Sister Ann Xavier Hau
“O my Beloved, you are my shepherd, I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)
“At the beginning of this commentary, I read Sister Ann Xavier’s favorite scripture version of Psalm 23. It speaks of the gratitude that filled her heart for all God had given her throughout her life,” said Sister Diane Ris in her commentary for Sister Ann Xavier Hau, who died March 1.
Bernice Margaret Hau entered this world Nov. 12, 1920, in Chicago. She was one of six children of John and Susan Hau. She attended St. Leo Grade School, Chicago, and came to the Woods to attend the Juniorate.
“Sister Ann Xavier was very close to her birth family, her three brothers and her two sisters. Her mother died when she was 14 years old and her father assumed full care of his family,” said Sister Diane.
“Sister Ann Xavier chose to come to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods for her high school years. Having classmates that were serious about entering the Sisters of Providence helped strengthen her desire to be the best candidate possible. Her warmth and caring for others endeared her to faculty, students and the Sisters of Providence. Her decision to join with other Sisters of Providence became clear to her and she entered Jan. 5, 1939,” continued Sister Diane.
Sister Ann Xavier professed first and perpetual vows Aug. 15, 1941, and 1947, respectively. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a master’s degree in education from Ball State University.
Sister Ann Xavier began teaching in 1941 at St. Jude, Fort Wayne, Ind. In Indiana she also ministered at St. Joseph, Hammond, and Our Lady of the Greenwood, Greenwood. Sister Ann Xavier spent many years teaching or serving as a principal in Illinois at St. Joseph, Downers Grove; St. Joseph, Galesburg; St. Mark, St. Genevieve and Immaculate Conception, Chicago; and St. Alexander, Palos Heights. She spent one year at Holy Redeemer, College Park, Md., and one year at Our Lady of Providence, St. Louis, Mo. In California, she taught at St. Joseph, Hawthorne, and served as principal at Good Shepherd, Pacifica. She returned to the Woods in 1998 and volunteered in a variety of ways.
“Sister Ann Xavier enjoyed her role as the matriarch of the family and always expressed nothing but fondness and great love for her five nieces and one nephew, along with her grandnieces and their families. Whenever she talked of them, her eyes sparkled and a smile graced her face. Her pride in them was immeasurable.
“Approximately eight months ago, Sister Ann Xavier was diagnosed with cancer. The doctor asked if she wanted radiation or chemo since surgery was not a possibility. She said no to both, but asked to be made more comfortable. Little by little, the cancer spread throughout her body.
“Sister Ann Xavier was a friend to all. She reached out to others when she saw difficulty or sadness. Others reached out to her as she prepared to meet her God. We had long talks about heaven and how she longed to be there. She imagined seeing God, Mother Mary, her parents and her brothers, John, Henry and George and her two sisters, Marie and Ann,” said Sister Diane.
“We have been good friends for many years, laughing together, sharing our thoughts, and our prayers and our lives. She was a fun person to be with and a deeply spiritual woman. Like you, I shall miss her gentle presence,” concluded Sister Diane.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Ann Xavier was celebrated March 4 with the Rev. Bernard Head presiding. She was preceded in death by all of her siblings.
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