As a child of a single mother, the Daughters of Charity have always been a cornerstone of my personal life. From kindergarten at St. Francis on the Brazos, to St. Mary’s Waco, and on to Reicher High School, I have been influenced by Franciscan nuns and Daughters of charity my entire life. They were there when my mom had to work late to pick us up. I was young and remember being the last at school. We would go to their living quarters and have dinner with them until mom arrived, just my sister and I. Sr. Pauline, Sr. Barbara, Sr. Catherine were all in kindergarten. They made us feel special and never guilted my mom for running a little late. I will forever be thankful for that. Attending St. Mary’s, I remember Sr. Teresa working on reading with me on the third floor and insisting that I could continue to improve with every essay. Sr. Kenneth at St. Mary’s was also, very special to me. Her demand for respect is something that I try to remember all the time. The respect she received was from the sternness and kindness she showed every student. There were no students less in her favor, than any other. “You have one day left on your Saint Reports this week, make sure your crest is correct for your Saint”. “Don’t put your rear end on the pew while kneeling”, “Do not rock back and forth in church, you will make someone sea sick”. “There are five blows on a kleenex, four corners and the middle”. Her words replay in my mind, daily.
At Reicher, there were Sr. Brigid, Sr. Sara, who reminded us, “I wasn’t always a nun”, and my favorite, Sr. Natalie. We had the most fun in so many of her classes that I remember, as seniors we excitedly told the underclassmen to stop the “Vulture put-downs” and they wouldn’t have a clue of what we were talking about until they were older and got their experience with Sr. Natalie. I enjoyed eighteen years of these women who chose to dedicate their lives to God and embrace everyone they encountered with His grace. Ladies who accepted a calling to service in Christ so that He may influence the lives of others thru their hands and teachings. While I cannot ever be as strong as they are, I want them to understand that the gifts they offered were received by me, over a lifetime of love and dedication I will never take for granted.
After High school I stepped away from God. I honestly felt, I’ve been raised in Christ, he doesn’t leave me, even if I turn from Him. And boy, did I turn completely from him. I knew He was there but gave up on constantly being involved. Just like all my sisters taught me, He would never give up on me. It didn’t take too long until I understood where I belonged. When I felt alone, I knew where my home was and I went back. Providence Waco was where I belonged in my adult life at that time. I knew the loving charity, service, reverence and blessings were there and that was my home. The core values at Providence were my life goals since youth. Here is where I found Sr. Cecile and I saw the love that had cared for me, my whole life. I watched her spread her love over everyone she happened upon and I received it every time. I celebrated 20 years at Providence this year and it carries a lifetime of teachings of love and service from the values of the Daughters of Charity. It passes on from me now, to my children and I am as proud of them as I know the Daughters, involved in my life, are of me. Your love, kindness, service and commitment is passed on thru all the souls you have inspired. My heart is filled with love and emotion remembering you all, today. I am infinitely thankful for you and proud to be, forever, one of your students.

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