Remembering an IHM Sister

 

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Remembering: Sisters who taught at St. Ambrose Elementary School, Bridgeport, CT
Location: Saint Ambrose Elementary School in Bridgeport, CT
Date: 1960 - 1968

Dear Sisters, 

I recently purchased a book from your community that I will use in my last semester of formation prior to ordination into the permanent diaconate in the Archdiocese of Hartford CT, on June 7th of this year. When I saw the IHM sisters selling the book via the Amazon community, I was happy to purchase it because I was a student at Saint Ambrose elementary school in Bridgeport CT, 1960 - 1968, which was staffed by the IHM Sisters. If not for the influence of the wonderful nuns who staffed that school when I was there, I don't believe I would have been led to this vocation. Unlike some of the horror stories others experienced in Catholic schools, my 8 years and those of a number of Saint Ambrose alumni, were replete with graces and blessings. The sisters were most caring, nurturing and loving. I can still remember my first day of 1st grade, when Sister Theresa Mary came walking in, with rosaries swinging about her waist. She was young, beautiful, kind and she smelled good too! I felt like I was in the presence of the Virgin Mary. She and the vast majority of the nuns who were there at the time are people you should be proud of. They formed my spirituality. Lovely women. Your community will always be dear to me, and I will be eternally grateful to the following sisters (at least those I can remember).

 

Sister Theresa Mary (Sally Curry) - 1st Grade

Sister Marcia - 2nd Grade

Sister ? - Third Grade

Sister Mary Mark - 6th Grade

Sister Regina Mary - 7th Grade

Sister Dolores Marie - 7th Grade

Sister Elizabeth Marie - 8th Grade

Sister Francesca - 8th Grade

Sister Andre (Principal)

 

Sincerely,

Ernest (Ernie) Scrivani

 

PS - Please keep me in your prayers, I will keep you in mind.


Remembering: Sisters who taught at St. Mary of the Mount in Pittsburgh, PA
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Date: 1963-1967

Never a day goes by that I don't think of one of the caring, loving remarkable women of the IHM Sisters. They taught us at St. Mary of the Mount in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I was sadened to hear that of another of those Beloved Nuns passed away last week. Sister Salvator exemplified what all teachers should be: kind, loving, supportive while always asking you to raise the bar & think outside the box. I took French because I loved Sister Salvatore!  I also took more French classes in college because of her. My 1st grade teacher was Sister Adele Mari. Followed by Sister Mary Margaret, Sister Mary Patrick, Sister Thomaseta (she was tall & beautiful ) and I was fortunate to be in her home room in grade school & again as a sophmore.  There was Sister Faith and Sister Mary Frederick (we were in her class 50 years ago) when president  Kennedy was shot in Dallas. Sister Joann and Sister Xavier for Latin and of course, Sister Paul Joseph was our principle when I graduated in 1967. I loved all of them then and still do. I tell everyone what a great education & life experience Catholic school provided me. The amazing work you do is measured year after year in our successes! Merry Christmas to all & a very Happy New Year as you all deserve the best life has to offer.


Remembering: Sister Gabriel Kane
Location: Saint Bernardine's School, West Baltimore, MD
Date: 1945-46

Dear Sister Mary Alice Kane, IHM:

I am Richard Buschman an alumnus of Sister Gabriel's second grade at Saint Bernardine's school in West Baltimore. Even though it was during the school year of 1945-46, I will never forget dear Sister Gabriel. How lucky was I?? Sister also taught me in grade seven. After being taught by "tall" Sister Jane in first grade, on the first day of school in second grade into the classroom came a beautiful, young, smiling and "short" sister. It was as If she was one of us. Don't let this fool you. Sister expected a lot from us and she got it. She knew that most young boys could not sit still very long. How smart was she?? She just gave us more work to do so we would not finish first and disrupt the class. Sister told my mom there is no such thing as a bad boy. They are just full of energy and mischief and all one needs to do is point them in the right direction.

A few years ago I saw Sisters Sheila and Gabriel at the cathedral in downtown Baltimore. Sister Gabriel remembered teaching us about the civil war in grade seven. We had a grand time talking about this event in history. When I was stationed in the south during my time in the Army I discovered that Sister had it all wrong. The conflict was not over it is just on hold. What fun this was. Sister being from Pennsylvania and all of us living south of the Mason-Dixon line.

No matter how hard the Sisters tried, they could not change the way people in Baltimore speak. Do you know that that the word "water" has no letter "d" (wader), "sink" has no letter "z" (zink), Baltimore sometimes has the "tl" missing or the "ti" Is replaced by a "d" and Little Italy is not "Little Itly" as we said it.

Most of all I want you to know that, without the Sisters of St. B's I would not have the great love of God and His mother in my heart that I have. (My wife Claire has strengthened my faith very much, a good Sisters of Mercy educated girl from South Jersey). St. B's was full of good learning, discipline, the will not to fail and the love of God. Even after we left grade school the school playground was the place to play touch football, hand ball and basketball. What fun us guys has on one hot summer day when two young Sisters, who we did not know, pinned up their habits and shot baskets with us. WOW

Then we had the dreaded school recitals and accompanying skits, us guys knew that Sisters Sheila, Gabriel and the music teacher Sister Marcia would eventually trap us into being in the skits. We would always plead our case against the skits. So, when we would say, I do not want to do this, we would hear OK I will ask your mothers. Case closed,

Who will ever forget the Christmas plays, the loud singing at the 9am Sunday school mass ( you must sing loud so the people in the church next to us could hear us), the great buns at the Mount Holly bakery we ate after first Friday mass and how the May procession and the crowning of Mary in front of church closed U.S. Route 40 for a couple of hours.

I know you miss your sisters who went home to the Lord. I still miss my sister, Sister Elizabeth Buschman IHM, who went home to the lord 32 years ago on August 19. We now have saints in heaven watching over us. Sister Theresa Frere IHM is in ministry in my parish, St. Peter's Waldorf, Maryland. She is a wonderful person and she keeps me well Informed of the happenings at Marywood. My sister and I would talk about sitting on the porch at the old mother house when we got old together and rock in the big chairs. God had other plans.

I had a few of my childhood friends write a few lines about St. B's which I have enclosed. I am also sending along a copy of my second grade report card.

Thank you. Immaculate Heart of Mary sisters may God and His mother bless you and keep you forever.

Regina Caell, ora pro nobis,

Richard and Claire Buschman

August 22, 2013


Remembering: Sisters who taught at St. Ambrose in the 1950's and 1960's
Location: St. Ambrose School in Bridgeport, CT
Date: 1956 to 1968

My name is Ernest (Ernie) Scrivani.  I am a graduate of St. Ambrose School in Bridgeport CT (1968). The reason for contacting you is to express a collective thanks for the contributions and dedications of the good sisters with whom I had the privilege of spending eight formative years. I am now 58 years old and approaching the day of my ordination to the Order of Deacons in the Archdiocese of Hartford, CT. If not for the kindness and love I experienced from your sisters in St. Ambrose, I honestly do not believe I would be at this amazing juncture in my life. The sisters whose names I remember are as follows - Sr. Therese Mary; Sr. Marcia; Sr. Mary Mark; Sr. Regina Mary; Sr. Dolores Marie; Sr. Elizabeth Marie;  Sr. Francesca, and our principle Sr. Andre - the others I cannot recall. I remember vividly my first day of school, when Sr. Theresa Mary greeted us. She was young, she was beautiful, her rosary beads made a calming sound as she walked and she smelled sweet. I know that she left the order long ago - her secular name is Sally Currie. As a 6 year old boy, I felt like Sister Theresa Mary was a manifestation of the Virgin Mary herself, so tender and loving was she. Without getting imposingly verbose, I just wanted to let you know the impact these sisters had on me, the fruit of which has been growing for a long time. Please extend to any or all who are still with us, my deepest gratitude. I know and believe that their witness and their love was providential in forming my faith and has led me to this most blessed vocation. With profound and sincere gratitude, I am your son in Christ.


Remembering: Sisters Thaddeus, St. Leo, Rosario, Patricia, Maria Thomas, Stella, Paula, Mary Brian, Timothy Marie, Scholastica, and Mary Bride
Location: Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School, Forest Hills, New York

I have such fond memories of my 8 years attending Our Lady Queen of Martyrs school in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. A beautiful church and a beautiful school made even more beautiful by the nuns who taught me. I especially have fond memories of Sister Thaddeus Kelly, one of my teachers in the 7th and 8th grades. She was one of the kindest human beings I have ever known and I loved learning so much from Sister Thaddeus. I often thought about her through the years - her kindness, compassion, knowledge and her encouraging me to pursue songwriting and music studies. I am forever grateful for Sister Thaddeus having been in my life and for sharing so much of her goodness. She is always in my thoughts and prayers!

 

In lasting gratefulness and thanks to the wonderful nuns who taught me from the years 1965-1973 - you are always remembered and in my thoughts and prayers. Sister St. Leo (First Grade) Sister Rosario (Second Grade) Sister Patricia Sister Maria Thomas (our principal) Sister Stella Devers (our 2nd principal) Sister Paula Gallagher (my favorite piano/music teacher) Sister Mary Brian Greene Sister Timothy Marie Sister Scholastica Sister Thaddeus Kelly Sister Mary Bride and to all the other Sisters who taught at OLQM - thank you for setting a great example and for sharing your knowledge and wisdom! Every child should receive the education that I did from these wonderful Sisters.


Remembering: Sisters, Herberta, Sheila, Marionette, Charles, Athanasius, Basil, Electa, Alma Marie, Cosmas
Location: Immaculata High School, NYC
Date: 1959-1963

What a wonderful education and life lessons learned from some of the most dedicated and caring women in my life. I will never forget them and what they did for me.


Remembering: Sister Francis Rose Lapitino
Location: Forest Hills, NY
Date: 1991-1998

Just remembering what a fine teacher 'Frannie Rose' was. We taught together at OLM from 1991 through 1998. She was always there for me and extremely compassionate. Thank you, Sister Francis Rose.


Remembering: Sister M. Chrysta Lerhinan
Location: St. Mary of the Mount High School, Pittsburgh

Sister Chrysta was my math teacher from 7th grade through graduation. She was an inspiration to me and I eventually went to college to complete a math degree. I remember how often she used to tell me that it was okay for a girl to enjoy math so as I was a math tutor through college, I would encourage the young and older women that came to the Learning Center to put aside any negative thought regarding math. She was my friend not just my teacher. My mother was in a mental hospital through my senior year and it was Sister Chrysta who kept me motivated and gave me a reason to come to school. She was understanding and did not just tell me she would pray for me - even though I knew that she was - but asked daily what I needed at home and what she could do to help. When I married, I named our oldest daughter after Sister Chrysta and I have to say that my Chrysta Marie exhibits so many of the same qualities that made me fall in love with and respect Sister Chrysta as a nun, a teacher and a friend. I often wonder if she is still alive.


Remembering: Sister Gonzaga Walton
Location: Nyack, NY

I am responding to a recent post concerning Sister Gonzaga - she was my fifth grade teacher at St. Ann's in Nyack. However I did get to know her in another capacity during my time with the IHM community. She was quite elderly at the time she taught us - little did we know then that she was losing her hearing. It could not have been easy to teach a class of 50 ( yes 50) children during that time of her life. As someone I knew when I was a young woman I found her gracious - an exemplary religious woman. Sometimes things are not what they seem in life.


