Saturday, August 07, 2010

Rest in Peace, Dear Sister Denise

I received sad news yesterday. Sister Denise Mosier, O.S.B., a Benedictine nun from my home town, was killed in a car wreck in Virginia. Carlos Montano, the driver of the car that struck hers, killing her and injuring two other sisters, was drunk and an illegal immigrant from Bolivia with a past record of drunken driving. It is the saddest of stories.

Sister Denise was a few years older than I and, though I never had her in school, she taught several of my siblings. My sister Lisa had her as a teacher and loved her. She was a very fine teacher and a warm, open, loving person who was one of the first nuns I knew of to sort of de-mystify the vocation. She was a talented dancer and performed liturgical dances, sang, laughed and spent eight years in Africa teaching.

When I heard about her death I went online to see if I could find out more about it and discovered that the story was all over the news services: Drunk Ill-legal Alien Driver Kills Nun, Injures Two More. The story was covered in all the press. It was hard to read.

These days most online newspapers have sections where readers can add comments and I shouldn't have looked at them but I did. I should have known better. Predictably the comments proved to be endless vituperative ranting and ravings about illegal immigrants and socialist liberals and incessant hate-mongering and divisive screeching about our President, our “socialist” government and everything else they could think of to rant about. One lunatic even went so far as to proclaim that President Obama may want to have as many catastrophes as possible, "to overwhelm the system and allow him to organize the millions of unemployed into a "National Civilian Security" force, undoubtedly with uniforms made in China and police powers provided via his executive orders".

I'm serious. These people are so freaking crazy and filled with hatred it frightens me. I visited three different news sites and every one of them was filled with the same crazy, lunatic rantings. A few of them went so far as to make equally disparaging remarks about Catholic nuns being in collusion with the President's plan to destroy our country --- presumably by volunteering to be killed by drunken illegal aliens just to facilitate the plan. These are very crazy people.

As I was reading the ranting and raving I thought about yesterday's post about Anne Rice and her decision to quit Christianity because she didn't want to be associated with this “quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group” (meaning Christians) and I thought if she wants to find out about quarrelsome, disputatious group(s) all she needs to do is read an online newspaper.

The simple truth is there is so much anger and hostility in society today that it frightens me and they will use anything, anything at all, as an impetus to further their agenda of hate. Part of it, I think, is that the anonymous freedom of the internet gives people the opportunity to spew their venom without having to take responsibility for it. But even more than that, I believe, is that too many people today feel disenfranchised, lost, overlooked, ignored, trivialized and impotent. They feel that they don't matter, that they are not going to get their own way, and that there is nothing to be done about it so they just spew and vent and look for opportunities to point fingers and lay blame.

The sad irony here is that Sister Denise Mosier was such a beautiful loving light, such a beacon of Faith and joy and loveliness. I cannot imagine how sad it would make her to have her death, her sad, untimely death, become the opportunity for people to spread divisiveness and hate. Sr. Denise was one of the beautiful, loving, giving followers of Christ I spoke of in my blog yesterday and her passing is a terrible loss. I hope that people will respect her essential goodness enough not to use her death to rant and rave and add hate to our tired world. We've had enough. Give it a rest.

Rest in peace, dear Sister. I know you are with God.

Thanks for reading.

UPDATE: From NBC: A Catholic nun and spokeswoman for the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia says sisters of the three nuns involved in the accident have always stayed out of the debate over immigration. Sister Glenna Smith says the Catholic nuns have always provided social services - including adult literacy courses and counseling - regardless of immigration status, and they are upset the tragedy has become fodder for policy debate.

"The Benedictine Sisters are dismayed and saddened that this tragedy has been politicized and become an apparent forum for the illegal immigration agenda," Smith said. "It is not optional for us to choose mercy and forgiveness. We know this young man will be brought to justice, that's appropriate, and we hope he will learn to make better choices."


  1. This is such tragic news. And all the hatred and horrid comments are EXACTLY what this nun WOULDN'T have wanted.

    I'll have to call my mom in St. Marys and see if she's heard anything about it.

    I had two high-school friends, sisters, who were killed by a drunk driver. It has never occurred to me to consider that his citizenship would have any factor in his actions. This guy's immigrant status did nothing to kill her. His drunkeness did.

  2. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I agree. Sr. Denise was such a joyful person. I hope people will refrain from using her death as an opportunity to advance their own agendas.

  3. A Reader from St. Marys8:32 AM, August 06, 2010

    I had Sister Denise in grade school and she was the sweetest, nicest teacher I ever had. I am so sad to hear of this. Thank you for your words about her. She would never, ever want people to use her death to spread anger and hate.

  4. Sister Denise, was an a wonderful, down to earth, and devoted to her faith and to helping others. I feel sure that she would be appalled that her death is being used for political publicity.
    I feel that it would be better stress the dangers of drunk drivers, because a drunk driver is a danger to any and all in any language.
    I find it hard to comprehend how anyone could in good conscience, dishonor sister Denise's memory, by using her tragic death against a group of people, this is totally against what her life stood for.


If you enjoyed this post, please comment and leave contact information if you would like a response. Commenting rewards the authors/artists and pretty much makes our day!