Sister Susan Holmes: A caring presence at the end of life

Sister Susan HolmesA Benedictine sister and hospice chaplain is celebrating 50 years of monastic life this month.

Sister Susan Holmes, who has been a hospice chaplain at Mosaic Life Care Hospice in St. Joseph, Mo., for 14 years, is board certified by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains and holds a master’s degree in pastoral care from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio.

Sister Anne Shepard, prioress, said Sister Susan’s hospice work finds her comforting and praying with men and women experiencing terminal illness. 

“As they prepare to leave this life and enter eternal life, she comes to them as a friendly, joyful presence,” Sister Anne said.

Sister Susan HolmesFor her part, Sister Susan said she loves her ministry to the dying and grieving. “I love getting up each morning because I know I will touch and help people during a very vulnerable time,” she said. “To hold them gently and reassure them is a privilege.”

Before entering hospice ministry, Sister Susan taught in St. Joseph, Mo., and Wetmore, Kan., and was a religious education coordinator and pastoral minister at parishes in Lenexa and Shawnee, Kan., and Columbia and Kansas City, Mo.

Sister Susan is active in Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in St. Joseph, serving as lector and teaching occasionally.