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Memories – 1950s

1953  1954  1955  1956  1957  1958  1959 

School: St. John (Benton Harbor, Mich.)    
I see Sister Marciana celebrated a 75-year Jubilee last year. It brings delight to me to learn that. I still remember the values of respecting myself and others as well as dedication to my work that she taught me at St. John in the late 1950s. Hopefully, I have led a life that would make her proud. Please pass along my best wishes to her.
Submitted by: Larry Steinborn


Name: Amata Miller, IHM
School: Our Lady of Good Counsel (Detroit)
Memory: She made school fun and interesting. I loved sodality and going to functions and driving on the expressway before it was open.
Submitted by: Patricia Harrison Pitts

Name: Mary Emerence, IHM
Our Lady of Lake Huron
Have a fond memory of Sister Emerence (sp) Was a great person who later left the convent and married. She was a great person that helped me. I only found out that she left the convent and that she lived just down the street from the police precinct that I worked in. I have fond memories of all of the sisters at OLLH, you ladies are to be commended for all the work that you do. Seems funny looking at the pictures and no Habits, Ha. I know times have changed. Again thank you all for what you do and may God Bless you.

Name: Mary Paracleta, IHM
School: Holy Redeemer (Detroit)
Memory: I have always been grateful for the wonderful education I received at Holy Redeemer High. I fondly remember all the sisters and feel very blessed to have had them as my teachers. I especially remember Sister Paracleta who inspired me to enter the convent, Sisters of St. Dominic, Grand Rapids, and even took her name. Although I didn’t stay in the order, it was a growing experience that I still treasure. Sister Paracleta was probably the best and most inspiring teacher I ever had. Thanks for the memories!
Submitted by
: Theresa Bondy-Gilbert

Name: All teachers
School: St. Felicitas (Chicago) 
I attended St. Felicitas in Chicago from 1956 thru 1959. I had attended two other Catholic elementary schools prior to that. Of all my childhood (school) memories, my years at St. Felicitas were the best. The sisters at St. Felicitas were the most caring and inspiring. I cannot recall the names of the sisters I studied under, but I do want them to know that I still refer to the years spent with the IHM sisters as the best educational and spiritual experiences I ever had. May God bless them for all they did for us.
Submitted by: Dianne (Cooley) Zuzga


Name: Sister Digna
School: Holy Name (Birmingham)
Memory: I attended Holy Name School in Birmingham, Michigan and, proudly graduated 8th grade in 1968. My 4 siblings graduation from Holy Name, as well. These years were the most happy and secure times of my life. And guess what, I did’t even know it! More life skills were taught to me at Holy Name than at home. For example, simply pushing my chair in, closing a door politely (do not slam); Grace before meals, Mass every morning, respect and reverence for holy ritual. I walked to school every day safely. It was a time when neighbors watched over us and even corrected us if we were out of line. I look back and thank God that I was carefully protected. Thank you my dear Sisters who taught me so lovingly and carefully. My sisters were the most loving, caring, educated women that I have ever known.
Submitted by: Fran Otto (Frances Mary Baldwin)

Name: Sister Michael Marie
School: Holy Crose (Marine City)
Memory: I left the novitiate just before temporary vows in May of 1961. I received a letter from the Sisters in late August saying they needed a teacher for grade two. I agreed to accept the position and Sister was my support/helper. I left Holy Cross when I married Sr. Rose Margaret’s brother, Fred in 1963. We have 8 wonderful ” students” of our own, all grown up, 18 grandchildren, and I just heard this evening that we are soon to be greatgrandparents. I sure
would like to catch up with Sr. Micheal Marie if that is possible. I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to be a teacher at Holy Cross with her support.
Submitted by: Margaret Schweihofer West

All Sisters
School: Holy Redeemer (Detroit)
Memory: A big “Thank You” from one of the biggest families at Holy Redeemer-Detroit. Though ma and dad are gone know, they always had the highest respect for you. Thank you!
Submitted by: The Diegels, Detroit, MI

