Memories – 1960s
Name: Sister Mary (Mary Hope) Glinski (deceased)
School: St. Monica (Mobile, Ala.)
Memory: As I look back on my time at St.Monica’s, I realize how very fortunate I was to have been given the opportunity to be taught and mentored by these wonderful, caring women. From 1954 through 1961 I was given what I consider a world class elementary school education which prepared me well for my future. The nuns I mentioned were, along with my parents, the most impactful figures in my early life, they understood how to educate, they demanded your attention, and controlled the classroom, creating an excellent learning environment. Thank You and God Bless Your Order!
Name: Sister James Marie (Therese Kearney, IHM)
School: St. Monica (Mobile, Ala.)
Memory: I was really shy as a young girl. Sister James Marie made me feel good about myself and so special. She also gave me another gift, the joy of reading. She had a shelf full of books and would let us pick one out to borrow if we were good, etc. I remember getting so excited about it – I was hooked on books for the rest of my life. The choir was yet another joy- I loved the songs she introduced us to “Oh, the days of the Kerry dancing, oh, the ring of the piper’s tune, oh, for one of those hours of gladness, gone alas, like our youth too soon.” “I know a green cathedral…” and on and on! I hope she is doing okay!
Submitted by: Debbie (Pryor) Kitchens
Name: Sister Peter Faber (Sister Marilyn Russ, IHM)
School: Holy Redeemer (Detroit)
Memory: Sister Peter Faber was the inspiration for my professional life. I had Sister in my junior year for Algebra II/Trigonometry. Prior to having Sister, I lacked the confidence I needed. I earned my bachelor’s degree from U of D in 1973 with a mathematics major! I was a math teacher for many years and eventually I became a principal and finally a director of education services at the county level. I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Sister Peter Faber. God Bless her and keep her.
Submitted by: Ilene Soroka MacDonald
Name: Sister Judy Dutka, IHM (deceased)
School: SS Peter and Paul (Ionia, Mich.)
Memory – I never had the privilege of having Sister Judy Dutka as a teacher in the formal school setting as I was already out of school when she came to Ionia for her first assignment as an IHM nun at SS. Peter & Paul. She taught my younger sister, brother and (future) sister-in-law and apparently she had a deep impact on them. She returned to Ionia often after she left to teach in the Detroit area and, since she stayed with either my sister or my brother and sister-in-law, her visits usually involved a big family gathering – 6 of us, our parents, and later on, our spouses and children – and there was always great conversation, LOTS of laughter, and often beautiful music. We also enjoyed visiting her in Detroit and attending Tiger baseball games with her. Somehow she became a different kind of “teacher” for me. She taught me about the kind of person I wanted to be and am still struggling to become – kind, compassionate, sincere, strong, joyful, faithful…and it was very evident how much she loved “her kids.” She was so very proud of all their accomplishments and she often told us how much she admired them for overcoming so much adversity in their lives. I think she felt that she received as much “education” from them as they received from her. She became part of our family, sang at several family weddings (I even got to sing with her a couple of times), and she planned the liturgy and sang at both my parents’ funerals. Last November, my four sisters and I made a trip to Detroit for an Art Fair and took the opportunity to stop and visit her at her apartment on Wyoming Avenue. She was feeling better and was singing with a chorus again – we were so excited to hear that! We had a delightful visit and had lunch with her at a wonderful deli nearby. As usual, there was LOTS of laughter, especially when I locked my keys in the car and she had to call AAA to get someone to unlock it for us! I will miss her joy, her love of life.
Name: Margaret Ann (Jean Frances) Henige, IHM
School: Hall of the Divine Child (Monroe, Mich.)