Remembering: Sister Mary Martin Cawley
Location: Coeur d' Alene, Idaho
Date: 1962

Sister Mary Martin was my favorite teacher. She taught eighth grade in Coeur d alene Idaho in 1962. I learned just today she has passed on to the Lord. Sister Mary Martin was so real. She used to regale us with her childhood antics in Brooklyn. Because of these stories I grew to respect and love Sister as a teacher and a friend. I even visited her at the convent after I started high school. I guess I needed her sage advice. Rest in peace, Sister Mary Martin.

Marianne (Cieryca) Taylor, IHM Academy 1966


Remembering: Sister Mary Hugh Placilla
Location: St. Thomas School, Coeur d'Alene Idaho
Date: 1957 - 59

Sister Mary Hugh was my first and fifth grade teacher.  I remember her as a very young sister.  At that time, our classes were large...fifty plus children in each classroom.  I admired her and have thought of her many times over the years.


Remembering: Sister Marge Caulson
Location: Hospice Care Network, Woodbury, NY
Date: August 2002-present time

Sr. Marge has served our hospice patients, families, and staff in many ways during the 10 years she has been at Hospice Care Network on lovely Long Island.  She visits our dying patients whether they be at home, in hospitals or nursing home settings, offers spiritual comfort and moral support to their caregivers, and has been a wonderful coworker to the Hospice Staff.  Sr. Marge has shared her singing talents with the patients and has been the best of sports to act in our Christmas Party skits each year. 

Even her voice mail messages offer comfort to those who call her-she changes them with the seasons and each message helps us visualize the beauties of God's earth and His many blessings to us.  Now, as Sr. Marge celebrates her 50th year in service to God and man, I would like to take the opportunity on behalf of all those she has helped to thank her for the comfort and care she gives to all.  We have a 91 year old Jewish volunteer who firmly believes Sr. Marge has a "hot line to heaven".  May Our Lady continue to bless her and her mission for many, many years to come.


Remembering: Sister M. Leon McConnell
Location: St Mary of the Mount Pittsburgh PA

This isn't really a story but what I remember most about Sr. Leon was her deep devotion to the Mother of God. She would always extol saying the Rosary and especially honoring Mary during the months of May and October. As a result she strengthened my devotion to Mary. I try to say the rosary everyday. Also, she was very big on being a daily communicant. I am ashamed to admit that much to my chagrin I haven't achieved this goal yet but I am trying.


Remembering: Sister Antoinette Bosak
Location: St Matthews, Wilmington, DE
Date: 1966

In 1966, I was in first grade, and my teacher was Sister Antoinette.  In mid-September, my Mother and her family rushed to be at the side of my Grandfather who was critically ill. There was much confusion, and I wasn't quite sure what was happening.  One day Sister Antoinette called me to the front of the class and out into the hallway.  She gently led me out the door and began to explain to me that my Grandfather had died.  I am sure I was upset and full of fear, but Sister gently hugged me and said "Everything is ok, he is with God".  I remember feeling immediate relief and comfort. 

We walked back into the room, and Sister had everyone pray for my Grandfather and my family. What a gift of faith to pass on to a first grade child, and just as importantly the entire class.  These were the difficult issues that the all the Sisters of IHM tackled with grace and truth.  I see Sister quite often and remind her of that story, and she just smiles.  The amazing part is that she still teaches after all these years and passes on these simple messages of faith.  I had many fine teachers from the IHM community, but she made the biggest impact on me!


Remembering: Sister M. Verena O'Callahan
Location: St. Mary's, Manhasset

A group of St. Mary's graduates get together each year and we have reminisced so much about our years at St. Mary's.  We have fond memories of the sisters.  Sr. Verena taught Geometry to all of us. There are some Geometry facts we took with us. Some were better at math than others. I am in the latter group.  However I'd do remember "the shortest distance from one point to another is a straight line.” May she rest in peace.

Pat Sanford Tierney


Remembering: Sister Felice Hickey
Location: St. Mary's, Manhasset

Another one of our dear St. Mary's sister has gone to the Lord. We all have fond memories of a religious woman who had a great sense of humor. She told us many times that John Barry and not John Paul Jones was the Father of the American Navy! May she rest in peace.


Remembering: Sister Neumann Murray
Location: St. Mary's, Manhasset, NY
Date: 1947

Sr. Neumann was incredible!  Everyone loved her so much that, when she wanted us to clean the classroom at the end of the school year, we scrubbed the floors so well that they had to be refinished.  Years later, after three of my children were born,  I visited Sister at Canal St. in NYC with my husband, three children and my Mom. It was like going to see Grandma and Sister was so thrilled when we gave her a statue of the Infant of Prague with all the colored vestments for her classroom.


Remembering: Sister M. Joan (Ann Minahan)
Location: Marywood College Scranton, Pa.

She was known to me as Aunt Ann. She was my paternal grandmother's sister. When I was growing up she would come and visit us in South Carolina. When I got older, I would write her letters and she would correct my english and send them back. Some might have taken offense at this, but she and I enjoyed it. I attended her funeral mass, I believe in 1966.  It's been a long time since 1966 and I have lost contact with a lot of the family on that side, but I've thought of "Aunt Ann" often. 


Remembering: Sister Mary Patrina
Location: Most Holy Rosary, Syracuse, NY
Date: 1950's

Sister Patrina changed and redirected my life.

Thank you,

Bob Casey

MHR 1959


Remembering: Sister Gonzaga Walton
Location: St. Ephrem's, Brooklyn, NY
Date: 1960's

This may sound negative at first, but bear with me; it doesn't end that way. It is unlikely that anyone from St. Ephrem's will post any good memories about Sr. Gonzaga: Everyone was afraid of her, even some of the lay teachers!

Sr. Gonzaga was quite elderly, and people gave Room 6 a wide birth. It occurred to me a few years ago that Sr. Gonzaga wasn't always old and that there had to be more to her story. So I wrote and asked about her. I was surprised to learn that she was not the first member of the Walton family to become an IHM Sister. She was also not the first Sr. Gonzaga Walton. There have been three, all born in the 19th century. Our Sr. Gonzaga was the last, and lived into her late 90's. She also had a niece, Sr. Justa Walton. The contribution of all the Waltons’ to IHM, and in turn, to all those they served, cannot be overlooked. While I didn't learn anything about Sr. Gonzaga's early years as a Sister, I did learn that she was continuing a proud tradition of service, and for that, I honor her memory.

I would be interested in learning more about her early life, if anyone has any memories or records or photos.


Remembering: Sister Basil McLane
Location: St. Leo's School, Ashley, PA
Date: 1957

Sister Basil, who died at the age of 103, last year, became the principal at St. Leo’s in the fall of 1957. Known then as "Mother" Basil, she stood ramrod-straight and wore pince-nez, giving her quite an authoritative air in her starched wimple and impeccably pressed habit. Soon after arriving, she visited our fifth-grade classroom to hear us practice the hymns for the children's Mass the following Sunday. The hymn we sang for her was "Soul of Our Saviour," which included the words "wash me, ye waters, gushing from His side."

When Mother Basil heard us sing that line, she winced noticeably and adjusted her pince-nez with deliberation. She asked one of the pupils to copy the words to the hymn on the blackboard. When he had done so, she picked up an eraser and first rubbed out the "u" from the word "Saviour," explaining to us that we were in America and the correct spelling was "Savior."  Then, in a great cloud of chalk dust, she erased the word "gushing" quite thoroughly--eradicating it, really--and replaced it with "streaming" in her perfect Spenserian handwriting.

Wincing again, and speaking like Queen Elizabeth addressing Parliament, she solemnly intoned, BUT with a hint of a smile, "Boys and girls, one should never gush."

We ten-year-olds had no idea what she was trying to accomplish, but we knew from her royal demeanor--oops, demeanor--that attention had to be paid.

Years later, after I had found my calling as a writer and editor, I remembered that incident and had my "aha" moment. Mother Basil had given us a valuable lesson about the nuances of language: how one must always choose the precise word to express one's thoughts, and that some words are inappropriate in certain contexts. Obviously, the thought of waters "gushing" from the side of Christ was just too informal and tasteless for her refined sensibility.

It seemed like a minor incident, but it only served to heighten my awareness of the unique powers of every word in the language. I think I became a better writer and editor as a result of that object lesson by Mother Basil wincing in pince-nez one autumn afternoon half a century ago.


Remembering: Sisters Petrina Maher, Ida McDonnell, Hortense O'Boyle
Location: Most Holy Rosary, Syracuse, NY
Date: 1959

Sisters of the IHM taught me at Most Holy Rosary, but, gave me the gift of direction in life. I am very, very grateful.

Sister Petrina, Sister Ida, Sister Hortense and many others! God Bless and Thank You!

Bob Casey, 1959

Most Holy Rosary, Syracuse, NY


Remembering: Sister M. Benedicta Berendes
Location: Holy Rosary High School
Date: 1961

Thanks for letting us know about Sister Benedicta. I remember her fondly. She actually influenced me to become an English major in college, although she never knew that. I used to love the way she read poetry to us in 11th and 12th grades. Her cadence and rhythm as she read was superb. She distilled a love of poetry in me. Funny how life is. It wasn't even her field. She probably didn't even want to be teaching us English. But she influenced me. I pray she had a full, rewarding, and happy life. 


Remembering: Sister Colletta (Jeanne Marie) Kearney
Location: St. Matthew School - Wilmington, Delaware
Date: 1959

I was trained by the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart Of Mary at St. Matthew School in Wilmington, Delaware from 1956 to 1964.

The sister that impressed me the most was Sister Colletta my fourth grade teacher. She always reinterated at that time, "things we do today affect tomorrow and we must make the most of every moment we have in life".

I will say this about Sister Colletta and all of the good sisters that taught at St. Matthew School. We were trained on how to face life along with our schoolwork. As a result of all of that instruction I have tried to lead my life as a credit to the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and my parents.

Sister Coletta ran a fair but firm classroom but was always willing to help any student should they stumble.

We learned mental math, we learned how to read effectivly, write proficiently and communicate proerly. We learned the disciplines of the Catholic religion along with Geography, History and English.

Most importantly, everything she and the other good sisters taught then, carried us into our adult life today.

My thanks to Sister Colletta and the good sisters of the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for all they have done to influence me.

Today, St. Matthew School is closed a victim of the severe recession that closed down the neighboring General Motors and Chrysler Automobile plants in Delaware but the memories remain.

From time to time students who knew Sister Colletta at St. Matthew School in Wilmington, Delaware get together and remember our times at that school.

Sister Colletta always comes up first in our conversations as the nun who impressed us all for her efforts and getting all of us in gear with our studues and life's lessons.

My thanks to everyone including Sister Colletta as I have stayed a practicing Catholic, member of the Knights of Columbus and I also direct traffic after the 5:00 P. M. Saturday mass st St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Bear, Delaware where I belong.


Remembering: Sister Monica Byrne
Location: St. Anthony's, Portland, Oregon
Date: 1966

I attended St. Anthony's School grades 2-8. I have very loving memories of Sister Monica. I'm not sure if she is still alive, and I would love to hear from her. She had a great impact on my life. My 7th and 8th grade years were difficult for me. She spent a lot of time with me after school mentoring me. Every day I would look forward to staying after school, walking her to the convent, carrying her bookbag. She was very kind to everyone. There was a young child with developmental disabilities. He asked her to ride on the back of his go-cart. She did and she flew off the go-cart smacked flat on the cement. I didn't know that nuns had red blood! And they could have tears in their eyes also. I felt so bad for her. She was more concerned that the little boy on the go-cart would feel bad, then she was for herself. I loved her so much and I have never forgotten about her. I would really love to know anything about her.      


Remembering: Sister Maryla Farfour
Location: Marywood Seminary, Scranton, PA
Date: 1960-1962

January 3, 2011

Dear Sister Maryla,
I hope you remember me. I was your student in violin and piano in 1960-1962 at Marywood Seminary. There was some family turmoil and I had to leave Marywood at the beginning of my Junior year and was sent to Atlanta. My last memory of you was standing at the back door of the old Sem, waving good-bye.

