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Sr. Mary Osanna Hymel, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Mary Osanna Hymel, OP (88) died at Mohun Health Care Center (Columbus, OH) on June 4, 2016. She was born in Edgard, LA, on October 28, 1927. At the age of 17 she requested admission to the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary in New Orleans (now the Dominican Sisters of Peace), making her Novitiate in Rosaryville. Professed on June 29, 1946, she celebrated 70 years of consecrated life. Fifty of those years were spent in the ministry of elementary education. During that time she taught more than two thousand students. For 26 years she taught at St. Joan of Arc School in LaPlace, LA.

Sr. Mary Osanna Hymel, OP

After retiring from the classroom, Sr. Osanna worked for eight years as Assistant Librarian at St. Joan of Arc School. She had many extracurricular duties, including working with the Social Studies Fair, supervising children at football games and assisting with the Carnival Ball. In 2010 St. Joan of Arc Catholic School honored Sr. Osanna with the Distinguished Service Award.

Sr. Osanna also served her congregation as local coordinator and assistant Motherhouse Coordinator. She moved to Columbus, OH in 2012. When her health worsened, she took up residence at the Mohun Health Care Center, where she won the hearts of her caregivers.

Sisters Mary C. Daniel and Therese Leckert shared their reflections on Sr. Osanna’s life:

Sister Osanna chose readings that offer us insight into her journey through life. The author of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is “an appointed time for everything,” not just any time and not a time that we choose ourselves. The appointed time is set by God and is in our best interest.  We are invited to trust God’s time.  Can we let go of our own time frame long enough to discern God’s time frame?

This reading also reminds us that our lives have times for different happenings:  times of planting and uprooting, of keeping and of casting away, times to weep and times to laugh, and, finally, a time of birthing and a time of dying.

Though we may appreciate this passage, we also struggle with it, especially with uprooting on God’s time, of casting away on God’s time, of weeping according to God’s time frame.

Sr. Osanna also struggled with some of the happenings mentioned in the reading.  In her struggles, two qualities stand out - her faithfulness and her simplicity.

She was so faithful when she was uprooted from New Orleans to come to Columbus.  She had never been to Columbus before, knew only a few sisters here, and it was not solely her r decision to come. However she said yes, made many friends, and said several times that she knew she belonged in Columbus even though she missed New Orleans so much.

Her room spoke of her simplicity. She had what she needed and what was life giving for her.  A collector of things she was not…except for a few statues.

The reading from Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians gives us and gave Osanna guidance in how to live life on God’s time line, God’s desire for a full life for us. God calls us to love. St. Paul says love is being kind, being patient, being self-less, to name but a few qualities of love.  Osanna lived these qualities whether washing the napkins, taking care of the community room, decorating the dining room, enjoying Popeye’s chicken or Graeter’s ice cream, or lying in bed with pain and discomfort for seven months at Mohun Health Center.  Osanna spoke her last words to a nurse at Mohun.  The nurse said to Osanna, "I love you." Osanna responded, "I love you all, too."

Osanna, what a gift you have been to all of us.  We will never forget you. Rest in peace, faithful friend of God!

Sr. Osanna was preceded in death by her parents Marie Louise and Joseph Hymel and by her five sisters and three brothers. The wake will be held at St. Peter Church, Reserve, LA, on June 28, 2016. The funeral Mass will be held at Rosaryville on June 29, 2016, with burial following in Rosaryville Cemetery.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Osanna’s name may be submitted securely online or mailed to Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr, Columbus, OH 43219-2098.

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