Memory: I have many fond memories from that year in the eighth grade with Sister Jean Frances and my classmates. Basketball games (home and away), ice-skating on the pond, study, mess hall, our mock presidential elections, movies in the auditorium, bedtime Taps, morning Revelry… we all loved Sister Jean Frances. I remember how she allowed us to adjust our schedule so we could watch the Detroit Tigers win the World Series in ’68. We didn’t miss a game. Also, the time when she tried to explain her vows to us and we just didn’t understand. Now I do. I still have a note from her I keep in my yearbook and I still have my uniform and graduating pendant gift. She played a significant role in my life at a difficult time and I will never forget her and the sweet way about her. God Bless her and for praying for all of us. We needed it. Thank you for everything.
Submitted by: Cadet Nicholas Myers ’69
Name: Mother Davidica (deceased)
School: Sacred Heart (Roseville, Mich.)
Memory: Mother Davidica was the principal of Sacred Heart High School my whole four years. She was the heartbeat of the school. She was a disciplinarian, yet she was always ready to laugh. Her influence is shown by alumni naming their children after her. All the IHM Sisters, when they were in their beautiful habits that marked them as Brides of Christ, inspired us with their sacrifice and holiness. All 12 years at Sacred Heart produced me – a traditional Catholic and proud of it.
Submitted by: Mary Compeau
Name: All IHM Sisters
School: Holy Redeemer (Detroit)
Memory: The dedicated IHM Sisters at Holy Redeemer had a profound effect on my life. I will always have fond memories of Sister Marie Angela (high school library) Mother Ann Mary, Sister Berchman, Sister Marie Carol, Sister Anne Therese (art), Sister Eucharia and too many to list here. In my senior year, I had the pleasure of knowing Sister Paula and her first year of teaching. She handled the choral class and the senior students in the class of 1968 were a challenge to her, I’m sure. I am saddened to hear the high school closed its doors. I will always be grateful that I was an altar boy through senior year, and was privileged to serve Mass in the good sisters’ chapel during the 1960s. God Bless all the IHM Sisters. You will always have my sincere respect!
Submitted by: Gregory Schwartz
Note -These sisters have all passed away. Sister Paula Anne Russell left the IHM 10/7/85 and we have no record of her whereabouts.
Name: Sister Irene Mary (Eugene Mary) Chmielewski, IHM
School: St. Raymond (Detroit)
Memory: What a progressive woman she was! She also had contagious enthusiasm. One day when I was in seventh grade she discreetly pulled me aside from the line when we were changing classes. She so quietly sang the first few lines from the hit movie, Alfie, which was “Hey, there, Georgie Girl, why do all the boys just pass you by? Could it be you just don’t try…” As shy as I was, those words stayed with me and helped me to grow into a confident woman, for which I am forever grateful. I often think of her and all of the other nuns that taught me more than academics throughout my eight years there. So much that was taught is with me on a daily basis. What love and devotion can accomplish!
Submitted by: Mary Ellen Strobel
Note: Sister Eugene Mary was Irene Mary Chmielewski, who left the IHM in 1970 and died in 2005.
Name: Sister Janet Sullivan, IHM
School: Annunciation (Detroit)
Memory: I attended Annunciation School in Detroit from first grade until I was in tenth grade when they closed the school in 1967. My family lived directly across the street from school and we spent many, many hours helping out at the convent and school all through the year. I have many wonderful memories and stories from those years but my fondest memories are of Sister Janet Sullivan who was my second grade teacher. She was just so loving, caring, fun and knew how to not only teach us but make us all feel special. She always was joyful and greeted us with a smile. She would help pull our very loose teeth if they bothered us and when it was very hot outside she would get a bucket of cold water and have us put our hands in it just over our wrists to cool us down. It was amazing. Actually I do it to this day and think of her each time. As a second grader you can’t really express very well how special someone is to you – but as an adult now – I hope this makes its way to Sister Janet so she knows she is still loved deeply, thought of constantly, and played such an important part in many of our lives. I have told my grandbabies that my favorite grade was second grade and that was because I had such an amazing and special teacher in Sister Janet. God Bless You Sister Janet and thank you for making such a difference to so many.
