Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Catholic Nun murdered in Buffalo

Sister Karen Klimczak devoted her life to helping the poor. She ran a home for former prisoners who were trying to get back on their feet after getting out of jail. As one priest said:

Sister Karen had an attitude of forgiveness, which she would have extended "even to somebody who would harm her."

On Good Friday she was killed by one of the men living at the house. Her body was found yesterday.

It is hard to understand death. It is even harder to understand a death like this. How can we comprehend the death of a person who only held out love to others, being killed by one of the people she loved?

I do not hesitate in my statement that Sister Karen understood such a death. She understood it deep within her soul. That understanding guided her hands and her heart in life. She understood that death as a way and a call to life. The death of Christ and it's example of love was a life for Sister Karen; And on the holy day that her faith remembered that death, she passed into the arms of the Lord.

The young man who killed her says that it was an accident. I do not know if it was or if it was not. The story says that at the moment the belief is that she was killed for her cell phone.

A method of communication. She was a woman who spent her whole life communicating Christ through her Faith, words and actions.

It would be easy right now to judge the man who killed her. It is so very easy. It is difficult to forgive him. It is difficult to not judge him.

Difficult. Like everything Sister Karen did in her life: A narrow and difficult path.

In the world today we see the ease of killing for your faith. We with frightening regularity the ease of hate. It almost springs like habit to the best of us: Hate, anger and judgement.

It is so difficult to live our faith. So difficult to walk the narrow path with hate, anger and judgement on our backs. They push down, make us fall and force us to the ground: so much like a cross.

When did they know that something had happened to sister Karen:

No one realized Sister Karen was missing until she failed to show up for lunch on Saturday with some parolees at Schwabl's restaurant.

"She didn't come," said the Rev. Roy Herberger of SS. Columba & Brigid Catholic Church, a close friend and co-minister to Sister Karen. "Something was wrong."

She didn't come to eat with them. She didn't come to be with them. She was so much a part of their lives in the daily common things that her absence from them was troubling.

Did the apostles eat on that friday night so long ago? Did they eat Saturday? We don't know. They might not have. They might have. And if they did, I'm sure His absence troubled them.

If we react with hatred, judgment, fear and anger...we push Christ from our table. Is He so much a part of our lives that His absence would trouble us?

This is the link to Hope House, where Sister Karen worked. There is a quote on the page:

HOPE is not a way out...it is a way through!

Here is a story from 1981 of Sister Karen visiting a children's camp (link). She was a clown named Bounce who entertained children, at the end of her performance:

“God says I have to go away now,” Sister Karen says gently, signaling the end of Bounce’s visit. “Oh God, it’s sad that I’m going away,” she says, removing her clown makeup so the children can see. “But I will remember the special person you want me to be.” And remembering the special person we are called to be is what Sister Karen’s clowning is all about.

A few days after she left a child said:

“The other day one of the six-year-olds came up and told me ‘I didn’t fight because the clown told me to be kind to others.,’” she said, humbly delighted with such encouragement.

My Lord and My God, As Sister Karen's life proclaimed your message, do not let her death lead to hate. God, help me to not hate the man who killed her, because the clown told us to be kind to others.

Updated link to the story (link).


helper said...



Anonymous said...

I feel terrible this happened. I had a son who was an adult at the time who committed a violent crime. I did not raise this son, but for a short time, and I did what I could to try to be a good Christian influence. He was in the system at a young age while being raised by someone else, and in constant trouble. I believe the system does not handle things properly.

My son ended up in Sister Karen’s halfway house where he had her wrapped around his finger inside of a week. My son is a lier and a manipulator who took advantage of her too. He even committed a crime by violating his parole while living in this placement and she hid it so he would not get in trouble.

I had a talk with her when this happened, as I was outraged, about not letting people like my son get away with things, and how I believed as a Christian woman that is not appropriate for any woman to live in a building with a bunch of men much less felons. Maybe if she cared to listen to someone else outside her system, she might still be alive. Apparently Sister Karen knew nothing about real evil in this world and how to deal with it. I spent much of my years in deliverance ministry and know what doors Satan can use, while the system is upside down and NOT really meant to help in any real logical way.

Why do people lie about things, many of those men who lived in that half way house with Sister Karen were in fact violent criminals? One article said the half way house was for non-violent criminals.

My son came out of jail into her half way house for slicing a man’s throat. Is that not violent? Within a week of being there with nothing but a few clothes on his back, my son was dressed better than we were, had a brand new cell phone, and was driving sister Karen’s nice car, and put in charge of heading up a youth computer program. I did not think any man who came out of jail for a violent crime should be in that position especially with children.

My son used to tell me how people would stop by ad give these felons money, especially on Easter. My son in this half way house lived better than we did and everything was bought for him or just given to him there because of Sister Karen’s connections while my other son who is good, kind, decent and caring and multiply handicapped cannot seem to get a break or any help of any kind in life. I definitely see something wrong here.

I think people need to stop lying about things, and the system needs to change. I also think the priests who are molesting these kids and destroying their lives early on should NOT be allowed the status they have, to go by the Popes Cannon Laws, like they are immune diplomats in our Country but to be held accountable to our penal and criminal laws here in the USA. In case many people do not know this, the very systems we look to for help are in fact evil and hide behind their connections and power. Just look at the criminal activities going on in Congress, or by the Banksters, yet none of them ever go to jail, they are EVIL! You need to know what true evil is before you try to deal with it. I have studied Law, BOTH MAN’S AND GOD’S, and saw myself on the front lines of the real battle of evil against good, up front and personal. I see what these people in our system really worship and it is not God, but Satan! These are the people behind the curtains like in the Wizard of Oz! Not like people like Sister Karen who truly wanted to do good, just a bit too na├»ve, and covering for the wrong people. Wake up people! BTW, I also am an Italian American.