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.