In praise of the sisters

Mary and ChildrenThe elementary school I went to was staffed (in part) by sisters.  They were the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and they were, in a word, terrific.  I didn’t always appreciate them, but I sure do now.

See, the older I get, the more I realize that those sisters really taught me a lot.  To wit:

1) They taught me that Mary was someone worth celebrating.  From the Mary stautes in the corner of every classroom to the beautiful May Processions to honor her, the sisters made a very big deal about the BVM.   In this way, they planted a seed in me, a seed that, years later, grew into a book, into a blog … and into a house stuffed with images of this woman whom I love.

2) They taught me to memorize all of the prepositions, in alphabetical order.  Trust me: it’s a cool party trick.

3) Being from Philadelphia, they taught this California girl what  a “hoagy” is.  We just didn’t have those in Silicon Valley, you know?   And when I wandered through the Philadelphia airport two years ago and saw “hoagies” for sale … well, you can probably guess which navy-blue clad women came to mind.

4) They taught me that neatness matters.  It is ironic that I type that sentence at a computer desk that is overflowing with papers and, frankly, junk.  I’m not saying I am neat, mind — but I do recognize its importance, and I can pull it together when it matters.

5) They showed me a unique example of dedication.  I don’t think it’s easy, living a celibate life, moving around every few years, having to re-establish in a new community and a new school.  But they made it look easy, somehow.  And I’d like to thank them for that.

For all of it, actually.

Thank you.

Image courtesy of Holy Cards for your Inspiration

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