Submitted by: Brenda Matte Butler
Name: All Sisters
School: St. Rene (Chicago)
Memory: The teachers and IHM Sisters were so filled with joy and engaged in teaching and letting us grow.
Submitted by: Thomas Brady
Name: Sister Marie Sylvia (Leona Mary Sullivan), IHM
School: Gesu Elementary (Detroit)
Memory: Sister Marie Sylvia was my second (and fourth) grade teacher at Gesu Elementary School. I remember has as one of the most influential teachers of the MANY years I have spent in school. She was an excellent teacher, but was also a warm, caring woman one could turn to with problems. I recall a fellow student and I had a long talk with her about our “problem” of talking in class. She compassionately listened to us and helped us develop a plan to solve our “problem.” I believe her warmth and ability to listen contributed to my selecting a career as a professional listener and problem solver – a clinical psychologist. Sister Marie Sylvia was one of the best!
Submitted by: Aldona Mikaila Valivonis
Note: Sister Marie Sylvia died July 1994.
Name: Sister Clare Elizabeth
School: St. Cecilia (Detroit)
Memory: St. Cecilia was an excellent place of learning in many ways. St. C’s encompassed a holistic approach to education which at the time they probably didn’t even know. I grew in my faith, knowledge of self as well as my vocation in life. I am forever grateful to so many of the women who dedicated their lives to serve with the IHM Sisters. They were and are an excellent religious community. My hope is that younger women will see and appreciate the charisma this community holds.
Submitted by: Fr. Marv Knighton
Note: Sister Clare Elizabeth (Elizabeth Catherine Lemmer) taught at St. Cecilia 1965-1969. She died in 1995.
Name: Sister Teresa Avila (Teresa O’Connell, IHM)
School: St. Matthew (Flint, Mich.)
Memory: I started St. Matt’s in sixth grade in Sister Teresa Avila’s class. My first day in class was a disaster as Sister had the boy in front me teach me how to cover my books. His look of disdain in how could I not know how to make book covers remains a joke between two good friends to this day. Our class was a rowdy bunch and Sister Teresa Avila had the pleasure of shaping us in both sixth and seventh grades. Sure we challenged her greatly, but her influence on us carried us forward and think our class made a lot of positive contributions as we grew older based on her influence. Thank you Sister T!!
Submitted by: Jim McCabe
Name: Sister Angela (Marie Benjamin) Hibbard, IHM
School: St. Mary (Lorain, Ohio)
Memory: I remember with much fondness and respect the IHM Sisters I had at St. Mary’s from first through 12th grade. Sister Marie Banjamin was my first grade teacher and learning to read was such a joy. I was so excited the first time I read a road sign when riding in a car!
Submitted by: Cecilia Girz
Name: Sister Anna Susan (Marie Bernard) Shubitowski, IHM
School: Girls Catholic Central (Detroit)
Memory: We loved the spirit among the students and the IHM sisters, sharing both faith and fun. I remember one day in Biology with Sr. Marie Bernard: we were supposed to pith live frogs and dissect them. I was asked to move the very large jar from the floor to the lab table, containing frogs that were beginning to awaken and move around. Knowing that we didn’t want to kill these poor frogs, at least I didn’t want to kill one, I accidentally-on-purpose dropped the jar on the floor, shattering it and thus liberating 20 some frogs. They began to leap all over the classroom, leaving some squeamish girls screaming and jumping on the seats and tables, while the rest of us crawled and ran around the room trying to capture the elusive frogs. Poor Sister was telling us to be careful, all the while trying to sweep up the shards of broken glass to protect us from getting cut. I know I probably shouldn’t have done it, but it was hysterical and so much fun. We laughed about it for weeks.
Submitted by: Anne Sochocki
Note: Sister Marie Bernard died in 1986.