It was a sad memory. For many years afterward and throughout my life, I dreamed of Marywood — walking the halls of the second floor — and you were always in those dreams, bouncy and exuberant, directing, explaining and encouraging me, as you always did when I was a student there. It has been a constant desire of mine to convey to you my deepest appreciation for all you did for me then. You have had a profound effect on my life. I always wanted to say — thank you, and to tell you how much of a blessing you were.

Several times here and there, I tried to reconnect with many from Marywood, the Sisters included, but to no avail. I heard of the fire somewhere along the way and gave up hope — even called the college at one point. Then, I tried Classmates.com on the internet and had a response from Maureen (Monteiro) Cawley. She was kind enough to give me your address.

The things I remember about you were such kind, encouraging words like "keep trying," "practice, practice," "stay with your music," and "you are a born accompanist." You saw in me some worth when others didn't. You have no idea how your belief in me, and that of the other IHM Sisters sustained me during rough periods in my life.

I was never again able to formally study music, (though I still play Moon River!) For a time in the 80's, I played both organ and piano in my Church — even started a small children's choir there. Though it was a Full Gospel Church, your influence was everywhere! (I found myself in trouble with the Pastor when I said a prayer for the Pope!)

After high school, I went directly to work at the phone company (and stayed with them until my retirement in 2003). Both of my parents were alcoholics, so the teen years were the most difficult. Without the spiritual guidance of Marywood and the Sisters there, the training and discipline hammered into me by my stepmother, I was able to get through high school with honors, but never had the time, stamina, or hours I needed for college.

I married in '69, divorced in '96. It was a long, wonderful marriage that went suddenly sour at the end, but not before producing two beautiful children. Even during these times, the words of all the IHM Sisters resonated — "Don't get bitter." I didn't. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger! It was during these rough times that I dreamed so often of Marywood and walking down the hall with you. I would awaken feeling as if we had a visit! God was with me.
I have a lovely daughter and a devoted son. This is something I always wanted to tell you — My daughter, now 40, is an accomplished musician, and teaches piano! She received a degree in flute performance and is quite gifted. As a child, she played violin for many years with her school orchestra, (because of the good memories I had of the process.) She performed in her marching band all through high school. She is married to a great man and has two children. My granddaughter is nine, my grandson five. They sometimes serenade me with duets on the piano. —And I think of you. And I realize that my dream has become a reality for my daughter.

My son (37) became an accomplished violinist, studying for 12 years. He also played clarinet, saxophone, and piano, winning talent contests all over the region. At one point, he was a member of the Georgia Tech Marching Band. At college, his major was music composition for a time....and I thought of you. He now shows little interest in playing or performing, but finds music is his life. He's a disc jockey in Manhatten!

My children often tell me that, through the growing years, music was the way our family communicated. "If all else fails, Mom," they would tell me, "You would start singing or playing the piano, and everybody would get along!" -And I would think of you.

About seven years ago, I moved my cousin in with me. He is 59 years old, has Downs Syndrome, is legally blind, and is an innocent, marvelous blessing. (I took care of his mom until she died in 2006.) He's taught me all about country music, gospel music, and Lawrence Welk....and when I see Welk's orchestra start up, I think about you.

As a going-away gift in '63, you gave me a pamphlet "Smile." I run into it now and then. It is so precious to me, as are those last pictures of the girls — and the cake which said, "Good-bye, Julie, 'til we meet again." Well, as far as I'm concerned, God has hooked me up with my dear teacher again and again in my dreams. I have never forgotten all of the fun and hard work, kind words, teaching, wisdom, and life lessons you taught me.
I have never converted to Catholicism, but every day when I leave the house, I bless myself. If I am ever afraid at night, it is the rosary I cling to. And whenever I think of the great students and Sisters of Marywood, I have to "smile."

So, there's my story. I would truly love to hear from you...how many thousands of students you must have had over the years. Please tell me how you are, how you have been, and if you are in touch with any of the other Sisters. I hope to hear from you soon.
You were truly one of the most precious blessings in my life. I am eternally grateful.

Affectionately,
Julie O'Kelley Jones        


Remembering: Sister M. Imelda, Sister Theresa Clare, Sr. Cecilius, etc.
Location: St. John's School, Silver Spring, MD
Date: 1955-1959

As a kid, I felt that those nuns are out to get me! No! They taught me. I was taught by the IHMs throughout elementary school. It was a family tradition. My parents were taught by IHMs and my children were taught by IHMs at St. Agnes School in Catonsville, MD. You all were the best teachers anyone could have. 50 years ago I could not imagine committing this to words, but we all learn with time. The grammar and composition I was taught and the math I was forced to endure got me through college. God bless you all.


Remembering: Sister Mary Cephas Ryan
Location: Poconos, Atlantic Ocean, NYC

Sister Cephas was one of the dearest members of our family (although not related by blood). When I was a kid, she took us fishing in the mountains and deep-sea and took us to NYC to see our first broadway shows. Her smile and laughter will always be remembered.


Remembering: Sister Lothaire Saunders (Ruth Saunders)
Location: South Catholic High School, Scranton, PA
Date: Late 1950's to Early 1960's

Sister Lothaire was our sophomore history teacher at South Catholic. She was an excellent teacher. I later became a history teacher also. Moreover, although she was terminally ill at the time and had missed several weeks of teaching, she never complained or made us feel sorry for her. Ruth Saunders was an outstanding example of a kind, decent person who loved life, children, and her God. She died too soon -- early 40's. I still think of her and miss her presence in my life. Thanks, Ruth.


Remembering: Sister Daria McGinn
Location: St. Ann's School, Nyack NY
Date: 1952

I was a first grade student in St. Ann's in 1952 and I was lucky enough to have had Sister Daria as my teacher.I remember her so well as she drilled us each day in phonics by pointing to an alphabet chart with what at that time at least seemed like a very big pointer.I remember how she would smile as Father Murphy,our pastor, tapped on the window of the two room schoolhouse that housed the kindergarten and first grade and would keep smiling as we were
all running to him to tell him jokes.I most especially will never forget how she prepared us for our First Communion . Images of our souls being like beautiful white christening gowns have remained with me throughout my life.

I owe the IHMs a lot- and I am especially grateful to you, Sister,for the lifelong love of reading, learning and faith that you instilled in me and
in all of your students in that long ago classroom.Your classroom is a happy memory for me-full of learning and love.

My regret is that my daughters have not had the advantage of an IHM education. May God bless you all


Remembering: Sister Moya
Location: Saint John the Evangelist School, Silver Spring, Maryland
Date: 1960-1961

When I was in the 4th grade, my friends and I were crazy about baseball, even though the hometown team was our beloved Washington Senators. The mantra for the city of Washington at that time was "first in war, first in peace, and last in the America League." On many mornings as we waited for the bell to ring, we could be found flipping baseball cards against the wall of the school in the hopes that someone would mistakenly flip a "special card (e.g., Mickey Mantle Rookie)" that we could add to our already impressive collections. One crsip October morning, Sister Moya (I never knew her "given name") bounded out of the convent and rushed past us into our classroom, which was on the other side of the wall against which we were flipping our cards. Within minutes, she was on the playground--sleeves pinned back, rosary tucked in--flipping cards with us (using the cards we had forfeited to her during class). If memory serves me correctly, she definitely added to her collection that morning! We 9 and 10 year olds were awestruck at her ability to compete with "pros" like us. After lunch that same day, we were greeted by a B&W television set in the corner of the classroom. After all, it was the fall of 1960, when baseball still played day games, and her beloved Pittsburgh Pirates were in the World Series. In a class of 60+ kids, Sister Moya was one of those loving, tough but fair teachers we've all had in school. She also loved "the game," and that made her OK in our scorebook.


Remembering: Sister deRicci
Location: St. Ambrose, Bridgeport, Ct.
Date: 1961

Sister taught an all boys class for this one year at St. Ambrose. It was our sixth grade class and she was very influential in keeping me and a small group of friends on the straight and narrow. I never forgot her. Thank You, Bob Kelly


Remembering: Srs. Joan, Aquinas, Gloria and many others...
Location: Academia Cristo Rey, Ponce, Puerto Rico
Date: 1968 - 1970

It is amazing what age and maturity will do to your perspective on life and the past in general. My family was quite out of the ordinary. My dad was an oil man and we migrated to Puerto Rico from NYC in 1954. I don't remember that move since I was just 9 months old at the time. We started our education with Colegio San Conrado (sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, NY) and my sister and I moved over to Academia Cristo Rey in 1968. At the time the IHM Sisters were teaching at this school. In 1970, they left the island and were replaced by the Order of Saint Francis from Buffalo, NY. I moved on in 1971 and began my university studies at that time in Puerto Rico. Transferred to Villanova University and ultimately moved back to the mainland USA. My youngest sister married a local man, stayed in PR and was a long term public school teacher in PR.

Here I am...father of two young ladies and the grandfather of two exceptional girls...a youthful grandfather if I may say so! I received an excellent education in the private/parochial schools of PR. At that time, when there were many more religious members, our sisters were normally from the USA. Yes, there were some local and other Latin orders that came to the island (Spain, Cuba, Venezuela), but in the "roaring 40's, 50's, 60's" the NYC Archdiocese presence in PR was the greatest supplier of our Sisters. And that tradition with my children continued here in New Jersey...my kids were also educated in Parochial schools.

What did living in Puerto Rico and being educated by American Sisters do for me:
- complete English/Spanish bilinguality
- an excellent college preparatory education
- progressive opinions on life in general
- compassionate outlook on life

My two take aways...
- Sr. Joan who spent a whole class period discussing the value of "me time"...taking time for yourself in whatever activity
- Sr. Aquinas...whose sad reaction to the assassination of Martin Luther King resonates deeply with me and the cause of equality and Human Rights

THANK YOU...to the many IHM sisters...Sr. Joan, Sr. Aquinas, Sr. Gloria...and so many others who unselfishly gave of their time to come to Puerto Rico.

 


Remembering: All who educated me from 1954-1966
Location: St. Mary of the Mount in Pittsburgh, PA
Date: 1954-1966

I cannot single out just one of the many excellent teachers who taught at St. Mary of the Mount. The nuns who taught me and my 7 brothers and sisters gave us an excellent academic education but more importantly, taught us the spiritual values that have stayed with us throughout our lives. Throughout the course of life, and I am now in my early 60's, these have been a rock solid foundation with which to confront life's adversities as well as life's successes. I would just like to thank our sisters for giving so much and imparting to us that which is REALLY important.


Remembering: All of the IHM Sisters who formed my life
Location: St. Ambrose School, Bridgeport, CT
Date: 1959-1968

Too many stories come to mind. I just thought it was time to say "thank you" to all the sisters who had such an important part in my formation. We had a tremendous group of nuns at the time--Sr. Theresa Mary, Sr. Marcia, Sr. St. Mel, Sr. Conrad, Sr. Alphonus Mary, Sr. Paulinus, and not to forget Mother Joel and Sr. Andre. I received a wonderful education. God bless them all!


Remembering: Sister Mary Peter Doran
Location: St. Mary's, Manhasset, NY
Date: 1970's

When I lived at St. Mary's in Manhasset in the 70's, Sr. Mary Peter was our Superior for a time and also a good friend. Her friendliness, sense of humor, caring, faith, storytelling, and concern for her Sisters was evident on a daily basis not only in the convent, but also reflected in the way she taught and treated the students at school. The memory of her twinkling eyes will always bring a smile to my face.


