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Celebrating Sue Mosteller

Sue Mosteller

Sue Mosteller

December 16, 2011 – Tonight will be a very special night at Dayspring as we celebrate Sue Mosteller who has lived here at Daybreak since 1971 – forty years! Daybreak was only two years old as a community in 1971. Everyone lived at the Big House then. In 1976 Sue became Daybreak’s second Community Leader, and a few years after that, Sue was named the first International Coordinator for L’Arche after Jean Vanier himself. Until 1999 when she moved to her loft at the Green House, Sue lived in a Daybreak home or at the Cedars which was the original Dayspring. Sue is a Sister of St. Joseph of Morrow Park, and at this point in her life, she feels it’s time for her to live with a small group of Sisters again. Their home will be just off Broadview, very close to L’Arche Toronto. Sue will remain a member of L’Arche Daybreak and she expects to visit here often for services at the Dayspring, breakfasts with friends, and community events.

Even with the work of very demanding roles, Sue has managed to write three books. Her first book, My Brother, My Sister, is about Jean Vanier and Mother Theresa. Her second book, Body Broken, Body Blessed, is a collection of stories from L’Arche. Sue’s third book, Light Through the Crack, is her own story and the stories of people she has accompanied over the years. Sue has accompanied many people, and she has mentored many others in how to give meaningful accompaniment that both affirms people and challenges them to grow. Sue was a colleague and close friend of Henri Nouwen. Henri had so much confidence in Sue that he named her the Literary Executrix for his estate, a role she has carried faithfully and imaginatively since Henri’s untimely death in 1996.

Sue continues to be a wise and inspiring spiritual leader, giving retreats around the world. She has received four honorary doctorate degrees, the most recent one just this fall from Tyndale College in Toronto. Next month Sue will travel to St. John’s University in Minnesota where she will participate in a writers’ workshop for the winter. Sue is still honing her writing skills, and she has lots of ideas for new projects!

Very few people become legends in their own time, yet Sue does have that status in L’Arche, as well as among the thousands of people who enjoy her retreats and books. Of course, at Daybreak, we don’t think of Sue as a celebrity at all, but as our beloved sister in community. It is hard to imagine Daybreak without Sue’s everyday presence, yet she has given us the encouragement to know that her spirit will be with us always. Tonight we will send Sue forth with our gratitude and love, and give her our heartfelt blessing.

In peace,