Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sister Maria retires

I was just short of 21 when I walked into my first teaching assignment one September quite awhile ago. We were still well within the first years of The Sound of Music, singing along with Julie Andrews "My Favorite Things" and the whole rest of the soundtrack. The story captivated movie-goers everywhere with the portrayal of the wholesome, cute, nun-turned-wife-and-mother of the Von Trapp family. Imagine my delightful surprise to discover that my principal was the real Sound of Music nun: she was young, beautiful, full of fun, a live Sister Maria! The kids, the faculty, the staff, and all the other sisters just loved her. My first principal and I will never forget her.

The years passed, of course, she went onto other things as did I, but whenever I saw her she was the same, aging gracefully and beautifully--just as you'd expect.

For the past 27 years she has been the Vicar for Religious of our diocese and last night we invited her to dinner at the Mount to celebrate with her and to thank her as she retires. The sisters lined up to express their appreciation for her years of ministry. She represented and served us well--to the bishop and within the diocesan structure. She was as gracious, as beautiful, as special as she was all those years ago to that wide-eyed novice beginning her teaching career.

I saw Julie Andrews interviewed on TV recently and, yes, you guessed it, still as lovely as ever, exactly like our own "Sister Maria" in real life.