Name: Several IHMs
School: Our Lady of the Assumption (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Memory: How fun that OLA/Albuquerque is the Featured School of the Month! I so appreciate ALL that the IHM Sisters taught as well as how these wonderful women gave of themselves. Special memories include: The Valentine bake sales we had each year, a competition between 6th 7th and 8th grade classes to raise the most money for The Missions, and making Valentines for the sisters at the Motherhouse in Monroe, as well as singing in the choir with Sister Marie Gonzaga as the director. I was the secretary of that first student council and had such fun in that first pep club. We attended daily Mass, a practice I once again participate in, now that I am a retired Catholic school teacher. Thank you IHM Sisters! You truly are incredible women who fostered such a wonderful appreciation for the spiritual as well as fostering care and love of neighbor, especially those in need. Sisters I remember the most are Mother/Sister Jane Terese (who passed away in the last year), Sister Marie Gonzaga (Lucienne LeBlanc – deceased), Sister Alameda, Sister Catherine Mary (Zacharias) and Sister Martha Jean (McGarry).
Submitted: Patty Eckert Maguire
Name: Sister Agatha (Eugenia Agnes) Harasimowicz, IHM
School: Immaculata High School (Detroit)
Memory: I was honored when Sister Agatha called when she visited Notre Dame for a semester. She played with my daughter, sat on my couch, and was a regular person! She tried to teach Latin to (what we know now) was a learning-disabled student (me) and was having quite a time. I just couldn’t memorize the declensions! Since I truly did study, I found that if you translated the Latin into English using just vocabulary, the paragraph made sense. Caesar was always “bella-ing” somebody. I became the school’s national Latin award winner. Sister asked me with a glint in her eye, “Kathy, did you cheat?” I appreciated her.
Submitted by: Kathleen Poirier-Maledon
Note: Sister Agatha died Nov. 28, 1993.
Name: Sister Marie Padua
School: Santa Teresita (Santurce, P.R.)
Memory: Sister Marie Padua inspired me to become a teacher. She was one of the few teachers I ever had that seemed to care about me personally. She was compassionate, understanding, patient, and a good listener. Although math was not my favorite subject, I strived to achieve in her class as I did not want to disappoint her after all she had done for me. She had a significant impact on my life – I vowed I would be there for kids when I became a teacher. I have kept that promise; this is my 41 year in education.
Submitted by: Ines Colom Ragland
Name: All Sisters
School: St. John Vianney (Highland Park, Mich.)
Memory: Sisters Angelora, Doris, Hermes (Cecelia Campbell), Ann Christopher (Jean Booms), and Maria del Rey (Ruth Yachques-O’Neil). Forgive me for the names I have not remembered here. The angels that influenced my very faith as a wee child! They hugged you if you hurt or were crying, taught with such dedication and devotion, protected us, lead us and certainly loved us. Bless all of your hearts! Who could not love Sister Maria del Rey!!! She took students to her parents’ home on Harson’s Island ice skating. Our family traveled to Mt. Morris, Mich., to visit her after she had been transferred. Maria made me laugh! One day, at the age of about 8, I was running tardy for school and flew in to the hallway. The principal, Sister Hermes, met me. Something was different–her hair was showing! The IHM habit had changed, allowing the sisters to show their hair and her name had changed. She was now Sister Cecelia Campbell.
Submitted by: Kathleen Hogan
Note: Sisters Angelora Foley died 1998 and Doris Henn died 2007. Sister Cecelia Campbell is retired at the Motherhouse; Sister Jean Booms works at our Visitation North facility; and Sister Maria del Rey left the IHM in 1970.
Name: Sister Rose Xavier, IHM (deceased)
School: St. Bede (Southfield, Mich.)
Memory: My name is Brian Jordan & I started at St. Bede’s Elementary School the Monday morning after Thanksgiving weekend, 1964. I was assigned to Sister Rose Xavier’s 8th grade class. So I was only at the school less than six months before graduating on to Brother Rice High School, Birmingham, Mich. However, even to this day whenever I get together with fellow classmates from St. Bede’s, Ann Therese Darin Palmer, Denyse Fox Nishio, John Tracey Tracey, Joe Young, Lou Ciaverella, Dick Furgeson, Ken Calvert, Dave Martin, Dave Kelso, Jim Luehelier, Paul “Buddy” Blaquire, et al, there are always numerous positive comments about Sister Rose Xavier & what an influence she was in and on our lives! Gosh, those were some good ol’ times! We hope that she is still alive and, if so, some of us would like to go down to Monroe and see her, if possible!
