Friday, April 17, 2009

Sister José Hobday, RIP

One of my beloved teachers died this month. Sister José Hobday passed away on April 5, 2009, at Casa de la Luz Hospice in Tucson, Arizona. She was 80 years old.

Sr. Florence Deacon, director of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi in St. Francis, Wis., wrote in the National Catholic Reporter that Sister José was “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. She led us on a five-mile walk to a park so we would discover that we, too, had much more strength and endurance than we realized.”

Sister José was born in Texas to a Seneca-Iroquois mother and a Southern Baptist father. She was both a Seneca elder and a Sister of the Franciscan Order. She held Masters' degrees in theology, literature, architecture, and space engineering.

I first met Sister José eight years ago when we taught together at a Spiritual Paths conference in Aspen, CO. She told me about her visit to the Dalai Lama, and how the monks warned her against touching His Holiness. Sister nodded in agreement, and when she stood face to face with the Dalai Lama she grabbed both his cheeks in her hands and pinched his face saying, “This is my baby brother.” Both she and the Dalai Lama laughed at her recognition of their oneness.

It was Sister José who first encouraged me to speak and write about my experiences with the Divine Mother, and who gave me the title Holy Rascal, pronouncing this at a conference at the completion of a presentation I gave about something or other. She was a powerful presence in the world, and will be sorely missed. I encourage you all to learn more about her.


Maggid said...

Awesome, Thank you.

Patti said...

I remember her from your video. She seemed like quite a character. I am sorry for your loss.

Sharon Wendt said...

Thank you for including Sister Jose's photo. On my wall a plaque reminds me 'What you focus on expands.' A few days ago your Twitter quote was something like 'focus on what outlasts life - death.' My impression is that Sister Jose loves and/or inspired those words. In gratitude for a well-lived life . . ..