Who is Sister Mary Luke?

The Good Shepherd

Sister Mary Luke followed the Good Shepherd – His way of life was her vocation. As the Good Shepherd loved and cared for His flock – God’s creatures and creation, Sister Mary Luke Loved and cared for God’s children and wanted them to experience God’s love and beauty through Holy Scripture, relationships, creation, art and music; she also wanted the best every way for them. Sister had an intuitive sense and seemed to know what people really needed – sometimes even before they knew it themselves. She was wise and generous in sharing God’s gifts.

When people have been given a vision, it happens, It was St. Monica’s Recreation Center – “A ministry for God’s children”, located in a poor area with many social problems, where the vision was realized. St. Monica’s became, as one child expressed, “a safe haven” where boys and girls found a delightful place in which to grow, have fun and come to know God and others really care about them, their lives and their future.

Sister Mary Luke’s favorite liturgical season was Christmas – the incarnation of our Lord – and so it was especially at Christmas that St, Monica’s became a wonderland of beauty and joy with an abundance of especially chosen gifts for the children. One of the Sister’s greatest joys in life was to give and/or do something that brought forth deep joy in the heart of someone else – most often done anonymously.

Sister Mary Luke was born and raised in Montreal, Canada and faithfully attended the Anglican Church which she dearly loved and, although she was a member of the Episcopal Church and a Religious in the Community of Transfiguration, it was the Anglican Church she carried in her heart and followed throughout her life. There were many difficult times throughout Sister’s life – including a long series of significant health problems. Through these times as well as the wonderful and joyful times, Sister Mary Luke could be heard saying and truly praying, “God is good”.

Sister Mary Luke loved God and wanted Church services and buildings to be beautiful in every way. She would be thankful to God for this lovely altar rail where people come to receive our Lord, know the love of the Good Shepherd and share in the loving family of St. George’s Anglican Church. If you listen carefully, you may hear Sister Mary Luke saying, “God is good”.

From The Liturgy of Holy Communion from The Book of Common Prayer with Commentary, by Fr. Yates Greer, p. 81.

“The Altar Rail: In the 1960s liturgical churches tore out altar rails with a fervor reminiscent of 16th century Puritan zeal in beheading church statuary. Today, many architects, clergy, and parishioners find the altar rail enhances reverence on the part of communicants; indeed, many churches that were built without rails are now installing them. The future direction of the Church of Rome may be discernible from the fact that Benedict XVI requires that all those who receive the Blessed Sacrament from him do so on their knees. Can altar rails be far behind?
“Symbolism associated with the Altar Rail: Many symbols are embedded in the rail that separates the sanctuary from the nave. Here is one which many of us heard first as children: it portrays the nave as the world and the sanctuary as heaven. We live in the world (nave) while we seek to enter heaven (sanctuary). The altar rail separates the two. Jesus came from heaven to earth to open for us a gate through which we may enter when we pass from this world to the next. That is why we bow when the priest passes on his way to the sanctuary. In the Holy Eucharist the priest takes the part of Jesus who, in the Mass, still reaches across that which separates us from heaven to feed our spiritual needs with his body and blood.”