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Sister Karen Peace Garden Dedicated, Blessed | People

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Sister Karen Peace Garden Dedicated, Blessed

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A sunny October day seemed fitting to honor Sister Karen Klimczak, SSJ, a religious sister who dedicated her life to tending to the darkest of hearts. On what would be her 67th birthday, SS. Columba-Brigid Parish in Buffalo opened and blessed the Sister Karen Klimczak Peace Garden.

“We have come to celebrate, to celebrate life, to celebrate love, to celebrate faith that so many of us have come to know in the person of Sister Karen Klimczak,” said SS. Columba-Brigid pastor and longtime friend, Father Roy Heberger. “We realize that, as we gather, this is a beautiful garden, a peace garden, in her memory. But what I want us to remember is that it is not just remembering the past; that is not why we put this together. We put this together using the memory of her life and her death, but to give hope and inspiration to the future.”

Sister Karen founded and managed Bissonette House, a home for recently released convicts. On Good Friday 2006, she was murdered by a resident searching for money to buy drugs. Knowing the dangers of her position, Sister Karen wrote a letter to the person who might someday kill her long before it actually happened.

The peace garden consists of four large stones baring the biography and writings of Sister Karen, along with her motto, “I leave peaceprints.” Five plaques, each containing five quotes from religious leaders, philosophers and artists about peace and love, lead up to the garden.

“I feel it’s a great privilege to celebrate the life of this great woman religious,” said Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, who blessed the garden.


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