Name: Sister Alice Clare, IHM and Sister Baptista, IHM
School: St. Gregory (Detroit)                            
Sister Alice Clare and Sister Baptista were my aunts on my grandmother’s side of the family. They were sisters. Sr. Alice (Evelyn White) was the principal of St. Gregory’s in the 1950s. I don’t recall Sister Baptista’s first name. I believe she died in 1953. A classmate called Sister Alice Clare “fat” once and my brother Michael punched him and he was brought before Sister Alice Clare for punishment. She said, “You know Michael, I AM a little oversized.” We visited the IHM Motherhouse every summer to see both the sisters.
Submitted by: Robert “Chuck” Hastings
Note: Sister Alice Clare (Evelyn White) died in 1961. Sister Baptista (Catherine Angela White) died in 1953.

Name: Sister Paula Marie Schloff, IHM
School:  St. Mary (Monroe, Mich.)
Memory: Sr Paula Marie had a 36″ stride, hit a baseball like Mickey Mantle and TCB like no one else. Her strength lies in the approach to others, understanding the nature of the child, ready to adjust, no situation is bigger or inoble, fair and playful, stern and truthful. I have her in my thoughts as an important mentor. Sorry to hear I cannot tell her in person, in memoriam, Jan 2007. Thank you Nanette Brancheau for your memory. Forever in the debt of IHM, where I learned how to learn.
Submitted: Sherry Neal, 1954-1958 Linda Neal. 1954-1958 1st to 4th grades Crack-the-whip on thin ice!


Name: Sister Patricia M. (Generosa) O’Donnell, IHM
School: Annunciation (Detroit)
Memory: I attended Annunciation from first grade (1957) through eighth grade (1965). Although Sister Generosa was not my teacher, I loved her very much. I was AAA service girl for her class and took care of the class at lunch. I do not remember the holiday, but I gave her a card. I misspelled her name on the envelope. I had it addressed to “Sister Gena Rosa.” Back then everyone was sure that I would join the IHM order, and Sister Generosa told my mother that my religious name had been chosen – Sister Gena Rosa! I have thought of Sister Generosa many times through the years. I was saddned to hear of her passing, but I know that she is with God. Sister Generosa, I will continue to keep you in my heart as I have through the years, and I will remember you in my prayers.
Submitted by: Bernadine Harper

Name: None in particular
School: St. Mary (Wayne, Mich.)                           
I was one of the eighth grade girls who had class in the house behind the school. I remember the day we tried on our “sweet little Alice blue gowns” in the closet on the second floor for the dance recital. (Remember Mrs. Hoyt?) I’d love to hear from any classmates of the class of 1957. Send them to:
Submitted by: Sister Pat Glaab, IHM

Name: Sister Nora Marie Duggan, IHM 
St. Monica (Mobile, Ala.)
Memory: Congratulations on your 60th Anniversary as an IHM nun. You were one of my favorites at St. Monica in Mobile, Ala. You taught me in grades two and three. I have some wonderful pictures and would love to download them to this website. One of our second-grade class, which was a combined class of second-graders and third-graders. I also have one of the groundbreaking ceremony for the new church in 1959 with Bishop Toolen, Fr. Sherman and Fr. Kerwin. I often wonder how all of you beautiful nuns from Detroit were able to tolerate the hot and humid climate of Mobile, Ala. – especially wearing the full habit. God bless you all for the great education and the fond memories.
Submitted by: Betty Sue Mayes (Burns)

Name: All the sisters at CKS                        
Christ the King (Detroit)
Memory: There’s a line from a song that says, “Youth is wasted on the young.” I have so many fond memories of my days at CKS and the nuns that endured my immaturity. Wish I could do it all over again and do it right this time. God bless the survivors and God be with the rest.
Submitted by: Paul Gibson


Name: All Sisters
School: St. Gregory (Detroit)
Memory: Just read the featured “School of the Month.” It brought back many wonderful memories of QOH. I was the Miss Beale and the staff and students helped children and families throught their hot dog lunches to raise money for the missions. Bishop Untener served as a young priest and celebrated Mass with us. He was an inspiration. Our staff was ahead of the curve in education with Sister Thomas More guiding us to “thematic” teaching in ELA. As an educator I was formed by my QOH experience and continue to pass on the wisdom of those days. The sisters are always in my prayers.
Submitted by
: Mary Lou Van Antwerp (Beale)