Submitted by: Brian Jordan
Name: James Marie, IHM
School: St. Monica (Mobile, Ala.)
Memory: The Christmas season/music always reminds me of St. Monica’s and being in the choir. For someone as timid as I was in those days, Sister James Marie made choir fun and it actally gave a terrified little girl courage, and a little confidence in herself. I think of Sister James Marie often and hope she is well. Merry Christmas!
Submitted by: Sheila (DeSorbo) Yost
Note – Sister James Marie is Sister Therese Kearney, IHM.
Name: (Former) Sister Mariruth (Mary Brian) Ledyard
School: St. Raymond (Detroit)
Memory: Sister Mary Brian ran, shouted, would throw baseballs and footballs with us. Seventh and eighth grades were the best years in grade school. I see her still and thank her for all the knowledge she imparted on us. I use a lot of it still every day.
Submitted by: Jim Carnagie
Name: Sister Helen (Christella) Peatee, IHM (deceased)
School: Academia de Santa Teresita (Santurce, PR)
Memory – Sister Christella was our senior homeroom advisor. We, the Class of 1963, were her last senior class. She was a great teacher. Very warm and patient with her students. I have always treasured my memories of our dear Sister Christella. God Bless her always.
Submitted by: June Mary Jimenez
Name: Sister Mary Bonita, IHM
School: St. Mary (St. Peter Parish) (Mt. Clemens, Mich.)
Memory: As a child walking to school in the cold, dry Michigan winters, I tended to get severe chapped lips. Once, while in the 4th grade, my lower lip cracked severely, almost to the point where I would need a stitch or two. Sister Mary Bonita gave me some St. Joseph’s oil and told me to apply it every morning and to pray for healing. I complied, and quickly the crack healed, much to the surprise of my mother. I have never heard of St. Joseph’s oil since. God bless the sisters of the IHM.
Submitted by: Thomas Candela
Name: Sister Digna
School: Holy Name (Birmingham, Mich.)
Memory: I went to Holy Name for all eight years of grade school. My favorite teacher, and the one I still believe had the greatest impact on me, was Sister Digna. I think of her frequently and bless and pray for her. I am now an adult educator and she was my role model.
Submitted by: Jennifer Gau
Note: Sister Digna (Elizabeth Therese Pulaski) died 5/2/01.
Name: Several IHMs
School: St. Mary (Loraine, Ohio)
Memory: Our graduating class recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. We have many wonderful memories of the sisters who nurtured our faith and helped us to be the responsible adults we have become. I remember Sisters Macrina, Doris, Marie Loretta, Lorraine, Mary Ellen, Helen Marie, Jane Patricia, Christine, Alphonsa and, my favorite, Sister Florian. I can never thank them enough for all they did for me.
Submitted by: Rosemary Lane Schuler
Name: Cecilia (Mary Dalene) Schmidt, IHM
School: St. Peter Claver (Mobile, Ala.)
Memory: Sister Mary Dalene was my favorite teacher.
Submitted: Floyd Sims
School: St. Mary (Akron, Ohio)
Memory: My four years at St. Mary’s were among the most important in my life. You beautiful souls took a lost girl and helped her see talents and strengths she had no idea she possessed. Although I’ve left the church, your core values of love, honesty and the value of education have stood me in good stead. Looking back on the past 40+ years, I realize the debt I owe. Thank you for providing me with the tools to live a good life. Your support during a painful adolescence helped me grow a backbone I still rely on. Thank you.
Submitted by: Susan Vegso Korycan
Name: Sister Mary Simeon (Gladys Teresia Marie Krantz), IHM
School: Our Lady of Lourdes (River Rouge, Mich.)