Remembering: Sister Maryla Farfour

Sister Maryla,
At Penance, just a few days ago, the priest told me something that inspired me to write this letter to you. He said that I should openly offer complements to those who I saw worthy of receiving them, and, of course, every person has a beauty worth complimenting. He said if I did so, it would be contagious, and possibly inspires others. So, pondering his advice, I thought of all the people who I really respected. When you came to mind, I realized that you seemed to be a person of admirable character. Even though you have a very strict form of discipline, (which at times is a respectable quality), you always seem to possess a very kind-hearted, sympathetic, and friendly attitude toward your students. It also appears that you find sincere joy in seeing others happy. I noticed this at two specific occasions: first - at the talent show. When you came out on stage, your smile was sincere, and you radiated excitement. You looked so happy to be there, to entertain people, and make them happy, that is something that I really admired. I believe that you find enjoyment in seeing everyone else having a good time. I just want you to know that others notice and respect that such simplicities can make someone so happy. And, second, - it amazed me to see that as a teacher, you are still able to laugh along with the students. I noticed, (on more than one occasion), that even though you would try to hold back a smile, you found enjoyment, or at least amusement, in jokes or comments made by students, that normally would annoy a teacher. I found it very interesting that you, who also present yourself as a person who likes order and strict, hard, discipline, could be amused by what I thought was only humorous to kids. I also respected the open-mindedness in which you handled those situations.

You always seem to be sincere in your emotions. When you smile, it always looks so sincere; when you pray, you always use a tone of deep respect; and when you talk of death or great losses, you are always very humbled and hopeful. Being a teenager, it is sometimes hard to show my true opinions and emotions, and to see you, being so true to yourself, makes me idolize you for having courage to express your feelings and views without worry of what someone else may think.

Another thing that I have noticed is your concern for all humans. You take a lot of pride in being a top collector of mission money, but I don't think that it is because of a competitive spirit, but rather, concern for the poor, you also pray often for the families of those who recently passed away. That is a characteristic that I admire a lot. You always find time to remember those who need our prayers. That brings me to request a small favor. Recently I have been struggling with a question that so far, I have found no answer. I have been trying to set my life priorities and discover who I am. I want definite aspirations. I know that I am only in high school and have time to set goals and find myself, but my mind is not at ease, and my curiosity peaked as to what I can find out about myself. I am asking you to please say a quick and personal prayer that God can enlighten me, as to my purpose and identity.

I guess my main purpose for writing this letter, was just to let you know that you are a unique individual who is respected and admired. As the priest told me, it is good to compliment people, to let them know their efforts are not in vain, and I assure you, Sister, people do realize what a special person you are. I just figured maybe it would be nice to hear it.

In closing my letter, I want to wish you a Happy Easter, and I'm sure it will be for you; because I'm convinced you will find joy in the beauty of the season, if in nothing else. I hope that I brought you some happiness, letting you know that people do notice you're many qualities. I respect you, as I'm sure many others do, after all you are a woman who deserves it! Once again, Happy Easter, and good-bye.

Sincerely,

a Freshman Student

 


Remembering: Sr. Sandy Grieco and Sr. Donna Korba
Location: Holy Cross HS, Delran, NJ
Date: 1992

Sr. Donna was my art teacher at Holy Cross. I was rather annoyed I had to take an art class my freshman year, not because I dislike art but because I can't draw a straight line with a ruler. I was convinced sister was going to laugh at my sad exucse for an art project...but she didn't. Instead, she took extra time to help me and nurture a sense of confidence in myself.

It was the same with Sr. Sandy. She never let me get away with feeling bad for myself or making excuses when I didn't perform to my abilities. Back then I had no confidence in myself or my abilities but Sr. Sandy and Sr. Donna changed that. They taught me to believe in myself and if I fail, it didn't mean I was stupid, it just meant I needed to work harder.

That's exactly what I did Srs. Sandy and Donna. I never stopped trying, I never gave up. I went to college and worked my way to a Ph.D in Anthropology. I don't think I could have done it without the foundation you gave me. I'll never forget either of you.

 


Remembering: Sister M. Gracette Baker
Location: St. Rosalia School, Pittsburgh, PA
Date: Late 1970's / early 1980's

I was a teacher's aide for Sr. Gracette Baker when she taught 8th grade at St. Rosalia Elementary School in Pittsburgh. I remember her smile and her sense of humor with great fondness, but the time I remember best is at a Halloween party for the class. The students were bobbing for apples, and, after some urging, Sr. Gracette turned to me and said, "Hold my bonnet back," after which she proceeded to bob and grab the biggest apple in the tub, much to the delight of all of her students.We have stayed in touch through many moves ever since those years.


Remembering: Sister Robert Ann von Ahnen
Location: Marywood College, Scranton, PA

Sister Robert Ann was a professor of Mathematics at Marywood College when I graduated from there in 1988. Since I received my B.S. in Math, I took many classes with Sister and knew her very well since she also moderated the Math club to which I belonged for three years. She was a ton of fun - always laughing and joking and made learning math an exciting adventure. She was a great encourager, and was a very brave woman in fighting her diabetes and bearing the amputation of both legs in recent years. I just found out that Sister passed away 2 weeks ago and am heartbroken. We remained in close touch and I will miss her dearly. Just knowing she is no longer on this earth makes it a little sadder place to be. I pray she is enjoying the peace and light of Christ in her eternal home. I'll miss you Sister - thank you for everything.


Remembering: Sister Edith Halligan
Location: Maria Regina Diocesan High School, Uniondale, NY
Date: 1967-1971

I am an alumnus of the 2nd graduating class (class of 1971) at Maria Regina Diocesan High School (now Bishop Kellenburg) located in Uniondale, New York.

My favorite teacher, whom I remember now and will never forget, was Sister Edith Halligan, IHM. She was our high school's music teacher, and in my case, the conductor of the Concert Choir, which I was part of, as a member of its baritone section.

I recall fondly how once when we were practicing the Hallelujah chorus, I was not singing, but instead was "miming". Sister Edith, with her finely attuned ears (even under that restrictive veil), suspected as much, and smiling, waved her conductor's wand, signalling for all to stop singing. She then walked up to my section, and pointing me out, said, "Mr. Cammarata, will you please sing your part so that everyone else can hear?" I did so with bravado, and afterwards she smiled and addressed the choir, exclaiming, "Now THAT is how I want the rest of you to sing... with vibrance!" She then winked at me as she shook her head and we continued practicing, but with much more gusto!

Oh no! There was NO pulling the woolover Sister Edith's eyes! And because of that, and so much more, I absolutely adored her. We were more than just teacher and student. We were friends! She actually allowed myself and 4 of my friends to practice with our personal band right there at the school, when our own parents would not at home.

For approximately 10 years after my graduation in 1971, I would always receive a yearly Holiday card from Sister Edith, just prior to Christmas, inviting me to come back as alumnus and participate in the Christmas Concert. She would always write in the card how "vibrant" my voice always was and how she looked forward to my being there and singing with them.

I feel badly that I never took her up on her offer, thinking now that Sister Edith is most likely no longer with us here on earth (I assume this because I'm 58 years old myself now). But I guarantee you this... if Sister Edith Halligan is in fact no longer here with us, she CERTAINLY is most-favored in Heaven and sits beside God!

Sister Edith... I miss you! My memory of those years may be failing in other respects now, but YOU will be in my thoughts and heart forever, remembered most fondly.

 


Remembering: Sister Mary Peter Doran
Location: St Mary's, Manhasset, NY
Date: 1970

First, Happy Anniversary Sr Mary Peter! I understand that this year was your 70th Anniversary with the IHM's. What a wonderful accomplishment!

I guess my story really begins with you. You were my math teacher during my junior and senior years at St Mary's. In addition, after leaving St Dominics you also started Mathletes at St Mary's, too. I was one of the students who joined. My recollections of math class was they were never a bore and always full of lessons to learn as well as many conversations.

In May of my senior year, a friend of mine spoke to Sr Catherine who worked in the library and said she would like to go to the prom however she did not have a date. As it turns out neither did I. Sr Catherine told Linda to speak to you. She said "you knew plenty of boys at St Dominics" Linda and I spoke to you and that evening you called a former student. He was not at home but his younger brother was. You asked him how old he was and he replied he was a senior at St Dominics. You asked him if he and a friend might be interested in going to the St Mary's prom. He said sure! He called his friend Art who lived down the block then returned your call. He said who should go with whom? You replied "the taller of you should go with Kathy and the shorter one with Linda".

Well, Art and I have been married for 36 years. We have 2 sons. In addition as a result of that love of math that you nurtured in me, I discovered that I had a talent for analysis. After working my way through school and earning my degree in business, I became a CPA. I later went back to school and earned a Masters in information systems. That love of learning that you as well as all my other teachers gave to me still exists and I hope it always will. There is not a moment when I manipulate an Excel spreadsheet that I don't say Thank You and Bless You Sr Mary Peter. Where would I be without you!

 


Remembering: Sister M. Emerita Gasper, IHM

I am so happy you have e-mail! Mom forwarded to me your beautiful note about the Cookie Sister. Sr. Emerita was one of my all-time favorites at Our Lady of Grace. While attending various meetings in the convent, we moms were often drawn by the aromas wafting from the kitchen. Sister Emerita was always gracious, slipping cookies to any children who accompanied us, but always apologizing that she couldn't give us the cookie recipes, as she used the contents of her legendary "all-purpose crumb jar," into which every leftover bread, cookie, cake, and pie-crust crumb went. When it was full, she added to its contents "a little of this and a little of that," to produce the most heavenly cookies on earth. I'm not a big cookie fan, but we ALL drooled over hers!

I posted news of her death on my Facebook page. Keelan remembered her well, Drew vaguely (which surprised me, as she was hugely captivated by him when he was a toddler and often gave him "one extra cookie for later!"); sadly, though, Devon and Conor didn't know her in her capacity as Cookie Sister. The late Sr. Jeanne Drummond's sister, Eileen, shared lovely memories of Sr. Emerita, as did Chris Jablonski (Sr. Barbara's sister), and some of the OLG moms with whom I've kept in touch over the years.

What a wonderfully long life she lived in the service of God! I can't tell you how happy I am that she was given such a loving and largely attended going-home celebration. If there are baked goods in Heaven, I know who will be cheerfully and humbly presenting them at the Lord's table!

We who knew Sr. Emerita were blessed, and not just because she was so talented in the kitchen. She was simply -- well -- lovable by her very presence in a room and valuable contributions to any conversation.

 


Remembering: Sister M. Emerita Gasper, IHM

One of my fondest memories of Sister Emerita was after my great-grandmother passed away. I was in the third grade and absolutely devastated. Sister Emerita, being the saint that she was, must have had a hunch that I was having a difficult time, because one day in the mail I received a manila envelope filled with books on the saints, prayer cards, rosary beads and Bibles to help console me.

I began writing to Sister Emerita to let her know what was going on in my life and to see how she was doing. She always wrote back, stressing the importance of prayer and always reminding me to pray for a happy death. My family moved to Georgia when I was 8 years old and when we would travel home to Martinsburg, West Virginia, we would often drive up to visit Sister. Those were some of the most memorable trips for me. Just being in her presence and hearing all of her fascinating stories and learning about which saint to pray to is something that I will never forget. I remember the first time Sister Emerita saw a computer and a credit card. She was 103 years old. She looked at the computer in awe and when my mom showed her what a credit card was, Sister held it in her hands looking at the front and back of it and told my mom, "you'd better keep an eye on that and not lose it!"

