Thursday, September 4, 2008

Requiem Mass

With special thanks to Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz, OMI, the Dominican Friars of Holy Family Cathedral and Fr. Armand Nigro, S.J. who offered the Requiem Mass for Anita Kimberley Syren, r.i.p. August 7, 2008.


Fr. Vincent Kelber, O.P., chants the epistle.

Dies Irae.

Sermon, Fr. Armand Nigro, S.J.


Obituary for Anita Kimberley Syren

Anchorage resident Anita Kimberley “Kim” Syren, age 81, died peacefully surrounded by family at her home in Anchorage on August 7, 2008.

She was born and raised in Renfrew, Ontario, Canada. In 1949 she graduated from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing at Hotel Dieu Hospital. She received the Mother Superior’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Life, and those who knew her then and later recall that she contributed to the life of all those around her. She also received the Jean Mance Scholarship in public health nursing, foreshadowing her work as a foundress of Alaska Right to Life and Birthright, her participation in Operation Rescue and the numerous years she taught Natural Family Planning.

After graduating from nursing school she moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1949 and practiced nursing in the obstetrics unit of the “Old” Providence Hospital. She married her husband Lester Syren in 1951 at Holy Family Cathedral and they brought eight children into the world. She often brought them with her to daily Mass, the high point of her day. Eventually she became an oblate of St. Benedict and took up various apostolates through the Legion of Mary, practices which formed the basis of her spiritual life.

After her wedding she donated her gown to make priest’s vestments. Years later she witnessed Pope John Paul II ordain her son Kermit a priest in St. Peter’s. At that time she addressed the 6,000 guests gathered at the Pope Paul VI Auditorium to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Legionaries of Christ.

She gave the land for the Monastery of Perpetual Adoration in Anchorage, and while it was being built, was honored to have the Sisters use her home as their first temporary monastery while she and her family lived elsewhere. In 1986 she was also blessed to witness her daughter Gail’s final vows with the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in San Francisco, California.

She is preceded in death by her husband Lester, son Jon and daughter Sr. Gail Marie of St. Joseph, brothers Garry, Ainslie and Robert, and sister Doris. She is survived by her sister Beverley, sons Fr. Kermit Syren, L.C., Stephen and Les (wife Nicole), and daughters Karyn (husband Mike) Wise, Therese Syren and Wyn Froelich (husband Greg), 19 grandchildren: Catherine, Joseph, John Francis, James, Thomas, Justin, Peter, Luke, Veronica, Judy, Rachael, James, Michael, Sophia, Ben, Max, Izzy, Rose, Jess, Jen, John Paul, Carley, Joseph, Jon, Eleta, Lillian, Mary and Luke Benedict, and three great-grand children Ursula, Louisa and Pia.

Kim’s central focus was always her family. She travelled to Canada and South Dakota regularly under difficult conditions to visit her family of origin and in-laws and when possible brought her children along. She made life a joyful adventure for them centered in Christ, and was her grandchildren’s beloved “Gram-cracker.” They and their parents treasured her loving and joyful presence, and she was there for them at every family celebration and holiday even throughout her six final years of chemotherapy and surgeries. As they prayed the rosary around her bed, Kim’s last words to them were “Oh, my beautiful little children!”

Her son, Fr. Kermit Syren, offered the funeral Mass at 2:00PM on August 14 at Holy Family Cathedral at 811 W 6th Ave, Anchorage, followed by burial at Anchorage Memorial Cemetery and a reception in the Holy Family Cathedral basement. Fr. Armand Nigro, S.J. offered a Requiem Mass (Tridentine Rite) at Holy Family Cathedral on August 30 at 2:00PM.

Memorial donations may be made to the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 2645 East 72nd Avenue, Anchorage Alaska 99507 or the Legionaries of Christ, 275 Mechanic Street, North Smithfield, RI 02896.


GLF said...

Laus Domino! Though one swallow may not make a spring, one Holy Mass of the more ancient form surely does.

Anonymous said...

I somehow get the feeling your bishop is secretly an Obama admirer. Anyone who deliberately forbids the Tridentine Mass ( which is contrary to the wishes of the Pope ), seems to be the antithesis of Sacred Tradition, as such so is Obama against anything solidly Godly and pro-family.


Anonymous said...

Have any of you good Catholics tried to get a Good Catholic priest up in Alaska to meet with Sarah Pallin. Shes a baptized Catholic that has departed from the one true church outside of which there is no salvation. We need the likes of her in the traditional movement and she needs her soul to be saved even more than an election victory though we hope she wins.

Anonymous said...

May God bless you and your family for making it possible for the public to attend your mother's Requiem Mass. I attended and will say a Rosary for her on the 30th of every month for a year. I never met her, but she had to have been a wonderful woman to have raised the children she raised.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Isabella. Your prayers are a great consolation.

Anonymous said...

Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman. You all must miss her dearly.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.