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Eulogy for Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB

For over twenty years, Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB, served as director of Benetvision. A close friend and collaborator of Joan Chittister, Sister Mary Lou was a peace activist, poet, prophet, athlete, beloved friend to many, and monk. She died on January 6, 2023, at the age of 81, after more than three years of living very fully despite a diagnosis of incurable uveal melanoma. 

Joan Chittister offered the eulogy for Mary Lou, her close friend of more than sixty years, at her funeral service on January 10, 2023. Sister Joan reflected on the dedication, imagination, and passion Mary Lou offered to the world.

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Joan and Mary Lou as young Benedictines

"We are each losing a teacher whose wisdom has touched each of us deeply, whose heart is wide as the world, whose untiring model has led us to trust that the dark will enlighten our own lives, differently. ... Mary Lou's undying goal was to stretch every soul she touched to the ideas and the ideals that would make a happy and holy, just and glorious and gracious tomorrow possible. She grasped us and shaped us and let each of us go free," Sister Joan said. To listen to the full reflection, click here.

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Joan and Mary Lou circa 2015