By Rochelle Cassella
Congregational Director of Communications, Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities

On Sunday, we celebrated the risen Christ and the gift of second life that he gives. Outside it is spring with all its signs of renewed life — buds on trees, flower shoots popping up from the ground.

With all these signs and the celebration of life over death, I cannot help but think about the ‘second life’ that my sister was given. For years she had fought the illness that slowly destroyed her lungs, and would take her life if she did not undergo a double lung transplant. For years her name was on a list, and those of us who loved her hoped and prayed for her chance at a second chance at life.

Then came the call. We rushed to the hospital and gave thanks to God when the surgery was a success. Yet all the time we rejoiced, we recognized that, for our sister/wife/mother to live, someone else’s son/daughter, spouse/parent had to die.

Five years later, you would never know how close to dying my sister came. She is healthy and is making the best of the second life she has been given. She is traveling, reveling in the successes of her children, enjoying her first grandchild, and promoting organ donations so others will have the second chance that she had. And each and every one of us who love her pray every day for the unknown individual whose death gave us hope and made her second life possible. We pray also for the donor’s family members, who made an unselfish choice so that someone else could live. I cannot think of a more Christ-like action than this.

During this Easter season, let us all remember Jesus’ unselfish choice and the hope his action gives us all for a second chance at life eternal.