In Memory of Joanna Rittmann

It is with a heavy heart that I write this.  Last Thursday, June 24, Joanna Rittmann, age 24, passed away in a car accident.  I met Joanna in May, when she participated in the Eco-Stewards program.  Joanna left a lasting impression on me – her spirit was vibrant and her caring and generosity shone through upon meeting her.  A student at Louisville Theological Seminary, Joanna had been passionate about connecting faith and eco-justice issues in her home-state of West Virginia through the Eco-Stewards program.

Please keep Joanna’s family and friends in your prayers. 

The following passage, written by St. Francis of Assisi, was shared on the bulletin at Joanna’s memorial service yesterday in West Virginia, and a friend wrote that these “words describe the mission that Joanna set out with everyday.”

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
where this is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness; joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. 


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