Let Us Pay Tribute to Sister Linda Jo Reynolds, SP
Sister Linda Jo Reynolds left us Saturday afternoon, May 12, 2018, for her encounter with the Source of her life.
Her life handed over to the Savior as a true Sister of Providence touched many hearts… This unique woman was loved, joyful, decisive, intelligent, prepared, and dedicated. A true religious, she was able to recognize the greatness in those suffering the most from poverty.
We invite you to read an autobiography written in 2016 by Sister Linda Jo on the occasion of her 50th Jubilee as a Sister of Providence.
I missed being introduced to Providence when I was born just down the hill from the old St. Vincent Hospital in Portland. However, that introduction came only two and a half years later, when my mother enrolled me into the day care at Providence Academy (PAV) in Vancouver, Washington. There my world started to expand beyond my mother and grandparents, beyond being non-Catholic and unchurched.
My years at PAV were a time of discovery: finding my way as a non-Catholic in a Catholic, all-girls school; opening scripture beyond my Congregational Sunday School understanding; being baptized into the People of God; becoming aware of a call to go beyond into an unknown culture called religious life.
On March 24, 1968, I and four other PAV graduates professed our temporary vows as Sisters of Providence. In 1971, I graduated in nursing and after some time ministering in hospitals, I moved to Seattle to start preparing for perpetual profession, June 1974.
Around the time that I had written my letter for permission to profess my perpetual vows, our General Superior announced the opening of a local community of Sisters of Providence in Nigeria. My letter seeking permission for perpetual profession was followed by an inquiry into why English-speaking sisters had not been requested for this ministry. That letter was another step in my “Going Beyond”. In March of 1977 I arrived in Nigeria. I was in charge of the in-patients at a small bush hospital.
In the summer of 1984, back in the United States, I was appointed as a member of the novitiate formation team in Spokane. My five years of “being recycled” at the Novitiate was a time of renewal and inner growth. It was a wonderful preparation for entering into the discernment to go to the Philippines. This was another “Going Beyond” as I arrived in Manila, Philippines, on October 14, 1989.
At our 2012 General Chapter, I was discerned to be a member of the general leadership team in Montreal as General Councilor-Secretary until 2017. Now in this year of my Golden Jubilee, I wonder what and where the “beyond” will be in 2017.
In 2017, Sister Linda Jo worked intensely as a good General Secretary, so that the Sisters of Providence could live fully the 2017 General Chapter. Following the Chapter, the new General Leadership Team discerned and named her as General Councilor Secretary for a new term. In 2018, the Lord had prepared a new mission for her, caring for her health. Sister Linda Jo was without a doubt able to hear God’s voice with clarity, where God was calling her, and in May she was offered the greatest “beyond” of all: being together with God.
Thank you Sister Linda Jo, you have left us your hallmark of goodness, generosity, and compassionate love.