If it's May, it must be time for a 100th birthday celebration for one of our Sisters at Ozanam Hall in NY. Or so Sister Jacci Glessner tells us:
Sunday, May 15, 2022 marked the end of a type of trilogy: Three Sisters celebrated 100 years of birth in May in Ozanam Hall in Queens, NY. In May 2000, Sister Rosalita McNamee celebrated her 100th birthday. In May 2001 Sister Aveline Smith achieved 100 years. This year, Sister Marguerite Bunter enjoyed passing the 100th year mark of her birth.
Both Sister Rosalita and Sister Aveline were "local girls," while Sister Marguerite, the firstborn of the Bunter family, made her debut in Switzerland. As they gathered to celebrate her, Sisters and friends listened to Marguerite's answers to inquiries about her life.
Why did you come to the United States?
I had a position with a Swiss family who lived in New Canaan, CT, asking me to care for their three young children.
What motivated your saying yes to the offer of this position?
I think I had a spirit of adventure and risk. I wanted to see many parts of the world.
New Canaan is the town next to Wilton. In looking back do you see any significance to this?
Yes, I see this as God's leading me to the SSNDs. Imagine...God took me from the beauty of the Alps of Switzerland to the beauty of the green fields of Connecticut to direct me to what I was to do with my life.
There must have been other significant moments in your life...
Yes, my first assignment as a professed SSND was to the Hills of Vermont. I think Mother Paschal responded to God's impulse to send me to an area that was similar to my homeland. My living in Liberia, Africa was another significant time in my life.
You traveled much in your life as an SSND.
Yes, I was blessed with the gift of being comfortable in recruiting funds for the ministry of the SSNDs in Africa. This gift led me to visit other countries and meet wonderful, generous people.
During morning prayer, Sisters at Ozanam also shared what characteristics they have seen in Sister Marguerite:
- You are a prayerful person
- You take risks
- You are very generous with your talents and your other resources
- You love the outdoors
- You try to keep physically fit
- You have a spirit of adventure
- You are concerned for the other Sisters here in Ozanam
- You like classical music
In the afternoon there was a type of "20 questions about Switzerland" in which the Sisters were asked some questions about Sister Marguerite's homeland. "I was pleased to see that my Sisters here do know much about Switzerland," she said. "And when they did not know the answers to the questions I felt proud to be able to share a little of my birth place."
This was a joyful celebration of life, not just for Marguerite,but for all the Sisters present at Ozanam. Sister Marguerite asked that I share her gratitude for the presents, cards, flowers and phone calls that she received on her special day from all who remembered her on this occasion.