Remembering the least among us
Sr. Rosemary Loomis, OP, Ministers to Caregivers
In the Gospel of Matthew, Christ says “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” In Franklin County, OH, the Guardian Service Board serves those who might be considered the least of Jesus’ brothers with love and compassion, helping them navigate the maze of social services they need to survive.
The social workers and social service professionals of the Franklin County Guardianship Service Board become less like caseworkers and more like friends as they work with their court-assigned clients. Often the court-appointed guardian is the only person aware when a ward of the state dies, and that guardian is left to close the file and grieve alone.
On October 25, a sparkling fall day in Columbus, OH, the members of the Franklin County Guardianship Service Board gathered at a city park on the edge of the Scioto River to celebrate the lives of their clients that had died in the past two years.
Sr. Rosemary Loomis, OP, a Dominican Sister of Peace, delivered the memorial message for this special ceremony. In her message, she reminded those in attendance of the importance of remembering each client by name, saying “It is said that we die twice: the first, when our hearts stop beating forever; the second when no one ever says our name. “
The remainder of the service was a perfect reflection of Sr. Rosemary’s words, as each person was recognized by name, and a rose was tossed into the water of the Scioto River in each person’s memory.
“This service was so important to this team,” Sr. Rosemary said. “It was an opportunity, not just for closure, but for recognition, for recalling good memories, and for acknowledging that their work, as those who bring Christ’s peace to those who have no one else, is vital to our community.”
Sr. Rosemary has been involved in grief counseling for a number of years. She is a member of the National Catholic Ministry to the Bereaved and Parents of Murdered Children and Homicide Victims Survivors. She serves as the After Care Coordinator for Egan-Ryan Funeral Home, and was honored by the National Organization of Parents Of Murdered Children, Inc., (POMC) with the Father Ken Czillinger Award in recognition of her service in supporting the mental health of survivors of homicide victims.