Sister Ann Clare Lancaster
“But let me run loose and free, celebrating God’s great work, every bone in my body laughing, singing, ‘God, there’s no one like you.’” (Based on Psalm 40 from “The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language”)
“‘We gather in this sacred space where promises are made and dreams unfold. Every service, private prayer, community happening takes on a new dimension and creates a lasting memory,’” began Sister Ruth Johnson in her commentary for Sister Ann Clare Lancaster, who died Aug. 4.
Eva Sue Lancaster, born Jan. 23, 1919, in Davies County, Ky., was one of six children of Thomas and Clare (Mulligan) Lancaster. She attended grade school at Holy Trinity, New Albany, Ind., and graduated from New Albany High School. She entered the Congregation Feb. 2, 1950, and professed first and perpetual vows Aug. 15, 1952, and 1957, respectively. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Sister Ann Clare also earned two master’s degrees, one in education from Indiana State University and one in educational administration/supervision from Indiana University.
“After high school, Eva Sue was employed by the Colgate Company. For many years she worked in the business office. She entered fully into making friends, joining social circles and spending time with close friends on frequent trips and get-a-ways. During our novitiate we were entertained with many escapades and humorous situations from the Colgate Gang,” said Sister Ruth.
“The Lancasters and the Tighe family were friends, and Eva Sue and Alice Tighe [RIP, Sister Marie Kevin Tighe’s sister] were the best of friends. It was on the occasion of Sister Marie Kevin’s final vow ceremony that Eva traveled with the Tighe family to the Woods. Sometime during the day, Eva Sue asked Sister Marie Kevin, ‘Do you think I’d like it here?’ Sister Marie Kevin said, ‘Yes, try it,’” shared Sister Ruth.
Sister Ann Clare commenced teaching at Holy Cross, Indianapolis, in 1952. In Indiana, she served as a teacher or principal at St. Simon, Washington; St. Mary, Lafayette; St. Matthew, Indianapolis; and Holy Family, New Albany. She also taught at St. Francis Borgia, Chicago, and tutored at St. Xavier, Louisville, Ky. In 1989, she returned to the Woods and ministered in the Central Business Office of the Congregation. From 2001 to 2005 she volunteered in Residential Services before turning to a ministry of prayer.
“You didn’t have to worry what Sister Ann Clare was thinking about in any given situation. She would tell you. She had an opinion and a solution. But she was open to working on another point of view. She would be there for you when you needed a friend,” continued Sister Ruth.
“There are so many Sister Ann Clare stories that should be shared. In her memory, ask one of her friends to share a tale. You’ll be contributing to her memory. Her greatest love of life was most certainly family and friends, but aside from this, a great love of soap operas turned her into a ‘Don’t disturb me from 1 to 2’ person.
“Sister Ann Clare loved life and enjoyed hers. Her decline came with certain weakness due to reoccurring illness. In her last years, she was obliged to be fed by a tube. The last thing anyone wants to give up — taste. She endured everything that happened to her as the way she was to go.
“Sister Ann Clare, we bring your body here today to bless and remember you and the part you played in our lives. We leave with you in our hearts forever, for you have become part of our lives,” concluded Sister Ruth.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Ann Clare was celebrated Aug. 8, with the Rev. Daniel Hopcus presiding. She is survived by one sister, Evelyn Buchheit of New Albany, Ind.
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