Dominican Sister of Peace Lucille Mary Rachan (95) died on November 28, 2016 at Regina Health Care Center in Richfield, OH. She was born on December 13, 1920 in Middletown, OH, to John and Katherine Tindell Rachan. She entered the Sisters of St. Dominic of Akron, OH, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace, in 1937.
Sr. Lucille earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Akron in 1953 and a Master of Science in Education from Peabody College in Nashville, TN in 1956.
Sr. Lucille taught primary grades in Akron, Wooster and Youngstown, OH, and was director of our Lady of the Elms Preschool and Crown Point Preschool. She was the principal of Immaculate Conception School in Wooster, OH and St. Paul School in Akron, OH. From 1969-1973 Sr. Lucille was a member of the leadership team of her congregation. From 1981-1986 Sr. Lucille served in formation ministry.
She was active in the Dominican Associate Program. Sister retired in 2005 and was a resident at Regina Health Center in Richfield, OH since 2009.
Sr. Joanne Caniglia shared her reflections on Sr. Lucille Mary’s life:
During these last few years, Lucy was not able to speak or even form words, but, through the readings she chose for her funeral, she speaks volumes to us. In a clear and direct voice she shares with us one last time her strong belief that we have a loving God supporting us.
Listen again to what God says to the people in Isaiah: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.”
Did you notice that there are no conditions on God’s promise? God doesn’t say, “I will redeem you if you shape up and start behaving right.” It’s a simple statement with no strings attached: “I have redeemed you.”
“I have called you by name; you are mine.” God, the creator of the universe, the Lord of all worlds, knows each one of us, and calls us by name. The verb here is perfect tense – I have redeemed you; I have called you by name. That means it’s done, complete, perfect. God has done it unconditionally, no strings attached. Therefore, we have nothing to fear. I’ve been thinking this week about the things that could have caused Lucy to feel fearful – all her different ministries and the many places that they took her could cause anyone to be fearful.
As a novice under Lucy’s tutelage, I noticed that whenever anything positive or good happened, she always attributed it to God’s grace. She was like God’s marketing manager. She and God seemed to have a special pact – when something good happened, it was God. When things were new or uncertain, God was near.
The Gospel reading with its definitive and direct tone also reminds us of Lucy. Jesus gives his disciples instructions one last time before he is taken away from them. One of the qualities that I loved most about Lucy was her definitiveness. She knew for certain that things would be okay. I will never forget the time we were in the kitchen, shortly after I had become a novice. I felt like Thomas. I wanted to ask her, “Are you sure about this?” She asked me how I felt. I remarked that I was a little scared. She said, “This will be a good year. We are both going to give it our best, and so it will be good.” She told me that she was turning 65, and she knew God has something new for her and she was so open to it. Again, it was as if God and Lucy had this special pact, one built on trust and sealed with love.
Paul’s Letter to the Philippians gives us another reflection of Lucy’s belief system: “Do whatever is true, whatever is honorable, what is ever just, whatever is pure.” Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in Jesus. Lucy did that. She knew who she was and where she was going, even in the days when she did not remember. Lucy was confident because it was never about her – it was always about God. I am sure she and God are enjoying each other’s company now!
Sr. Lucille Mary is survived by nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by sisters, Rose Trenjan, Mary Beney, Theresa Gerbec and nephew, Frank Trenjan.
The Wake Service and Mass of Christian Burial were held November 30 and December 1 at Our Lady of the Elms Convent, Akron, OH with burial following at Holy Cross Cemetery.
Memorials in honor of Sister Lucille Mary may be submitted securely online or sent to Dominican Sisters of Peace, 2320 Airport Drive, Columbus, OH 43219-2098.