Sister Raymond Hunter
“Do not forget: thin sowing means thin reaping. The more you sow, the more you reap.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)
“Never could it be said of Sister Raymond Hunter that she sowed thinly or that she reaped a meager harvest. Her 100 years were marked continually by a cheerful generosity responding to whatever need was at hand — and if that cheerfulness was marked by a kind of free-spirited independence, so much the better,” said Sister Alexa Suelzer in her commentary for Sister Raymond, who died Dec. 1.
Born March 1, 1907, in Tannochside, Lanarkshire, Scotland, Margaret Veronica Hunter was one of nine children of Robert and Ellen (Brennan) Hunter. “In a sense, her father was born 100 years before his time, for in the interest of promoting the game of soccer — yes, soccer — he moved his family to the United States when Margaret Veronica was a small child. Her mother concurred with this move, for she thought her children could be assured of a good education and a career in America. Alas, at that time there was no living to made in coaching soccer; so the family soon returned to Scotland for a few years. A tragedy of the ocean voyage was the death of one of the sons, who was simply put overboard,” continued Sister Alexa.
Margaret Veronica’s elementary school education was completed at St. John the Baptist in Uddington, Lanarkshire, Scotland. The Hunter family eventually returned to the United States and settled in Vincennes, Ind. Margaret Veronica continued her education at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Academy. She entered the Congregation Oct. 14, 1924, and professed first and perpetual vows Aug. 15, 1927, and 1932, respectively. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.
Sister Raymond ministered more than six decades in elementary schools. Her first mission was St. Columbkille, Chicago, in 1926. Her other Chicago classrooms included St. Angela, Maternity BVM and St. Sylvester. She taught eight years on the East Coast at Immaculata, Washington, D.C., and Ascension, Halethorpe, Md. In Indiana, she ministered at St. Augustine, Fort Wayne; St. Ann, Terre Haute; Holy Family, Jasper; and Our Lady of the Greenwood, Greenwood; and Holy Spirit, Indianapolis.
“Sister Raymond became a kind of legend at Our Lady of Greenwood, where she was consulted on matters of every sort. She served there for nearly 30 years, and her influence was recognized by an award from the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce,” continued Sister Alexa.
“When Sister Raymond retired from full-time teaching at 75, she undertook two new tasks for the next 10 years: tutoring children at Greenwood and cooking. She was not just a once-in-a-while cook, but day after day she prepared the sisters’ meals. A very good chef, she was indeed mistress of the kitchen, demanding of the diners, ‘Is it OK?’ even before a bite had been savored. She also loved to garden and to tend flowers. Furthermore, retirement gave her time to cultivate a taste for soap operas. After tutoring she would run home from school in order not to miss an episode of ‘The Young and the Restless,’” shared Sister Alexa.
“When she returned to the Woods in 1992, Sister Raymond continued to cook and also helped in the Infirmary. Sometimes her visiting relatives had cause to wonder when Sister Raymond said she had to leave them ‘to go help the old sisters.’ At 95, she retired once more, this time to Mother Theodore Hall where she remained full of zest for life.
“Sister Raymond was a strong woman, emotionally and spiritually — a ‘grand old lady’ one confrere noted. And another said, ‘A wonderful woman — I mean a wonderful religious woman.’ Now the time of her generous sowing is over, and she has entered upon the harvest of 10 decades of faithful service. From her vantage point with the Master of the Harvest, Sister Raymond encourages us onward. We may not be granted 100 years, but we do have today. Let us spend it sowing bountifully,” said Sister Alexa.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Raymond was celebrated Dec. 5 with the Rev. Daniel Hopcus presiding. She was preceded in death by all of her siblings.
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