Name: Electa (Mary Simon) Herringer
School: St. Mary (St. Peter Parish) Mt. Clemens, Mich.
Memory: On May 27, 1945, my second grade class made their First Holy Communion. It was Sister Mary Simon that guided us. Rest in peace Sister. You did a fine job. Three of us are SME at our parish.
Submitted by: Janet Mansfield

Name: Sister Mary Simon (Electa Herringer)
School: St. Mary (St. Peter Parish) (Mt. Clemens, Mich.)
Memory: The year was 1945 and I recall Sr. Mary Simon as my 2nd grade teacher. I was a skinny little girl with mousey brown hair combed in braids. Sister had sent the class to the blackboard to do math problems. She said when we were finished to write our name near our work. I did as I was told and sat down. She made known the fact that I had written my name so perfect. I remember I was both very proud and red-faced that she had brought it to the attention of the whole class. I also remember how diligently she prepared us for our First Holy Communion. In 2005, the year of my class’s 50th reunion, we had the opportunity to tour the school. Along with a classmate of mine, we walked into our 2nd grade classroom and in unison said “Sr. Mary Simon!”  How could we forget one so devoted to her students. I am sure she does not remember me but I remember her. May God Bless you Sister.
Submitted by: Janet Mansfield

Name: Electa (Mary Simon) Herringer
School: St. Mary (St. Peter Parish) Mt. Clemens, Mich.
Memory: On May 27, 1945, my second grade class made their First Holy Communion. It was Sister Mary Simon that guided us. Rest in peace Sister. You did a fine job. Three of us are SME at our parish.
Submitted by: Janet Mansfield
Note: Sister Electa (Mary Simon) Herringer died June 6, 2012.

Name: Sister Venard
School: Christ the King, Detroit
Memory: First of all my “Aunt”….and what a great Aunt and a person who was so good so helpful and always so positive. On my 50th. BDay, I asked her her key to such a happy and holy life…her answer…Matt: “Each morning when I awake I ask my Dear Lord for one more day…and live it fully. A great person…a great Nun…and a great Aunt. She’ll always be missed.
Submitted by: Matt Murphy
Note: Sister Mary (Venard) Murphy died Jan. 8, 2003


Name: Sister Thomas Rita (Mary Catherine) Fanning, IHM
School: Holy Redeemer (Detroit)
Memory: I was in second grade at Holy Redeemer. My teacher was Sister Thomas Rita. She helped me at a time when a little guy like me needed special attention for a lot of reasons. I just love her for all that she did.
Submitted by: Anthony Casillas
Note: Sister Thomas Rita left the congregation in 1970.

Name: Sister Nila Neill, IHM
Year: 1953
School: St. Felicitas (Chicago)
Memory: Excerpt from my book, Southside Kid: September is here and this means just one thing to a kid – school! Maybe it was the ittle pewter statue of Jesus in his beautiful red robe, I don’t know. We had a special day at school last year. We were allowed to bring money for the purchase of “holy items.” My attention was immediately drawn to this particular statue. With Jesus in plain view, I said many prayers over the summer. Somehow, my prayers have been answered. I will be in a split class this year. We’ll be sharing a classroom with third graders. Our nun will be Saint Nila. Oops, I mean Sister Nila. Incredible, absolutely incredible! I’m entering this school year with much less anxiety. I feel that I will do real well with Sister Nila mentoring me again. I like the split class deal, too. Now I can be an upper classman right in my own room. And from my book, Heaven Bound in the Dead of Winter: Special thanks Sisters of Saint Felicitas (Immaculate Heart of Mary). You taught me faith, hope, self respect. You challenged me. Your dedicated patience has instilled unlimited inspiration. Sister Nila Neill – No finer nun have I known.
Submitted by: Curt Erler
Note: Sister Nila Neill is retired and lives at the Motherhouse in Monroe.