Sister M. Laurinda Jasica, CSC

(August 10, 1926 - November 8, 2013)

Word has been received of the death of Sister M. Laurinda (Jasica), who died at 8:15 a.m. on Thursday, November 7, 2013, in Saint Mary’s Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana.

Sister Laurinda no longer glides through the halls of Saint Mary’s, but the list of endearing adjectives used to describe her would rival those in a thesaurus. This wonderful religious woman of regal bearing reached out to everyone. She knew intuitively what touched the hearts of those she encountered and she continued to deepen the connection at each meeting. This remarkable skill permeated her interactions with her students, her co-workers and even with casual contacts. In her compassion she simply knew people and recognized their needs. She listened with her heart.

Sister Laurinda was a perfectionist in every aspect of her life and she worked diligently to maintain that standard. She writes of herself, “Early in life, I learned about the dignity of work. Whatever the task, I wanted to produce a work of art.” She modeled this high ideal through her entire life.

Her 11 years of teaching in the elementary grades and the 11 years in the high schools of the West were marked by this same work ethic, enhanced with her characteristic compassion and empathy. She obviously was successful as attested to by a former student, Orinio Opinaldo, who lauds her influence on him to become a teacher and author. In 2011 he sent her a copy of his newly published book, Hatting Handbook of a Classroom Teacher. On the inside cover he wrote, “This book tells how to be a concerned teacher and a lot of it stems from the Sisters of the Holy Cross. They modeled what it took to be a dedicated teacher. They were way ahead of their time.” His tribute to Sister Laurinda and the others who taught him was well-deserved high praise recognizing Sister’s efforts and influence.

There were no halfway measures in anything she did. Sister Laurinda approached each ministry with joy, enthusiasm and a determination “to produce a work of art.” Being appointed as assistant development director at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, California, in 1971 began what she called her second career. It brought new opportunities for her to use her excellent people skills and garnered seven productive years in that position.

Then her writing ability and keen awareness of grammar and correct English structure earned her a key position on the congregation’s Constitution Committee. She describes the experience: “My appointment to serve on the Constitution Committee in 1978 was a major blessing for me. The task required a wholehearted commitment, faith, trust, prayer, research, patience and perseverance — all in large amounts. It was a holy endeavor.”

The same skills that were recognized as key to the positions of development and constitution writing were effectively put to use when Sister Laurinda worked in the Associates Program for four years. As co-representative in the Associates Program of the Western Region, she visited throughout the region, giving workshops and developing the program’s official handbook.

Following that challenging experience Sister Laurinda spent seven years at the front desk at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. Her organization and people skills were an exact fit for this ministry, and she loved it. Her welcoming and caring attitude won her high praise and gratitude from patients and visitors; all were treated with graciousness and the professionalism that was so typical of her. She made it a work of art.

This was a prayerful, dedicated and loving religious. Everyone who knew Sister Laurinda valued her and the warmth of her friendship. Once a friend, always a friend. Ranking high on the scale of persons precious to her were members of her family, whom she cherished, and those of her Holy Cross family of sisters, brothers and priests with whom she had lived and worked. No one ever doubted her devotion and loyalty because it was an integral part of all that was Sister Laurinda. She will be sorely missed.

May Sister Laurinda rest in peace.


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