Dear Editor: It is with regret that I never contacted recently deceased Sister Doris or Sister Mary Emily as an adult. I write this with respect for a dedicated nun who taught me in the eighth grade at Our Lady of the Cenacle School, Richmond Hill. Correcting the obituary, Sister Emily taught fifth grade starting in 1950, continuing on with the same class until they graduated in 1954. Our Lady of Cenacle opened its doors in September, 1950 with grades one through five. I was in grade one.
Sister Emily was a caring, considerate and warm no-nonsense nun. During the eighth grade, she led us each day with the pre-noon recital of the Rosary, one of the many ways she would encourage our spiritual lives.
I have fond memories of this generally quiet nun, who was always in charge while devoting herself to kindness while teaching elementary school.
On our graduation day on a Sunday in June, 1958, we returned our caps and gowns and said our goodbyes. The emptying classroom was occupied with a group of her favorites, mostly young ladies, when she quietly began to cry. They were surprised never having seen her before in tears. They asked her what was wrong on such a happy day.
She answered, “I have known you since you all were little children, and now you are nearly adults, almost grown, and I probably will never see any of you again.”
Sister Emily remains in my prayers and thoughts, a gracious person who helped carve my personality and my life.
Sadly, the school has been closed for several years. But the teaching lives on, especially with those nuns such as Sister Mary Emily, S.C., Halifax.
JOSEPH A. CULLINA