Memory: As very young girls, my friend Michele McCabe and I were the grocery girls for a very special nun named Sr. Mary Simeon. It was an opportunity that would impact the rest of our lives and our family’s lives, even some 50 years later. We always felt of her as a living saint. Sister was the most Christ-like person you could ever be around. Years later she and my mother became best friends and spent many wonderful times visiting. Sister would always be ready to pray for and over you if she felt you were in need of anything. My sister Arlene believes she received a healing of a throat tumor when sister placed her hands on her throat as she prayed. This is only one of many blessing my family received over the years. I feel I could write a book about her and of all the blessings she has touched us with. Over the years my family received many letters from her and have saved them in hope somehow they may be useful to others as they are very spiritual and uplifting.
Submitted: Angelia Bodrie
Note: Sister Mary Simeon died March 29, 1991
Name: Sister Marie Stella
School: St. Alphonsus (San Leandro, Calif.)
Memory: I remember Sister teaching us the times tables in fourth grade. She had us racing in orbits around the moon. The first person to reach the moon won something. It was very important for that person to be me. On a Saturday Greg Howe and I said our 12 times-tables. To this day I think he said them so fast he missed some. But his little rocket got to the moon first. I think of that day frequently especially when I try to remember how to multiply 51 years later. Thank you Sister.
Submitted by: Patricia Nachin
Note: Sister Marie Stella Sheehan taught at St. Alphonsus from 1960-68. She died Aug. 1, 1984.
Name: Sister Mary (Coronata) Laubacher, IHM
School: St. Stephen (Port Huron, Mich.)
Memory: Sister Coronata was my mentor, friend, and role model. When I was looking for a summer job after my freshman year of college, she took me on as her school secretary. When I finished college and suddenly had a change of plans and needed a teaching position, she found me one almost overnight. I’ve always thought of her as my ideal role model for all the years that I taught high school English.
Submitted by: Ann Murray
Name: Sister Mary Ellen (Susellen) Glosser, IHM (deceased)
School: St. Mary Academy (Monroe, Mich.)
Memory: It was my freshman year and first year away from home. Even though I liked it there, I would cry myself to sleep every night because I was so homesick. Every night Sister Susellen would get me out of bed and we would go to the snack room for a talk. She was very consoling, but it didn’t seem to help me. One night she came up with just the right words, “My sweet child, it is OK for you to be homesick. You are one of the few girls here that has a home good enough to be homesick for.” Well, that did it for me. I finished high school at Marian. Those words from Sister Susellen have gotten me through many “homesick” times.
Submitted: Mary Anne (McHugh) Stiverson
Name: Sister Elma Leonora (Mary Vincent) Corice
School: Holy Cross (Marine City, Mich.)
Memory: For all of my high school career (1956-60), Sister Mary Vincent was the 12th grade home room teacher and taught chemistry, physics, drafting and science. The boys in school had given her the nickname “Big Vince.” She had 11 older brothers and had no problem handling boys. She had also learned mechanics from her brothers and was adept at helping boys with their automotive problems. She was much loved and, in earning her nickname, respected by all. Sister was an excellent teacher and easy to approach. In our small school (164 students) she was a universal and pleasant presence. I miss her.
Submitted by: John Kelly
Note: Sister Mary Vincent taught at Holy Cross from 1956-62. She died in 1982.
Name: Sisters Annette, Mary Ives, Maria Pacis, Norita
School: St. John (Benton Harbor, Mich.)
Memory: Thank you to all the wonderful sisters who taught me at St. John’s in Benton Harbor, MI, in the 1950s. Thank you to all who taught me at Marygrove College in the 1960s, including, but not limited to Sister Mary Emil, Sister Janice Marie, Sister Amata. Educated, articulate, caring women all. I owe so much of my lifelong love of learning and clear thinking to them and their efforts.
Submitted by: Patrice Gaunder Heeran