Sisters Celebrating their 70th Jubilee
Sister Mary Michael Codarini
I knew I wanted to do something for God’s service
I knew the Sisters of St. Joseph from my school days. Even though I had some boyfriends as a teenager, I wasn’t serious about them. In my heart I knew I wanted to do something for God’s service by reaching out to others, especially those in need.
As I think back over the past 70 years, I realize the wealth of experience I have had. I taught for close to 40 years in four different provinces and was a principal in two different schools in Ontario. Those were happy years. I loved teaching children even though the details are fading in my memory. But I do know I had fun along the way. I am grateful to God for all of it.
Sister Patricia Conway
Through my small share in listening to people with problems, I learned patience, compassion and understanding
I was blessed with good teachers all through my school years. Grade 1-7 were with the CSJ Sisters in London, Ontario, where my family lived. In Grade 8 we moved to Toronto. The neighbourhood Catholic school was Blessed Sacrament. The Loretto Sisters taught there. In high school I returned to the CSJs because I know them better. I attended St. Joe’s on Wellesley Street. They had a very positive influence on me during those five years. They were happy. I sensed that there was a strong sense of caring for each other among them. That spilled over to the girls, especially to me. Along with God’s grace and my family influence, I would say those Sisters were the biggest influence towards my vocation.
I have no regrets. These 70 years have been good. I taught out west twice, in Vancouver and Prince Rupert. In Ontario, I taught mainly in the Niagara Peninsula and for only two short periods in the Toronto area. This covers a period of 38 years. After retiring from education, I worked for 25 years in the Marriage Tribunal. There I was reaching out to others, helping people who were in need — not monetary need — but suffering from broken relationships. Through my small share in listening to people with problems, I learned patience, compassion and understanding. This was a real source of enrichment. Now that I am here at 2 O’Connor, I am still learning from those around me. My life of learning is still continuing as I approach my 90s. I have much for which to be grateful.
Sister Helena Kenny
I guess it was St. Joseph that attracted me
I’m from P.E.I. I only knew Sisters from seeing them but somehow I knew that’s what I would be. As well as coming from God, I would say that my vocation came from my family and its values. After high school, I moved to Toronto and worked for two years. I didn’t know any individual St. Joseph Sisters but I saw the kind of work the Sisters did. I guess it was St. Joseph that attracted me. I met the first Sister of St. Joseph when I asked to enter.
I have been blessed with good health all my life so was able to serve in a variety of ministries mainly in the administrative departments in health care institutions and occasionally in school settings. I liked wherever I was and whatever I was doing. My overall attitude over the years has been one of gratitude. These 70 years have gone by so quickly—never a dull moment throughout them all.
Sister Jane MacDonald
I didn’t realize how hard you worked teaching Grade 1 until I was moved up to Grade 7
Being from rural Saskatchewan, I first met Sisters during a two-week period in the summer of Grades 5 and 6 as I was enrolled in a summer school catechism class. I wasn’t their best student as I wanted to be out playing. As there were no Catholic schools in our area, I went to the local school. My Grade 11 year in town was interrupted because of a crop failure. So for Grade 12, I was sent to boarding school in Rosetown. It was a good year because I had good teaching. I also had lots of fun. I remember particularly Sisters St. William, St. Stephen and Wilfreda. I entered after high school. Coming to Toronto, especially by train, was exciting. Sr. Corrine met us at the train. She was from Saskatchewan and my older sister knew her from boarding school.
My principal ministry for the first 22 years was teaching. I enjoyed those years in Toronto, Rosetown, British Columbia and Manitoba. I didn’t realize how hard you worked teaching Grade 1 until I was moved up to Grade 7. At that age, with a little instruction and support, they were able to work independently. As I think back I was probably a bit too strict. During the late 1960s I took courses in Social Service and afterwards did a variety of volunteer outreach ministries. Being in community has been a good thing. I have been blessed with so many opportunities for which I am grateful.
Sister Irene Murphy
I have always been happy where I was, including now at 2 O’Connor
I grew-up in Kerrobert, Saskatchewan and attended the local elementary school. When it came time for high school, it was decided that I would stay home and take my Grades 9 and 10 by correspondence. I was able to help my mother around the house thus enabling my older sister to go out to work. Money was scarce and these were the years just after the Depression of the 1930s. However, for grades 11 and 12 I went to boarding school in Rosetown. That’s where I met the Sisters. They were a great influence on me, especially Sister St. Stephen.
As I look back over these 70 years, I must say that I have had a good life. I taught most of the grades in elementary school, including classroom music and school choirs, so had a wealth of experience in preparation for when I became a principal. After retiring from the formal school system, I worked for 10 years at “The Wise Owl Learning Centre” in Saskatoon mentoring students who needed extra help. I have always been happy where I was, including now at 2 O’Connor. I taught in small centres in B.C. and Saskatchewan so was active, not only in the school but in the local parish as well. Now, I try to help out where I can.