Snippets from her obituary 14 years ago:
“Sister Raymond (Bernadette) Grieble, CSA, 79, a resident at St. Francis Home, passed away Friday, May 9, 2008 at the home. Bernadette was born February 20, 1929, to Raymond Grieble and Helen Elizabeth Schoch Grieble in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Taking her father’s name, Bernadette became Sister Raymond upon entering the novitiate of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes. Profession of first vows in 1948 fulfilled the first step of her lifelong dream to become a sister. […]
“Sister Raymond […] was assigned to Waspam, Nicaragua, in 1961. […] She served in Latin America nearly 40 years, with more than 30 of them being in Nicaragua. From 1982-1990 she was the regional coordinator for all the Sisters of St. Agnes in Nicaragua. […]
“During the civil war in the 1980s, she was in Managua, serving as coordinator for the Sisters of St. Agnes. When she returned after the war, she found Waspam destroyed and the convent as well. The native people had been forced out. As the people returned and began to rebuild, the convent was rebuilt as well, but with inferior materials. Like the people, she and the sisters had to deal with termites, low voltage electricity which sometimes led to the use of candles for light, poor plumbing, the scarcity of food, and non-potable water. Madre Raimunda, with her firm principles, courage, strong voice, exuberant spirit, and unlimited energy, became a tower of strength for the people.
“Sister Raymond’s leadership was recognized beyond Waspam. Though she did not actively participate in politics, she was trusted enough to be present at the peace dialogues between the rebel leaders and the government. […]”
Upon our first meeting, Sister Raymond “assigned” yours truly (she gets what she wants) to bring Mass stipends to Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo in Managua, Nicaragua. This brought me, however indirectly but ever so directly, into the whole world of the CIA and our Consulate/Embassy dynamics throughout Central America and around the world beginning with arriving to the airport in Miami. But I digress.
It wasn’t mentioned in Sister Raymond’s obit, but she had mentioned to me back in the mid-1980s what it was like to be shot. She said that, having taken a bullet to her lower leg, at first, there was no pain at all, but that she felt a trickle… of what had to be… blood. Grrr! She was going to have to reprimand her school students, who were, of course, all Catholic, and so many of whom had been her students right throughout the country, including the likes of Danny Ortega. How they turned out isn’t her fault!
So many memories. So many stories. What Catholic schools turned into under bad priests, the spying on all foreign mail in the country, the underground military sites, the unbelievable false flag operations, the terrible injustices, fraud, kidnappings… the whole complexity of how things really go down. Yikes!
Sister tried to keep clergy and and bishops in line. Her no-messing-around go-get-’em can-do attitude and insistence on prayer had great influence on my whole life. Holy Mass for her tomorrow. God rest you, Sister Raymond.