Sister Therese was a lifelong learner, she continued to grow in many different roles in schools and parishes throughout Canada. Sister was well-known for her skill in tatting, crocheting and knitting, In 1872, Mother Caroline herself gave wooden knitting needles to Sister Therese’s grandmother! Sister Therese was a deeply spiritual religious and showed an interest in each person she met.
Initially, sent to Puerto Rico in 1953 to teach, she spent a few years at St. Peter’s School in Philadelphia before going to Bolivia in 1964. There she was a classroom teacher in La Paz. Mary Ann’s many years of ministry there spread to adult education and evangelization. On her return to Baltimore in 1991, Mary Ann was employed by the Johns Hopkins Health Systems as a Spanish Language Specialist and Interpreter. She said about her years of work "I tried to live the gospel to its fullest among God’s people."
Sister Eileen Marie was deeply religious. Her demanding schedule in health care did not deter her from participating in community prayer. In difficult situations, she calmly trusted in God’s help. On her retirement as director of nursing, her healthcare staff held a farewell party. To quote from their address to her, “We nurses love and respect you and admire and compliment the high standard of care at SSND. We commit to you that we will uphold the tradition of excellent care and maintain the atmosphere of love and respect”.
Sister Jean was a true educator in her ministries, whether in administration, SSND formation of postulants, parish ministry or in the classroom. Sister Jean was noted for her integrity, fairness, and compassion. She was particularly concerned about the less fortunate. The quote from You Are Sent Constitution #22, exemplified Sister Jean’s ministry, “Like Mother Theresa we educate with the conviction that the world can be changed through the transformation of persons”. May God welcome her home.
Sister Agnes, whose religious name was Sister Callista, spent her first 16 years of ministry teaching at Saints Peter and Paul School in Rochester, NY, and St. Luke in Westport, Ct. Beginning in 1971, as Sister Agnes, she pioneered the new role of Director of Religious Education at St. Mary Parish in Ridgefield. From 1974 until 1990, she served in this ministry at St. Mary, Norwalk; St. Gregory, Danbury; Notre Dame, Easton; and St. Bernadette, New Haven.
“I was inspired by the School Sisters and felt that this was my calling and I accepted it. God has always given me the grace to do His will and to persevere in His service.” Loved by many, Sister Theodore was always involved with giving. In retirement, She could often be found in the small kitchen at Villa Assumpta baking her specialty, Jewish Apple Cake, and her famous pizzelle cookies which went out to many events and friends. She loved to help with St. Leo’s dinners and the Italian Festival in Little Italy.
After working in education for over 20 years, Sister Joan became deaf, and she began many years of service to the deaf community. As she wrote, “A seemingly impossible dream began….when I lost my hearing... I dreamed of one day resuming the teaching career". After a serious study of sign language and lip reading, she began teaching high school English to the deaf. As her sister, Sister Susan Curtin, recalls, in spite of her handicaps Joan was always “a ray of sunshine.”
Sister Sally was an amazing woman who spent all of her life helping others. She was committed to service with skill and zeal, as she strove to be present in the hills of Kentucky. Her strength and wisdom were an inspiration to many, especially at Sarah’s Place, where she made a such huge difference in so many lives. Kind and loving, she truly made the world a better place.
In 2021, Miriam Therese was part of the early groups to go to Ozanam Hall in Queens for full-time care. In community she was quiet and kind, gently humorous. A great reader and avid fan of Mary Higgins Clark, Miriam Therese once, through a student whose family knew the famous author, got to speak with her on the phone, a highlight for a loyal fan.
Sister Chabanel, a member of Notre Dame community, Waterdown, Ontario passed away peacefully on August 8, 2022 at the age of 96 and in the 72th year of her religious profession. She grew up on the family farm near Salt Lake, Saskatchewan. She recalls driving to school over the prairie roads, especially through the crisp, frosty air of winter, in an open sleigh.
After 30 years as an elementary school teacher, Sister Zita continued using her teaching skills with catechetical classes for children attending public school in Kitchener, Ontario and as parish coordinator of weekly religion classes in Cloverdale, British Columbia. In Wilkie and Unity, Saskatchewan, she lead Bible study groups and visited the elderly and those in nursing homes.
“Sometimes there are no adequate verbal answers to the hard life and death questions patients and families ask," said Sister Rita about her work as a hospital chaplain. "The most a chaplain can do is express the healing presence of a compassionate God who hears our cry and is present in a warm embrace, silence, and tears.”