Rev. Carol Ludden, RIP
It is with much sadness that we share with you news of the passing July 7th of one of our long-term community members and most beloved priest, friend, retreat director, community night presider, homilist, wisdom carrier, creative project director and mirth bearer, Reverend Carol Ludden.
The loss to our world of a voice stridently committed to the welfare of the poor and disenfranchised, to the people at the Pike Street Market, our community, to her beloved husband Jim and the inestimable number of people she has touched, is incalculable. We will miss her ready companionship, warm embrace and delight in our core members.
Carol died peaceful at home Monday, July 7th and was welcomed into heaven by her close friends and former core members, Carol, Kenneth and Tom. Our loss is heaven’s gain.
Carol’s was a long battle with cancer - which she prevailed over for more than a decade with great courage, determination and her characteristic robust good humor.
In 2007, during his last visit to the US, Jean Vanier sat and prayed with Carol at her “death bed” in a most beautiful and touching visit. That was the second time Carol miraculously recovered from a very close encounter with death.
Life was strong in Carol - both in giving and receiving it. She went on to live in her characteristically vibrant way right to the end: just this past year co-founding an Episcopal Volunteer Corps in Seattle and spending several months with her cherished Sisters and friends volunteering in Nicaragua.
Along with Fr. Mike Ryan, Carol became co-pastor of our community in the early 90s. News of Carol presiding at our Community Nights or being a retreat animator was always met with big smiles and cheers. She brought an unforgettable and engaging way of presiding to the Eucharist that has been treasured not only by our community but by the wider L’Arche family as well.
Carol's creativity knew no bounds and the most practical was constantly brought to bear on the most profound. Who else would pull out links of sausages to illustrate the point of our individuality and connectivity … during a homily! There were layers of insight to be wrought from her thoughtfully chosen words that had the ability to reach each of us wherever we were at.
We’ve all heard the wonderful words of Susan Zimmerman in the Journey of L’Arche video, “Each person’s life is important. Each person is an unrepeatable grace…”
In Reverend Carol Ludden, we saw this truth lived out in Technicolor. She believed it, lived it and called others out of themselves so they too could live into who they were called to be.
Carol constantly communicated her unwavering belief that the world is “charged with the grandeur of God” with wisdom, grace and humor. Her life announced St. Paul’s proclamation:
Finally, brothers and sisters, we wish you joy! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Cor 13)
Carol leaves a giant gap in our lives. However, as a stalwart witness and indefatigable promoter of joy in the Lord, she leaves behind a full and rich legacy which will continue to blossom.
There will be a memorial service for Carol September 27th with more details to follow.
May she rest in Peace.