In the spirit of remembering our loved ones this month of Thanksgiving, we feature artist Karen Marie Strong’s portrait of our Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Marie Voborny. Here’s a letter received at Holy Family Convent, Manitowoc, WI after the death of Sister Marie.
I don’t think I can express how much it meant to me to receive your letter informing me about Sister Marie’s passing. Everything was so beautifully written. It was such a comfort to know that she was so well taken care of in her time of need.
Sister Marie’s gift of artistic talent is a gift that I also received, as I have learned throughout the years, artistic talent does seem to run in families. I believe we received it through my grandmother’s side of the family, the Karelles. There are many other people in our family who have shown the talent including Sister Marie’s sister Jeanette and her niece Irene, both of whom have passed on. One of my daughters is very talented in the arts, but has thus far chosen not to make it a main focus of her attention.
It was partially because of Sister Marie’s encouragement that I perused my talent through art school and to her I am eternally grateful. She was one of my mentors. It seemed only fitting to me that the artist should be commemorated through art, which is why I gift this graphite drawing to your community. I also have decided to begin signing my work including my middle name Marie in honor of my beautiful aunt.
Thank you again for your beautiful letter. I hope my husband and I will be able to get to Wisconsin to visit Sister Marie’s final resting place sometime in the future. I will definitely let you know beforehand. I also believe some of the family will be visiting next August from Nebraska and it would be great to be a part of that.
Karen Marie Strong
P.S. If you would like to see some of my artwork, I have a website www.karenstrongart.com