Sister Mariella loved people and helping them shine, a student wrote of her "You simply made learning fun which is so important for the development of any child." At her service, Sister Lorraine Burns spoke of Mariella’s 76 years as an SSND ending with words from You Are Sent that Mariella had requested: “In death we say our ultimate human yes to our Creator. Trusting in God’s power to bring us to fullness of life, we see death as an act of worship: in dying we proclaim God, God and ourselves creatures. Although in grief, the community gratefully affirms this . . .”
In keeping with the loving spirit that Sister Henry fostered in her many years of service, Sister was nominated by the Archdiocese of Newark for the NCEA Distinguished Principal Award. Part of John Street in Secaucus was named for her on Arbor Day in 2001. And in 1998, the Jubilee medal Pro Meritus, recommended by her Pastor, was given to her by the Archdiocese of Newark, for distinguished service in school and parish.
After a teaching and administration in numerous schools, Sister Ellen volunteered to experience the life of migrants who were working near Warwick, New York (1987). Later, she shared “The contrast between the beautiful, fertile farmlands, and the hard labor and poor dwellings of the migrant workers and their families really bothered me. It was a summer of learning and sharing.” Subsequently, Sister spent 13 years teaching ESL at Caroline House, in Bridgeport, “a ministry she loved.”
After graduating from Hamilton Teachers’ College, Sister Kathleen taught at St. Helen’s School, Hamilton, Sacred Heart School, Kitchener and St. Mary’s School, Owen Sound. Sister Kathleen was librarian at Sacred Heart and St. Anne’s Schools, Kitchener and at St. Clements School, Cambridge. In 1976 she moved to Beardmore in northern Ontario and taught at St. Theresa’s School. In 1980 she transferred to Pine Point, Northwest Territories and later to Fort Smith, Northwest Territories where she initiated a religion program which involved parents as well as youth in religious education.
From the very start Sister Rita had a happy disposition, a love of storytelling and conversation, a natural openness and kindness. As homilist at her funeral, Father John Clooney, former Watertown Pastor, shared some humorous stories and called Rita, “a good and faithful servant.” He recalled “her integrity and uprightness” and expressed the gratitude of the parish “for all she had been and done for us.” We also thank S Rita, may God welcome her home.
Helenann taught junior high in the US for eight years. Then she found her true calling, starting many long and adventure-filled years as a missionary to South America when she and her classmate Paula Armstrong joined our Sisters in Santiago, Chile. They were part of a second group that brought the total of SSNDs in Chile to 13. Along with teaching, they also harbored citizens being hunted by the corrupt government until they, themselves, became targets and had to flee.
Sister Regis had a long and varied career as an educator. She was a classroom teacher in Maryland, Massachusetts and Camden, New Jersey before becoming a principal. She worked in the Religious Education Office in Camden, then Baltimore. She was also a consultant for Catechesis and Religious Education in Baltimore. Sister Regis then spent almost twenty years as the Director of Catechetical Ministry and later Vicar for Religious in Florida
Sister Arthur Mary’s life is a quintessential SSND story—completely devoted to elementary school teaching and administration. In 1978 she began 16 years of service as Principal at St. Philip Neri School in Rochester, and 18 years as Principal at St. Boniface, Rochester, a foundation of the congregation in 1866 and her own grade school, of which she was the last principal.
Sister Julianna was ahead of her time. An address at the presentation of one of her many awards, given in 1997, was titled, “Education, Multiculturalism, and the Future.” At her retirement in 2008. Julianna was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by the President and Board of Trustees of Fairfield University, where she was a tenured professor.
Life long educator Sister Audrey had a concern for the less fortunate and marginalized. While living in Waterloo, she volunteered at the House of Friendship and St. John’s Soup Kitchen. She always looked for ways to serve others, saying “We struggle in solidarity with those who are poor for justice and a global community.” On Palm Sunday we commemorated Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem, may Jesus accompany Sister Audrey into the Heavenly Jerusalem.
Catherine's vocation was inspired by her mother’s love and devotion. She had the courage to believe that one finds a friend in suffering. She valued this gift, not only for herself but as she encouraged others. Her strong belief in God’s presence taught her to find the way home to where God is always waiting.
Sister Alfreda radiated joy. Her conversations were always positive and witty. Prayer was important to her and she had a loving relationship with both Jesus and Mary, which sustained her in her mission of loving service wherever and however she was called to minister, whether in Canada, England or Bolivia.