun made a difference in the lives of countless children in her ministries in the classroom and in religious education. Sister taught at St. Aloysius in Caldwell, St. Philip in Clifton, Mt. St. Dominic in Caldwell, St. Catherine in Mobile, Alabama, St. Margaret in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, Holy Spirit in Asbury Park, St. Valentine in Orange, St. Thomas in Fairfield and St. Mary in Rahway. Sister Shaun served as Director of Religious Education at St. Peter in Parsippany, St. Pius X in Montville, St. Aloysius in Caldwell, St. Joseph in Bogota, St. Matthew in Ridgefield and Our Lady of My Carmel in Nutley. She exemplified the Gospel message to love one another as God loved her.

As the community gathered for her funeral rites, we received messages from people with whom she had worked years ago, recalling her positive impact on their lives!  We all shared memories of this dear sister. Many thought that none of us really knew her well, but as the remembrances were spoken, we realized that indeed, we did know her!

Sr. Shaun loved looking good and even in the years she had to use a wheelchair, those pastel suits and matching blouses announced her spirit of beauty!  Sr. Shaun was a poet who loved the ocean. On our trips to Spring Lake for a week, she would ride up to Ocean Grove, notebook in hand, and spend hours on the boardwalk.  Writing poetry? Praying? She never said. Other times she’d hop the bus to Atlantic City and come home with her purse filled with winnings!

Sister Shaun moved about 29 times in her lifetime.  Moving brings its own kind of sufferings, but she did it for the sake of the Mission!

Most of us do not pray in iambic pentameter, or tetrameter.  But we found in her notebooks prayer- poems revealing Shaun’s lovely soul and her relationship with God.  One reveals how she bore the suffering in her own life. She wrote:

Close to the Heart of Jesus, close to the heart of Light, Close to the word of mercy,
close to His strength and might.
Close to the seat of Wisdom.

And she goes on:
Follow the path of Justice, walk in the path of Pain. 
True wisdom is attained when one remains,
Close to the heart of Jesus.

As we mourn her presence among us, we hear her voice echoing that prayer, urging us to stay ever closer to the Heart of Jesus.

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