My letters to Sister continued well into my adulthood and at the end of each one I would always ask her to pray for me. Even though she could no longer respond, I knew, without a doubt, that she was sending prayers up for me each and every day. About a month and half before she passed away, my parents went to visit. My mom read my last letter to her and showed her pictures of our new baby girl. I am excited to be able to one day tell my daughter about her amazing Great-Great-Great Aunt and how inspirational and influential she was in my life.

Sister Emerita touched so many lives in her 107 years and certainly instilled in me what the important things in life truly are. My family is so blessed to have our own special guardian angel and I find solace in knowing that Sister Emerita is home at last!

 


Remembering: Sister M. Emerita Gasper, IHM

I am sitting here reading Sister Emerita's obituary and watching her touching pie video made by Sister Fran. May God bless all of you for the wonderful care she received over the years. My brother and his wife stopped to see her on Friday and Sunday before her passing, and they were so touched by the care Sister was receiving during her brief illness. As sad as it made me feel when I got the phone call, I could still find happiness and peace that Sister's prayers were answered and St. Michael was taking her straight to the gates of Heaven. I know she waited and patiently prayed for many years to be with her Saviour and Lord.

Sister Emerita was one in a million. I know all will truly miss her wisdom, her knowledge of the Saints and her insurmountable faith in God. I, for one, will always cherish those road trips to Scranton  to visit with her while coming away with a renewed sense of faith from just spending time in her presence.  I have many fond childhood memories of Sister coming home to West Virginia by bus to spend a week with us. Our family was blessed in so many ways.

Please send my regards and thank yous to all the staff, Sisters and wonderful IHM family who so lovingly made Sister part of their family. She loved all of you so much.

My Aunt Gertrude Frye and I were talking this week and we commented on Sister's unbelievable memory even in her later years. We decided she is our Saint to pray to for " one's memory".

Sister Emerita is home now and I would almost bet she is cranking out the pies and joyfully singing praise and thanksgiving to God.


Remembering: Sister M. Grata (Sister Barbara Brow)
Location: Chapel School, Scranton PA
Date: Early 1940s

Sr. Grata was my kindergarten teacher at Chapel School and although I can't quite remember what she looked like (except she seemed very tall) I certainly remember her wonderful voice.

Kindergarten in those days was called a socialization program and I certainly can attest to that. Sister played the piano and sang. And so did we. There was a rhythm band and our little class marched around the room with the girls playing the tambourines, triangles and the boys the drums. We sat around a table on little chairs drinking our little bottles of milk. "No elbows on the table," Sister said. The table then became a sandbox. We made a playhouse or two with those large cardboard boxes that tissues came in. Sister probably cut out the windows and then we painted windows and doors. School seemed a bit magical. And then we had graduation with graduation caps made out of cardboard. And I believe there was a little ceremony for our mothers in the classroom. It was a wonderful preparation for First Grade.

Several years later I participated in a radio program on a Scranton station that was sponsored, I believe, by the Catholic Light newspaper. The program was a test of catechism questions and the weekly winner then met at a later date with other weekly winners. A kind of early Jeopardy. A week or so after my appearance (only one) I received a beautiful letter from Sister Grata complimenting me on my participation. I was about eleven then and was overwhelmed. She had the most beautiful handwriting and her note was very affecting. I treasure it to this day.

 


Remembering: Sister Carol Bender
Location: Pocono Central Catholic
Date: 1976

I am a 1977 graduate of Pocono Central Catholic High School. I started at that school as a first grader in 1965 and have many fond memories of my years with the IHM sisters. One of the sisters in particular sticks out in my mind because she unlocked the world for me. You see, I couldn't read and from the time that I first learned to read I would probably be considered a functioning illiterate. I maintained a low C or D average throughout my school years. I don't think they put a name to dyslexia at that time, but I sure did have a learning disability. From the time that I was in third grade I can remember going to special classes for reading help and even as a junior in high school, I was in a 'reading lab'. Every week of my junior year I'd report to Sister Carol. She sat me in the AV room with a little projector that had a lighted section hat moved across the words of a story projected on the screen. She seemed to know that my eyes and my brain weren't working in unison during reading. Those hours spent in a lonely, dark room training my eyes and brain to work together did the trick. It is because of her patience that I can read. From that point on, I excelled in every thing I've attempted in my life. In my senior year I won the "Most Improved Senior Girl" award upon graduation. Since then my grade averages in any classes that I've taken were 3.89 to 4.0. It's all because of Sister Carol Bender and I thank God for sending her to me.


Remembering: Mother Seraphia, Sister Cosmas, Sister Matthew
Location: Immaculata H.S. NYC
Date: 1947

Mother Seraphia was the Principal and I was blessed to have her in my life, When I was leaving school she gave me her own Missal and inscribed it for me. Sr. Cosmas was also a very kind and patient teacher despite boys antics at times. Sr. Mathew was both teacher and social director who put on dances and plays getting everyone involved. I did not realize at the time what great teachers and mentors the Sisters were. But, I do now so long afterwards and Thank God for them. I believe they are still looking after me.


Remembering: Sister Mary Charistas
Location: Marywood
Date: 1957-58

She was my Mother's first cousin. We had many good times together, many fond memories.


Remembering: Sister Susan Hadzima
Location: St. Dominic's High School Oyster Bay, NY
Date: 1973-1977

I happened upon your website and saw Sister's picture. It's been 32 years since I saw her last, but her kind smile still shines as brightly today as it did then. Sister Susan was a settling and peaceful influence for a very shy and rather awkward boy. She probably never realized the positive influence she had on me, but as I approach my 50th birthday I thought it might be a good idea to let her know. I married a girl from St. Dominic's and have three sons, I've been truly blessed. God Bless Sister Susan and all the great ladies who have served as IHM Sisters.


Remembering: Sister Alphonsus Mary
Location: St. Ambrose Bridgeport, CT
Date: 1962-1963

I've often thought of Sr.Alphonsus Mary. I was lucky to have her for 6th and 7th grade. She was affectionately known as Sister "SAM." I was fairly shy at that time and Sister seemed to go out of her way to make me feel special. I was chosen for special assignments. She helped me become more confident and I always wished I could say thank you. If anyone knows if she's still around, I would love to know! I'd like her to know she made a difference in my life.


Remembering: Sister Raymond and so many more
Location: St. Paul's, Scranton, PA
Date: 1971 and continuing

Watching the IHM videos and reading the IHM remembrances, instantly reminds me of why I have always loved and respected the IHMs. The influence they have had on my life is profound. My deepest desire has always been to be for others the way so many of the sisters have been for me. My gratitude is inexpressible. I knew from the time I was a little girl that there was something different about them and I just had to know what it was. I learned quickly. From the moment they entered my life - to this very second - to eternity, I will forever feel love for the community. Knowing the IHM sisters and growing up with them was like living a storybook. My love for God and Our Blessed Mother was nurtured and I was taught how to pray. I was the hyperactive student who couldn't sit still, but the moment Sr. Raymond began her sacred stories at 1:45, I was transformed. I can remember sitting right in front of her, chin on hands, and captivated by her every word. I would carry her stories with me and would try to live them the best I could - I was the character living the story. She was filled with delight, knowing I enjoyed and responded so fervently; but then 2:00 came and she insisted that I put the story aside for now and remain after school to learn all my prepositions. She was determined in every way and I was delighted and obliged. When I think of my experiences of my younger days with the IHMs, I smile with great pride.

The snow days and our meetings on Kingsbury were just one of the many memories. My friends and I would pile on our sleds and race down the hill, crashing right into the front steps of St. Paul's Convent. "But sister, it was the ice sickles on my eyelashes - I couldn't see." They would just smile. I have been blessed with the company of many wonderful IHM Sisters throughout my life. It was their prayer and love for God's people that changed me. I love the IHM sisters and I always look forward to going back home. Oh, and Sr. Francis Xavier, THANKS!

 


Remembering: Sister Maria
Location: St. Stephen School, New York City, NY
Date: 1973

I will always remember the kindness and sensitivity that Sister Maria Voorneveld, my 8th grade teacher, showed me. I attended St. Stephen's school in New York City along with my older sister and younger brother. I grew up in a loving family where both parents had to work to make ends meet and they sacrificed what little salaries they earned so that we could have a good catholic education. Sister Maria was a wonderful teacher who made learning interesting. She was a pleasant, happy and warm person. While in her claass I was expected to give a quarter every Tuesday when class dues were collected by a student. The problem was that my mother could not afford to give me that quarter since money was so limted. Every Tuesday I would tell the student who collected the dues that I forgot and left my quarter at home.I was embarrassed and felt terrible about lying but I did not want to tell Sister that we could not afford a quarter. Finally,the day came when the student who collected dues told me "you never have money and I'm telling Sister Maria." I was so scared,humiliated and nervous. Sister asked to see me privately in the library. I was crying not knowing what she would say. Sister Maria spoke to me in a gentle tone and asked me if my parents were unable to give me the quarter. I answered yes,stunned that she understood my plight without any explanation from me. She suggested that from then on I would collect the class dues therefore no one else would know I would not pay.Only she and I. She smiled at me and told me not to say anything to the other children, and reaassured me that all would be fine. She never brought it up again. I will always remember her kindness, understanding and help to me as a child.I have often told this story and I would like to thank Sister now as an adult. I am a Registered Nurse and I work with children.I have tried to imitate her kindness and sensitivity in my life. She made a big difference in the life of a scared little girl who went on to do good and care for others in life.

Thank You And God Bless You Sister Maria Wherever You Are!!

 


Remembering: Sister Veronice C. Hennigan
Location: Claremont, CA (our home)
Date: 1964 or 1965

Sister Veronice was my Aunt,she came to California to visit and she left a special impression on me. She was a wounderful person. I know she had played a special in helping my Dad finish college, she worked to help Dad through Manhattan College.After Dad graduated Sister joined the convent and that certainly showes how fantastic she was.


Remembering: Sister Herberta (Immaculata High School in NYC)
Location: Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church
Date: Christmas Eve 1954

I played the organ for the children's choir at Sacred Hearts when I was in grammar school. This particular Christmas Eve all the lights in the church went out. However, all the candles were lit and it was a beautiful sight. Sister Herberta came over to the organ and put her rosary upon it and said "Okay Blessed Mother, now do your stuff". And to the amazement of all of us -- the lights came on.


Remembering: Sister Redempta Sweeney
Location: Bishop Hoban Wilkes-Barre, PA
Date: 1975-1976

Sister Redempta was a wonderful, kind and patient person who smiled often. I was a student at Hoban and Sister Redempta was very kind and really helped to educate me. I had for Moral Guidance Class and in addition to wanting to become a nun at the time, Sister cheerfully met with me once a week for an hour after school to talk, listen. She offered me great books to read, such as, Hinds Feet on High Places. Sister will be happy to know that I am a graduate of Kings College and Marywood University. I earned my Master of Science Degree from Marywood in 1990. I have been a teacher for the past 24 years. Thanks to Sister Redempta Sweeney for the time she spent with me, her love, kindness and educational encouragement! If Sister is still with the Congregation, please forward this message of gratitude.

Sincerely,
Karen Corcoran (Block )
1976 Graduate of Hoban
1984 King's College
1990 Marywood University

 


Remembering: Sister Honor Lenihan
Location: Our Lady of Perpetual Help-Rocky Mount, NC
Date: 1956-1963

Sister Honor is now in heaven with our Lord. I bawled like a small child crying when I read of her death in the NC Catholic. I had just spoken with her about a month earlier. She was my first and second grade teacher. She was always kind and gentle and instilled in me a love for our Lord. I became a Catholic in 1997, almost 34 years after left O.L.P.H. I wish you could have heard the happiness in her voice when I told her.

