Sisters of Notre Dame…Missioned to Incarnate the Love of our good and provident God

Sister Maria Raphael   

Sister Maria Raphael                      ND 7690                          PDF Download

Heeyoung YOON

Regina Pacis Province, Incheon, South Korea

Date and Place of Birth:            October 23, 1975        Seoul
Date and Place of Profession: August 22, 2008        Incheon
Date and Place of Death:          December 14, 2020   Seoul
Date and Place of Burial:          December 16, 2020   Yangju

“You follow me. If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me”(John 21:22, Luke 9:23).

Sister Maria Raphael was born as the first child to Ihee Yoon and Mira Park, followed by two brothers. She was a reliable daughter to her parents and always like a good friend to her brothers. Before she entered the Sisters of Notre Dame, she was actively involved in her parish as a catechist for those who were interested in Catholicism, a leader of a bible sharing group of young adults, and the president of the Youth Association, demonstrating strong leadership. Interested in a religious vocation, she searched for a congregation and found the Notre Dame community, which led her to enter. 

After her first profession, Sister Maria Raphael was sent to Mok 5-dong parish for pastoral work where she brought God’s goodness and vitality to ministry collaborators as well as parishioners. At that time the Notre Dame Catechesis Research Team was launched in the provincial house to create First Communion preparatory materials of our own. As a team member, she made practical and concrete contributions to the project based on her experiences of the First Communion classes that she gave in the parish. In preparation for her final profession, she assisted the sister in charge of a group home for children from broken families, ministering there for six months and taking loving care of the children. Later she liked to share these experiences. 

After perpetual profession, she participated in the language program in Rome for a year, where she both learned English and experienced our international community. Her unique brightness and humor brought a lively atmosphere to the motherhouse community and endeared her to the sisters. 

Upon returning to Korea, she was fully dedicated to her ministry in the Catechesis Research Team for six years. At each catechesis program, she gave enthusiastic lectures with her excellent sense of humor and teaching skills. She often told the other sisters of her joy and sense of reward in delivering the message of God’s goodness using our own instructional materials. The need of in-depth theology for her work prompted her to study religion and eventually receive a master’s degree at the Catholic University. 

Sister Maria Raphael was broad-minded, ever open, and eager to support the other person. Many loved her and relied on her with her sincere sense of responsibility, empathetic ability, and positive attitude. 

In the morning of December 14, she was found lying in her bedroom, already dead from an acute myocardial infarction. We are in deep grief and shock of having lost a sister who so generously shared her many gifts from God and carried love and vitality to her neighbors. May she know the consolation and peace of Jesus and enjoy eternal peace and joy. 

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