Tom Artz: Caring
I was blessed to be born into a large, loving family where faith was important and Catholic values were taught along with a strong work ethic.
From kindergarten through eighth grade I was taught by School Sisters of Notre Dame at St. Alphonsus School on the North side of Chicago. The 30 or more sisters who taught there in the '50s and '60s were excellent teachers and women of faith and virtue. They gave me the solid foundation that has influenced my entire life.
Later, when I was studying for my doctorate in theology, I had the opportunity to teach religion classes alongside SSNDs at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Grammar School in Boston.
The first year I got a real paycheck I determined that I would make a donation to the sisters. I knew that I could never repay them for the education they gave me, but at least I could show my support and appreciation with a check. I've been doing that every year since and have included the sisters in my will.
I care deeply about the sisters who taught me in my youth. I know their reward in heaven will be great, but I don't want their retirement years to be filled with worry about paying the bills for medical care and living expenses. I also support strongly the broadening of the sisters' ministry as they move beyond the classroom to advocate for immigrants and work for peace and justice.