I was always in her prayers. I regret I never got to see her face to face before she passed on. I deeply miss her. She always took the time to listen and encourage me and to lift my spirit up when I was so down. She was very elated when I told her my daughter was going to receive her First Communion, the last time I spoke with her. I chose Mothers Day 2007 as Michell's First Communion because of a picture that was taken in 1959 on the front steps of the old convent in Rocky Mount with all of the sisters who were there that year.

During my years at O.L.P.H., my father and mother would always gladly drive the nuns out of town and on trips whenever there was a need. I do remember telling her that if the Lord didn't have the plans for me that He did, that I would have chosen to be a Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I do try now to live by the example, all my teachers taught and instilled in me.

Sister Donelda Fox was my principal and I know she has also passed on.

I still keep in touch with Sister Melissa Hester and Sister Rosemaron. When I was confirmed I chose the name Honor Rosemaron. Sister Melissa was there at St. Thomas More in Chapel Hill, NC when I received my First Communion. I am now and have been for 3 years a Eucharistic Minister. I still keep in touch with my piano teacher Sister Rita Mary, who is no longer a nun.

Sister Melissa Hester also spent a weekend in my home. I just wish I could see them once again before they pass on.

In Our Savior's Name
Peace be with all of you.
AMEN

 


Remembering: Sister Colletta
Location: St. Matthew School - Wilmington, Delaware
Date: 1956-1964

I was trained by the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at St. Matthew School located in Wilmington, Delaware from 1956-1964. I was not the greatest of students at St. Matthews School and maybe even lazy but I wanted to convey this message to those sisters who are still alive from those years.

I wanted to say thank you for eight years of religious training at St.Matthews in Wilmington, Delaware.

I often wondered how everyone was. I remembered everything I learned in Catholic School really helped me out in public school where I want to high school. It also was a great help in college also.

In everyday life I tried to live as I was taught by the good sisters. It was not easy but you can count me as one individual who does not drink, smoke or take drugs but loves sports, collecting trains and accounting.

In fact, I call the bible the playbook of life. I route for the University of Notre Dame and pride my self as the #1 Notre Dame fan in Delaware. I also root for the Phladelphia sports teams.

Many times when I was in the Wilkes-Barre and Scranton area, as I have relatives located in that area, I wondered how everyone was.

Since 1964, it seemed like everyone lost contact with each other. I have managed to find some of my old classmates around town in Wilmington, Delaware but we often wondered how everyone was and would the nuns who taught us remember any of us.

I belong to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Bear, Delaware.

In closing, thanks again for everything and I wish I understood better then than now. You can use this letter as an instructional tool to teach students that need to become good listeners, to become good students and become great people.

God bless.

 


Remembering: Sister Marie Lawrence
Location: Marywood College
Date: 1950s

In the 1950s my father Dr. John Corbett frequently drove the sisters from Nyack to the motherhouse at Marywood for various functions. I often accompanied him on these long trips ( at that time there was no rte 80 or rte 84) through the windy back roads from nyack to scranton. One of my earliest memories of Marywood involves my father who would disappear to visit Sister Marie Lawrence in the old Science Building. Since Sister had her Ph.D in the same field as my father they spent many hours trading "laboratory stories" and sharing plant cuttings, etc. To be honest I HATED the smell of that old building with its bunson burners but my father always said the smell made him feel at home. This sister is long gone to God as has my father and I doubt many people really remember her -she was an intelligent , unassuming soul whose interests were her community , science and the plant world- much like my father. Here's hoping that both of them are enjoying their "science" chats in heaven and that there are lots of interesting plants for them to discuss.


Remembering: Sister Jeanine
Location: St. Mary's Elementary School, Manhasset, NY
Date: 1981

Sister Jeanine (and all the wonderful sisters who taught at St. Mary's Elementary School in Manhasset, NY),

God Bless all of the wonderful sisters who taught at St. Mary's Elementary School in Manhasset!

In particular, I would like to honor Sister Jeanine who was my second grade teacher in 1981. Although I was too young to appreciate it at the time, she had an amazing impact on my life. At the end of the year, she gave me a chain with an IHM pendant on it. I can still remember beaming as she placed it around my neck. She told me it should serve as a reminder to always act in a way that would make her proud. I wore it every day without fail until eventually the chain broke and, sadly, the pendant was lost. I never forgot it, though.

Now, almost three decades later, I can still feel that pendant's phantom weight around my neck. And it still is a reminder to act in a way that would make Sister Jeanine and all the IHM sisters proud.

Thank you, Sister Jeanine, I am a better person because of you.

 


Remembering: IHMs who served at St. Matthew's
Location: St. Matthew's School Wilmington, DE
Date: 1964-1973

My name is Richard Hart. I am presently in my 25th year of Catholic education. I am in my 15th year as a Catholic School principal. As I reflect over the past 25 years I am so grateful to the wonderful foundation I received from the IHMs. What I believe Catholic Education is, how it is lived out, and what it looks like is based on my experiences at St. Matthew's and the wonderful example of the Sisters.

Sr. Rose Irma was my fourth grade teacher, she is by far my favorite teacher. She is why I am a teacher today. I will always remember Sr. fondly. My love for music, art, and history were fostered by her. I vividly remember piano lessons at the convent, classroom art on Fridays, and the unending stories of American
History. She was a master storyteller. Her sense of prayer and devotion inspired me and filled our classroom. I contribute a part of my devotion to Mary because of Sister's devotion. Rosaries, May altar, and May Crownings were the sum of our May devotions.

Other Sisters come to mind when I look back. Namely, Sr. Antoinette, Sr. Mary Martin, Sr. Ruth Marie and my 8th grade teacher Sr. Robert Mary Murphy.
She too continued to foster my great love for music and the written word. Many of the lessons taught to me by these Sisters are still used today on a daily basis. They are part of the daily activity of St. Thomas the Apostle School were I am now principal.

After I graduated from St. Matthew's I had the good fortune to return to St. Matthew's during my junior and senior year of college to fulfill practical teaching experience needed for graduation. I had the great fortune to work under several outstanding teachers who helped me develop my teaching skills and develop my appreciation for Catholic Education. Sr. Mary Martin O'Dea, principal of the school, allowed me access to this wonderful experience. She too was a guiding force in my life.

Sister Elizabeth Bushman, Sr. Beth, Sr. Mary Mercy Gilbart were all great role models and helped me. I was completing my senior year of college when Sr. Elizabeth was battling her cancer and went to her reward. To this day her monthly hand made alphabets have adorned every classroom I have had and now proudly hang in the Library Wing of St. Thomas the Apostle School. She and all the IHMs are remembered monthly when I change the alphabets. I would be remiss if I did not remember Sr. Jane Snyder. Jane walked me through my first years as a principal at St. Hedwigs School while she was at St. Matthew's. She was a good friend and an outstanding mentor. I could always go to Jane for advice, and a good laugh. She never judged, just understood and gave good advice. What a great listener.

In closing, I just want to say thank you to all the IHM Sisters for their great work and presence in the church. I for one will never forget what they have done and what they will continue to do.
Richard D. Hart

 


Remembering: All of the IHM Sisters who formed my life
Location: St. Dominic's grade and High School K-12
Date: 1943-1955

Most of the Sisters who taught me during those years are probably home with God. I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for the education, caring, and Faith development that you gave to me during those years.May God continue to bless your Community and bring you many vocations.

Thank you and God Bless

 


Remembering: Sr. Raymond Rafferty
Location: St. Paul's School
Date: 1974-76

I happened upon this site accidently while doing a google search on Chapel School. I saw a "remembering a sister" story about Sr. Raymond Rafferty at St. Paul's School. I went to St. Paul's at the same time, 1974-76, a fondly remember Sr. Raymond as my 5th and 6th grade English teacher. I'm writing to find out if she is still alive, and if so, can you forward this message to her.

My name is Carol Mangan. I don't know if she'll remember, but I'm the girl who looked just like Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie. I remember reciting the Nancy Hanks poem at our 5th grade assembly, and learning the ZIP code poem and the September Poem. Lines from these poems still reverberate in me, and every September I find myself muttering "Asters are purple, a grasshopper's call; today it is summer, tomorrow it's fall."

I loved diagramming sentences and went on to get the highest score on the English section of Prep entrance exam (I owe that to Sr. Raymond). I'm a teacher today and constantly bemoan the lack of grammar instruction in schools.

 


Remembering: Sister Gabriel (Margaret Driscoll)

Sr. Gabriel was my aunt, my mother's sister. I was reading my local paper today and there was an article about an IHM from the Michigan branch. I'm from Chicago and you never hear of IHM in this area, so it caught my eye. I still write to Sr. Ivan Pollack, who is at the mother house. She was our chauffeur while we were in scranton. What a fun lady. God bless and continue to keep all of us in your prayers.


Remembering: Sister Raymond Rafferty
Location: St Paul's School Scranton PA
Date: Mid 1970's

When I recite poetry like Trees by Joyce Kilmer--I remember my fifth grade classroom at St. Paul's school and fondly remember Sister Raymond encouraging us to recite and how excited I felt when she told us about Longfellow's poem Evangeline and I had looked forward to reading it. I still like diagramming sentences. I owe a debt to Sr. Raymond --when today I can share a poem with my children or teach a classroom of children. In a gentle way--Sister Raymond inspired me. So thank you for being a warm teacher who could even join in for a game of jumprope. Each time I walk by the vacant spot where the convent stood on Penn Avenue--I feel sad at the loss. Thanks and God bless and please share this with Sister Raymond.


Remembering: Sister M. Edith Halligan, IHM
Location: Maria Regina D.H.S.,Uniondale, NY
Date: 1974

Sister Edith was a wonderful person. I joined the band and learned to play Clarinet and Tenor sax. I still play both as well as Soprano Sax and guitar. Music has been a part of my life ever since I met her. She had the patience to teach me when others did not.

Thank you Sister Edith. I will never forget you.

 


Remembering: Sister M. Edith Halligan, IHM
Location: Maria Regina D.H.S.,Uniondale, NY
Date: 1974

Sister Edith was a wonderful person. I joined the band and learned to play Clarinet and Tenor sax. I still play both as well as Soprano Sax and guitar. Music has been a part of my life ever since I met her. She had the patience to teach me when others did not.

Thank you Sister Edith. I will never forget you.

 


Remembering: Sister Joan Coyne, IHM
Location: Novitiate
Date: 1970s

Sister Joan Coyne met all 12 of us at the door of the Novitiate the day we entered. The 12 apostles they called us (or the 12 fruits!)

Sister Kathleen Mary Burns was called the mother of the band, since she stepped foot in the door first on entrance day. We had sing alongs many times down in the rec room. This one particular time, Sister Joan got up and began to sing the song from West side story... The most beautiful sound I ever heard. When she sang "MARIA" all of us chimbed in "PACIS" !! It was hilarious watching her ravel up and fold up in laughter as she had done in her characteristic way !! ( much like she did during her "WIND UP DOLL" song!!!


Remembering: Sister Mercille Schneider
Location: Our Lady of Grace, Greensboro, NC
Date: 1977-78

Sr Mercille will always be such an inspiration to me. She always brought warmth and love into her teaching. She not only taught us the academics but also how to love life. I wish that I could express how she touched my life. She created such a big part of me. I hope that in my life time that I can touch someone the way that she touched me. I wish that she could know how much she means to me even after 30 years have passed. She created some of the best memories from my childhood. I will always remember her dancing out from behind a wall in the classroom to greet us singing "New Life" which she also taught us the dance to the song. I value her patience and kindness with me as I struggled to learn my multiplication facts. I don't think that she ever had a bad day. She inspired me at a young age to want to teach. I now teach students with special needs and love what I do as much as she did. If I could talk to her now, I'd want to thank her for all that she has done in my life. She is my hero.


