Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Noted Spirituality Writer Dies at 80

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Noted Spirituality Writer Dies at 80

Article excerpt

Franciscan Sr. Jose Hobday, an influential spiritual lecturer, author and storyteller, died April 5 at age 80 at the Casa de la Luz Hospice in Tucson, Ariz.

Hobday, a Native American, thought that Christians have much to learn from the Native American tradition, including how to make prayer more creation-centered, how to have a greater appreciation of the connection between the living and the dead, how to love and respect silence and cherish solitude, and how to place a greater emphasis on celebration. Native Americans, she once said, have a tradition of creating sacred space within the natural environment and then "giving it back."

She also spoke of our need to cultivate a love for the land in order to stop the destruction of its beauty. She said she saw the Divine present in the people she met, ordinary people doing everyday things: an elderly woman with cancer, a supermarket worker, a truck driver, cowboys, policemen and especially the poor and downtrodden people of the world.

She said her own mother showed courage in her life and dedicated her children to Mary.

Franciscan Sr. Florence Deacon, director of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi congregation based in St. Francis, Wis., remembers Hobday "as a very charismatic, warm woman, both down-to-earth but also fanciful. She was holistic long before it was in vogue, encouraging us to have a zest for living and to experience the spiritual life with all our senses.

"I can still see her purposeful stride, rhythmic and strong, beneath the skirts of her flowing religious habit. …

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