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† Sr. Marie Charlotte KAHALEWAI sscc (Hawai)

“By day the Lord directs his Love; at night, his song is with me,
a Prayer to the GOD of my life…”
Psalm 42:8

   Dear Brothers and Sisters,
   Sometime around noontime, on December 5, 2009, our Heavenly Father called our dear Sr. Mary Charlotte home to Himself. She was 96 years of age.

   Sister Mary Charlotte was born Clara Ella Kahalewai on May 16, 1913, the tenth of Deborah Koki and Herman Kalahewai’s children. She had five older brothers and one younger, and four older sisters. She graduated from McKinley High School and received a degree in education from University of Dayton, Ohio, Chaminade College of Honolulu and the University of Hawaii. Her ties with the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary were forged when she worked for 10 years as a secretary at St. Patrick School in Kaimuki. Sr. Mary Charlotte entered the convent on July 4, 1947, at age 34. It seems she had a desire early in life to become a religious but she delayed her entrance to care for a younger ohana in her family. Sister made her first profession on August 20, 1949. She took the religious name Mary Charlotte and made her final Profession on August 24, 1952.

   Throughout her religious life, Sr. Mary Charlotte was given many obediences and so she rendered loving services to the Lord in this way: she first served as a teacher’s aide in the kindergarten at Sacred Hearts Academy; then, from 1952 to 1978, she taught grades three through seven at St. Patrick School. Also, Sister brought her teaching and secretarial talents to Maria Regina School in Gardena, California where she worked from 1978 to 1994. In Gardena, her culinary skills were greatly appreciated by her Community. It is known by all the Sisters, that Sr. Mary Charlotte had a trusted and beloved companion – her golden retriever “Dusty” – whom she affectionately compiled a scrapbook and composed a eulogy when he died.

   In 1994, Sister returned to Oahu to start a new Community in Waianae, and for three years as a parish outreach worker, she visited the sick and homebound. In 1997, she was assigned to the Paewalani Community in Kaneohe where tutored students at St. Ann’s School. Finally in 2004, Sister retired to Malia O Ka Malu Infirmary I Kaimuji where she continued to be an active participant in the community. Sr. Helene, Provincial Superior, remarked lovingly of her: “She will be remembered for her winning smile, her giggle and laughter and her gracious spirit of Hawaiian hospitality and generosity”. She further said: “We are blessed to have had such a giving soul in Sr. Mary Charlotte who witnessed, in her quiet way, a dedication to service and love of the Sacred Hearts”. Sr. Mary Charlotte died peacefully in her sleep – as God called her home before the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. On December 11th, her funeral was at Malia O Ka Malu and she was laid to rest at Hawaiian Memorial Park Cemetery.

   As indicated by our Constitutions and Statutes, we commend Sr. Mary Charlotte to your prayers and Eucharist in thanksgiving for her dedicated and faithful services to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
United in the Sacred Hearts,
Malia O Ka Malu Community
(December 28, 2009)