Remembering: Sister Joan Coyne, IHM
Location: St. Mary School, Goldsboro, NC
Date: 1966 and years previous

How blessed we here at St. Mary School were to have shared some of Sr. Joan's years! At the time, she was known only as Sister Maria Pacis and what a big secret (and mystery) it was to the students here to know anything about the Sisters that taught us. We were always trying to get little bits of information about our teachers before they entered the convent. We had a "storage room" in our school that was strictly for the Sister's trunks~and of course we were "forbidden" to go anywhere near them. My dearest friends at the time were twins, Jo Marie and Joan. We were so devoted to the school and the sisters that we spent most of our weekends hanging around the school doing any jobs that needed to be done. This one particular weekend, Jo, Joan and I were alone in the school waiting for Sr. Joan and Sr. Ann to come over to "put us to work". Oops, they had left the trunk room open! What an opportunity for three mischievious and curious girls! We made a B-line for the trunk room and found Sr. Joan's. Upon opening it we found her High School year book which told us her name and that she had been a high school cheerleader! Wow, a real person! We were so impressed with how "popular" she'd been and did all the silly little things that middle school girls do to let her know we knew something we weren't supposed to know. She didn't catch on and never found out until not many years ago when she came back down to St. Mary School, where I now work and I told her. We had a great laugh over it. Joan was someone that could always make you laugh (even during Latin class) when we weren't supposed to be laughing. Her smile brightened up every room she entered and brought a ray of God's love and hope to all she met. Thank you Sisters, each and everyone one of you for sharing Sr. Joan with us down here in the South. We are all better people for having been a part of her life.


Remembering: Sister Noreen Falvey
Location: St. Ann's School, Nyack NY
Date: 1959

Unlike most of my teachers, my memory of Sister Noreen is somewhat faded. I had her in seventh grade and she was a very quiet gentle person, always concerned with her students, but she was ill a good deal that year as I recall. She will, however, always be remembered by me and my family because my youngest sister is named after her - Noreen Bernadette, after Sister Noreen and Mother Bernadette Carmody.

My hope is that both of these gentle sisters- Sister Noreen and Mother Bernadette- are with Our Lord and enjoying their well deserved reward.

 


Remembering: Sister Jamesella Mawhinney
Location: St. Ann's School, Nyack, NY
Date: app. 1954

Sometimes the smallest acts of kindness are the ones that have the biggest impact on us, especially when we are young children.I was in Sister Jamesella's 3rd
grade class in 1954 in St.Ann's School in Nyack. Two incidents took place that year that shaped the way I have tried to treat others during my life.
One day a girl in the class threw up - all over the room and all over Sister herself. I will never forget how kind Sister Jamesella was to her despite the mess(who knew- she was a NURSE). Another situation later in the year typified the sensitivity Sister had for her students. One of the students had to be held back ( in those days- it happened).Sister Jamesella let her sit by her desk the last day of school and made her the class helper, allowing her to pass out things to the others. I have always tried to emulate the kindness and sensitivity that Sister demonstrated in that situation and in many others.

It has been over fifty years since that long ago classroom. Sister went on to pursue her nursing career and when I saw her about a year ago I dont think she really remembered those two incidents. How could she really . But I do, Sister, and your kindness to those two students made a lasting impression on me.

Sister also picked up on one other thing - my increasing inability to see the board well before mandated yearly eye exams("if you need glasses, Dorothy, tell us now"). How right she turned out to be.

You were only wrong about one thing, Sister. Today, my unique palmer pen/Dorothy handwriting is admired by everyone who sees it!

God bless the IHMs like Sister Jamesella who have given so much of themsleves. We are in your debt.

 


Remembering: Sister Mary Ellen Downing
Location: Upper Marlboro, MD
Date: 1978-1985

I was a student at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School in Upper Marlboro, MD from 1978-1985 and had the pleasure of being taught by several wonderful IHM sisters. I have such fond memories of those times. During my time there, our principal was Sr. Victoire (I cannot remember her last name). My 1st grade teacher was Sr. Mary Ellen Downing, my 2nd grade teacher was Sr. Johnice Grand (I believe) and my 4th grade teacher was Sr. Lorraine Sinn.

I was so sad to learn of Sr. Mary Ellen's passing. She was my first grade teacher and I remember so much of my time in her class: sitting Indian-style on the blue circle, sounding out vowels and consonants in our little phonics books, and going with her to a Montessori workshop as a "guest" student. Those are wonderful memories. My own daughter is a student at Our Lady of Hope Catholic School in Cascades, VA, and sadly there are not any sisters in the entire school. Although we are very pleased with her school, I know she is missing something special I had in my years at St. Mary's.

 


Remembering: Sister Lothaire (Ruth Saunders)
Location: Scranton, PA
Date: 1950s-60s

As Sr. Lothaire's niece, I have many, many memories of my beloved aunt... her dragging my father to the pet store to buy fish for her tank at school; drinking Manhattans out of coffee cups out of defference to onlookers at Blue Shutters restaurant; pushing her in her wheelchair at the World's Fair (how much pain she must have been in!); her waving to me from the hospital window because I was too young to be allowed in to hug her; her wonderful caretakers, Sr. Benigna
and Sr. "Em" Emmerencia... so many stories, so much love.
Rest well, Aunt Ruth. You are missed. I love you. Diane


Remembering: Sister Mary Peter Doran
Location: St Dominic High School, Oyster Bay, New York
Date: 1964-1968

My four years at Saint Dominic High School in Oyster Bay, NY greatly influenced the remaining years of my life. The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary not only taught us "book stuff", but how to prepare for what life would demand from us. They were strict but fair, dominating but caring and always willing to walk the extra mile with you. My mother wanted me to get a good education so that I would be better prepared for the even tougher road ahead, college. Well, I received more than what she so dearly wanted for me.

During my early years at high school I discovered that I enjoyed mathematics. I especially enjoyed one particular math teacher. Sister Mary Peter was my trigonometry and calculus instructor in my junior and senior years respectively. Her classes were tough; she had high expectations, but was always willing to give you any extra help you required to understand the material.

Sister Mary Peter also led an after school activity called Mathletes. This was a group of "math crazy" students competing against students of other schools trying to solve advanced mathematical problems faster than their competition. Not too cool if you are trying to impress a girl, but sure looks good on your college resume.

I guess I did impress someone on the college entrance committee; I was accepted into college and later attended graduate school. At both of these fine universities I pursued my love of mathematics, attaining two degrees in engineering. The success that I have achieved in my career is largely due to that mathematical foundation that Sister Mary Peter built within me.

For the past year or so, I have been communicating with Sister Mary Peter. I have even visited her at the Marian Convent in Scranton, PA. The experience
of talking to her now that I am an adult is humbling. I wish that I had pursued this years ago. I encourage others to search out teachers in their past that have made a difference in their life and personally thank them.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you Sister Mary Peter for your dedication in teaching mathematics and the inspiration you have had on my life.

 


Remembering: Sister Alberta Lovett, IHM
Location: St. Ephrem's, Brooklyn, NY
Date: 1964?

Sr. Alberta was my first grade teacher. I remember her sense of humor, which she used to cope with the more difficult-to-handle kids. Two incidents I recall involved the same boy, who was a bit of a handful, to say the least.

On one occasion, having had about all she could take of him, she told him she would have no choice but to put his head through the blackboard. Then, lest anyone take her too seriously, she went on to say, "and then when Sister Julia next door opens up her cupboard, there will be Thomas B.'s head!"

Another time, the voice of the principal, Sr. Eunice, came over the loudspeaker. She needed Thomas B. in the office, so she asked, "Sister Alberta, will you please excuse Thomas B.?" Sr. Alberta didn't miss a beat: She turned around and looked up at the loudspeaker, and said, "Sister Eunice, there IS no excuse for Thomas B.!"

Little things like this made life more bearable for Sister Alberta and the kids, and all these years later, I still share these anecdotes with friends.

 


Remembering: Sister Terrence McGirr
Location: Our Lady of Mercy, Forest Hills NY
Date: 1985

There are many sisters that I recall during my time at Our Lady of Mercy in Forest Hills NY. From the day I arrived in first grade with Sister Trinita, to Sister Cornelius, Sister Robert Mary, Sister Ruthanne, there was a level of fear instilled in us about the nuns.

You were to respect them, you were to be afraid of them,(mind you this was in the eyes of a boy who needed periodic discipline) and you were to always tell them the truth.

My brother was ahead of me by three years, and in my opinion needed a little more motivation and discipline than I did. He had Sister Terrence, and she took care of both of those things. This was a time when a "crack" or two was needed, and was allowed, and in fact welcomed by our parents. How times have changed, not for the good.

Well, it was my second or third day in class, and Sister Terrence had all the tall boys in the back of the room. That meant that I was right with my boys. Mat Flood, Greg Ganley, and me. This was great. We were all writing, and we thought that we saw Sister sleeping, her eyes were closed, her head was bouncing, and I thought I heard a grunt or two.

So being boys, we started shooting spit balls, crawling over to the girls seat that we liked (but we treated them like we didn't, the boy hood cruch thing)and pinching their legs.

Well Sister started to move, and we stopped. Home free, we did our thing and she was sleeping for the whole time. So we thought.

It was dismissal time, and when we were getting ready to leave and putting our sport coats on (they were required, and in fact the one I had on was a checkered one that I had for three years) Sister asked that Matt, Greg, Tom Tommasso and I stay behind for a moment.

She sat us all in the front, in a box. She stood right in the middle, and I believe started talking about respect, and in what I believe to this day was one motion, connected with each of our heads, and like a rotor of a helicopter, spun two or three times, and connected with each one of us. While doing that, she was talking about respect for her while she was busy, and "don't get out of our seats, spit spit balls, and touch the girls."

Busy, that was a new term for sleeping. But, we forwever remember her and what he taught us.

Each of the IHM nuns made us who we are today. They taught us respect, love, caring for others, and a love for God. There is no doubt in my mind that who I am today is a combination of the nuturing and love that I received from my parents, and the nuns in school.

We talk about each of the nuns we had to this day. And after the funny stories, and laughs, we always say that growing up in Forest Hills and going to school at OLM, was the best childhood we could have ever had.

We also always say that it is a shame that our kids can not have that kind of schooling. This generation needs a few "cracks", as well as love for each other, respect and caring.

Good bless each of the IHM sisters, and Thank You, and we miss you all.

Love
Keith McLiverty

 


Remembering: Sister Maria Lourdes Vanston, IHM
Location: Our Lady of Mercy, Forest Hills NY
Date: 1986

It was a spring afternoon, and Jeff Conlon and I went to my house for lunch. Let me set the stage for you.

I lived over 14 city blocks away from the school, and took a city bus to school and home each day. We were given a 45 minute lunch, were dismissed at 11:45 and had to be back at 12:30. Back ment in the class room and ready to learn. I usually never went home at lunch since it was far.

Jeff and I went to my house this one afternoon. By the time we were at my backdoor, we walked, it was 12:10. We went in and made a few sandwiches, and stared talking. Now my dad was there, and that was a surprise. He was a policeman, so was usually working. we talked for some time with him, and left to go back to school around 12:45- 1:00 PM. We walked, time to play.

As we approached the school, we started talking about how late it was and how we missed the whole first period after lunch. We thought that was funny. We had to come up with a story.

Jeff had it all set. Here is what he came up with:
We went to my house for lunch, I had forgotten the keys, we had to go to a neighbors to borrow a ladder. We went in an upstairs window, and had lunch. When we were done, we had to climb out the window and use the ladder to get out since the deadbolt lock was locked. We then had to bring the ladder back to the neighbors, and then came to school.

