The Catholic Mirror is largely about the Sisters of St. Joseph, a religious community that has served the Diocese of Springfield, MA for over a century. I was educated by these sisters in both high school and college and have been blessed to know several in my adult life. I was excited to see that several of those profiled are sisters that I have known.
Sr. Marlene Mucha was my Senior English Teacher in high school. I had her for two classes - English IV (British Literature) and Literary Explorations. She was also an adviser for the Literary Magazine which I was part of. She has been teaching at Holyoke Catholic High School since 1969 and I'm pretty sure she remembers every student who has walked through her doors. I know that they remember her. She is tough, but kind, and is always willing to go the extra mile, even working with me when I needed help. Much of my writing ability is due to her.
Sr. Kathleen Keating was the president of Elms College in my last two years as a student and then I had the pleasure to work under her for several years as an employee. While being called to her office always felt a bit like being called to the principal's office in school, she was an incredibly intelligent, compassionate woman who treated all employees with respect. And when I gave birth to David, she even gave me a baby gift!
Sr. Ruth Virginia Quinn is part of my parish. I knew her only as an older sister who volunteered in the rectory and with religious education. Turns out she does much more in the community and I was deeply touched by her story in the magazine.
Sr. Catherine Leary has been a pastoral minister for almost 20 years (taking a hiatus while she served on the leadership team of the SSJs). She greets everyone by name and with a smile and knows who is in need of prayers and support and makes that happen. Our parish is fortunate to have her.
These sisters and so many others like them have served our community with humility and grace and selflessness. For many years, they received no pay, which has left the aging community in severe financial difficulty. If your life was touched by a Sister of St. Joseph, please consider contributing to them. http://www.ssjspringfield.org/partner-with-us/make-a-gift.html