Sisters influence students, others
Dave Eck • Director of Communications
“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns – bent down and helped us pick up our boots.” – Thurgood Marshall
As a history buff, I enjoy visiting the Congregation’s archivist, Sister Noreen Jutte, and talking about the Sisters’ ministries from years past. Often these discussions are about the Sisters’ work in education. Since they first arrived in America in 1844, Precious Blood Sisters have been shaping minds and sharpening the Catholic faith of their students.
I’m a product of Catholic education.
I’ll never forget the Holy Cross Sisters from grade school who not only taught us our ABC’s and math, but also to care for others. There was a measure of necessary discipline, of course, but you felt that the Sisters really cared about you and your success. An all-school Mass every Friday and choir practice during the holidays helped me develop a love of the Eucharist. We appreciated the Sisters and it was always a special treat to visit them at their convent. At Moeller High School I spent hours in the school library engrossed in reading and conversation with the late Precious Blood Sister Rose Ann Winkeljohn, the librarian. The religious at Xavier University instilled ethics that have formed the basis of my life as an adult.
I often think about the Sisters and other religious who have influenced me, and am grateful for their presence in my life.
That’s why it was so enjoyable to visit and write about the Precious Blood Sister who remain in education. Sister Paula Gero is light-hearted and keeps her classroom a fun place to learn; Sister Nancy Wolf engages her kindergarteners with non-stop activity; and Sisters Anne Schultz and Patricia Kremer bring a strong dose of academic achievement to their schools they lead as principals. At the college level, Sister Karen Elliott maintains a caring relationship with the students in her religious studies classes at Mercy College in Toledo.
In this issue of Sharing & Caring, we chronicle their stories. Watching these women interact with their students, it’s obvious that they love their ministry and were born to teach. We see their passion for learning and compassion for their students. But we also see them bring their commitment to religion to their students. They help make their Catholic schools Catholic. These ladies, like the hundreds of classroom Sisters who came before them, are truly a life-giving presence.