This sounded great. As we came up the front stairs, approaching the two big wooden doors, Jeff said, "Whatever you
do, just shut your mouth and let me do all the talking." See, I had a tendancy to laugh when I was lying, or screw the lies up.

We rang the bell, I can still hear it today. A buzzing sound. A moment passed and down came Mrs. Klaum, the prinipals secretary.

"A little late boys!" We went up the stairs and into Sister Marie Lourdes waiting room. Out she came. Her wide shoulders, serious face, and a index finger that was a deadly weapon in mind warfare if she pointed it at you. "Gentlemen, you are a little late!". Jeff started, went thought the whole story, the ladder, the locked out thing, the returning of the ladder. I kept my head down and my mouth shut.

While Jeff was telling the story, Sister never looked up, she was writing the admission slips. I glanced up, thinking "just a few more moments, once my slip was written and I could get to class, I would be safe." She was just about to hand Jeff his
slips and asked,"Keith, what was the matter, your Mom was not home?" I said. "No Sister, my Dad was!" Jeff's eyes went wide, and then his head sunk. I still did not realize that I not only tied the loop, but hung us.

She told Jeff to go to school, and me to get into her office.

I sat in this chair, cold wood, and a big seat. She went around the desk, not saying a word. She picked up the phone, it was a big black one that had a rotor dial. I still hear the ticking of the dial as she entered each number.

"Mr.Mcliverty, I am here with Keith, ..." and she proceeded to tell him what happened, she turned away from me so I could not hear everything. Then she turned to me, and like a dream, to this day I still see it, this handset from the black phone
being handed to me, in slow motion. It was gettign larger with each inch it got closer to me. Ok, I will get Dad on the line, tell him Jeff made me do it, and then be home free. I put the phone to my ear, "Dad.." He wasnt letting me speak, he said" So, you are busted. I will tell you what I told Sister Maria Lourdes, you are all hers, have a good day!" My Dad, he sold me to the principal.

She hung up the phone, looked at me, and said go to class. I spent each afternoon for the next two weeks cleaning erasers in the closet. And my buddy Jeff would every so often be outside the building and yell, " No sister, my father was!"

Sister Maria was the best, and I think of her often. We have crossed paths at some reunions. I do not believe that each of the IHM nuns realize how oftern we speak about you, and how much of an impact you had in our lives.

Thank you.

Keith McLiverty

PS Jeff and I are still best friends to this day.

 


Remembering: Sister Marianne Addy
Location: Maria Regina High School
Date: 1971-1975

Sister Marianne Addy scared the daylights out of me!! She actually expected me to do my best and I did. I was scared not to. I am now a high school Resource Room Teacher and I realize that she was the best teacher I ever saw. By accident I got her when I was in tenth grade. Sister only taught juniors and seniors, she was not happy about having a tenth grade class either!! But we learned more, read more, studied harder than we did in any other class. She was a wonderful teacher. I hope she is well.


Remembering: Sister Mary Patrina
Location: Most Holy Rosary, Syracuse, NY
Date: 1955 - 1956 thru '59

Sister Patrina - Changed my life! She taught - but more importantly - She cared - and - I got it! I was a poor
student at best - this wonderful Sister taught - pursuaded - led, and no question prayed for me. Sister Patrina, "Thank you" and all the wonderful dedicated women of the "IHM".


Remembering: Sister Ignatius
Location: Sister Ignatius was a cousin of my mother, Kathryn Loughney of Carbondale, PA.

the last time that I saw sister was in the Late 60's. Sister was close to my mother, Aunt and uncle. Her mother, Marie Murphy Was from Carbondale and kept in touch with the family. My mother passed away in 1971, thank you for your attention to this E-mail.


Remembering: Sister Mary Albertus (Anne Marie Fulwiler)
Location: Williamsport, Penna.

Sister Anne served as Mother Generalate of your order. She is currently living in Marian Convent.
She is my Lil Sister.


Remembering: Sister Margaret Russell
Location: St. Ambrose School, Bridgeport , CT
Date: 1955

Dearest Sisters,

I was a student at St Ambrose during the 1950s and I loved all the Sisters, but especially Sister Margaret, my third grade teacher. Sister was also the music teacher, and she took a shy, music loving little girl to her heart! How I loved our music lessons..she taught not only singing and simple sight reading but the JOY of music. She started me on the way...today, I am a soloist in a church, and cannot imagine my life without music!

I also remember Mother Elizabeth..a marvelous woman, who radiated joy and kindness! She was principal for about five years. She was strict about the rules, but always had that twinkle in her eye..and we kids just adored her.

I read that dear Sister Margaret passed away last year. I am currently out of work and will send a donation in her memory as soon as I am back on my feet. Please pray with me that God leads me to the right job where I can use the gifts and talents he gave me to serve him and help others. In return, I promise to support your ministries on a monthly basis!

Thank you and God bless you,
Sincerely,

Lorraine Papa

 


Remembering: Sister M. Maura, IHM
Location: St. Leo's School, Ashley, Pennsylvania
Date: 1959-1960

I have many fond memories of the IHM sisters at St. Leo's, which I attended from 1953 to 1965. Sister Maura, my seventh-grade teacher, was one of my favorites. She was one of the first people who noticed that I had a flair for writing, and always encouraged me to develop my literary talents. One day, after reading one of my "paragraphs," she said, "Edward, I hope I'll be reading one of your books someday." In the little coal town that Ashley was back then, such a thing hardly seemed realistic, but her words stuck with me as I made my way to New York and to a career in writing and publishing that has since taken me around the world, from Brazil to India, from Italy to Japan, and to many places in between. I credit Sister Maura with opening up the possibility that even a youngster from a modest parochial school could become a writer.

I suspect that Sister Maura has long since departed this life, but I hope that my books are deemed worthy of inclusion in some heavenly library where this dear nun can enjoy the fruits of the seeds that she once planted.

 


Remembering: Sister Joan McCusker
Location: St. Ephrem School, Brooklyn, NY
Date: 1984

I often wonder where the old sisters who taught us are and what they are up to. I specifically remember Sr. Joan my music teacher, Sr. Marie Imeldia my social studies and religion teacher amongst others. I visit the school from time to time to say hello, or often see other sisters and teachers at Sunday mass, but some have just disappeared. If they are still alive, I wanted to say hello and thanks for a great educuation.

The other sisters are:

Sr. Celeste (1st grade at St. E's)
Sr. Patricia (art)
Sr. Charles (librarian)
Sr. Joan (music teacher) pictured above
Sr. Marie Imeldia
Sr. Rita Ann

 


Remembering: Sister Maria Thomas and Sister Carlita
Location: St. Raymond, East Rockaway, NY
Date: 1962-1970

Sr. Maria Thomas taught me the joy of singing in harmony in the boys' choir at St. Raymond's. She was greatly admired in town for her direction of musical productions at St. Raymond's, and most of all for directing the beautiful singing by the boys choir at Christmas Midnight Mass, and during Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Sister Carlita was my 6th grade teacher. She was, like so many of the sisters, a fine teacher. She radiated beauty, love and joy. She was very witty, and had a great sense of humor - and I was particularly fond of her. I remember her one day talking to us about how some things just seemed to go together perfectly, and the example she used was pizza and beer! I hated the taste of beer, but hearing that from Sr. Carlita made me think it had real possibilities. As usual - she was right!
God rained blessings down on me by putting my education in the loving hands of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I would be interested about any information you might have about Sister Carlita and Sister Maria Thomas.

God bless you and protect you.

 


Remembering: Sister Timothea, IHM
Location: St. Peter's Chapel School, Scranton, PA
Date: 1952-53

Sister Timothea was my eighth grade teacher, and I was one of the "bad" ones. It's true, we were the bullies and the bad guys; never did homework, talked in class and, worst of all, were sabotaging our own educations. Like most boys in the school, I loved sports, especially football. We played everyday in the autumn on the field above the playground across from the school. One afternoon we had scheduled a really big game with the public school kids from Audobon Elementary up on Colfax Ave. But I, one of the "stars" sat desconsolately in Sr. Timothea's after school detention for a multiplicity of offenses.

I was desperate. The game started at 4:00 and here I was sitting in the back of the row near the cloak room doing some silly exercises in a book about which I had no interest whatsoever. Instead, I cogitated on a solution to my dilemna.

Sister sat at her desk way up in the front of the room doing paperwork and only infrequently observing her miscreants. I struck on a plan; no doubt conjured up by some World War II movie I'd seen. I would wait until the beacon light of her glance had surveyed the room and returned to her papers. Then, crawling on the floor, I would crawl into the cloak room and make my escape into the main hallway.

With great stealth, I made it safely all the way to the outer door of the cloak room, I was within three feet of freedom! Then, I heard from above, like an impending voice of doom, "What are you doing, John?" She had me.

I must have looked pathetic on my hands and knees. "Sister, I gotta go. I gotta play football today."

Sr.Timothea could never seem to surpress her natural love for us children and perhaps especially for me, the bratty one. She actually laughed! Whenever sister laughed, her face would get red and she could never keep back the merriment in her heart. "All right, John. You can go."

She may have added a caveat of some sort, but all I heard were those magic words that "set the captives free". She would never know the relief and appreciation I felt. Then, I was off like, as the sailors say, "...the last shot in the locker".

I'm sixty-five now; a former junior high, senior high and, now, college teacher of English. A former baseball, football, and drama coach. A certified principal, I live now in Los Angeles and actually worked in movies and television for a short time doing small parts.

I often look back at all the influence the IHM nuns had on me from the old Chapel School to South Catholic High as a formation that helped counter the devil's work in me. I can name all the nuns I studied under from IHM in those Scranton schools, but there were two whom I shall never forget for their love; Sister Timothea and Sister Matthew O'Conner from South Catholic. As my mother used to say to me, "...they'll have a star in their eternal crowns for dealing with you."

 


Remembering: Sister M. Virgine
Location: Most Holy Rosary; Syracuse, New York
Date: 1947-8

Sr. Virgine was my Kindergarten teacher and piano teacher. She taught 65 kids in the AM and 65 in the PM! She was wonderful! She was a warm and marvelous teacher.

After school, Sr. had to teach piano lessons until it was time for chapel and dinner. Then, she had to sit in the community room and be sociable!

On Saturday mornings, my mother would drive Sr. Virgine to the farmers' market where she would have to buy the fruits and vegetables for the week to feed the 26 Sisters in the convent.

I have been a Kindergarten teacher for 19 years and I am sure Sr. Virgine had a lot to do with that.

I would also like to say that all of the Sisters I had back at Rosary were wonderful. They worked hard and always had a smile.

I went back to teach at Rosary when I graduated from college and stayed for three years. I know I would have been there longer, but I had to take care of my mother who had a stroke and financially, I needed to go to the public school.

None of us whoever attended an IHM school will ever be able to repay those marvelous women who gave their all to us.

 


Remembering: Sister Edith Halligan
Location: Maria Regina High School
Date: 1967 to 1971

Sister Edith Halligan was my music teacher at Maria Regina High School in Uniondale, New York (class of 1971).

Sister Edith selected me to be the first Drum Major in the brand new marching band. We participated in several parades on Long Island and at the football games from 1967 to 1971.

My favorite memories are from the Saint Patrick's Day parade up 5th Avenue in Manhattan in 1970. Sister Edith had a special "marching" uniform with white shoes and walked proudly with our group. (I have the pictures to prove it)

Sister Edith was a wonderful teacher and friend. She would spend time talking with me and the other students in my class. I wanted to let her know that I turned out okay!!!

I think about those days often.

 


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