Saturday, June 15, 2024
Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Loving God and neighbor without distinction: A pontifical institute of women religious of the Roman Catholic Church

A priest remembers the sisters who taught him

(Published March 20, 2009)
By Father James F. Hoover

Oh, how I remember with joy the summers of my youth especially the time of anticipation of August 15 each year. That was the date when we discovered which Sister would be teaching us for the year. Who would it be? Would we know her? Would she know us?

This anticipation started on the last day of school at St. Xavier’s School in Junction City. As soon as the Sisters left for the summer, the men would repair or remodel items in the convent. The women would clean the convent during the summer. Maybe the reason I remember this so well is that my Mother was one of the organizers as she had spent a few years living with the Sisters in the convent when she attended the elementary school. Of course, all of us children were eager to come in and help.

Each August day was spent in wondering as we brought in the supplies of food, canned goods, cleaning supplies and all of the other necessities for the Sisters for the next year.

I remember how August 15 would dawn and we worked fast in order to be in town by 3:00 pm to wait for the Sisters to arrive. All of the Mothers brought food for the big pot-luck dinner. We even posted scouts two blocks away from the convent to watch for the Sisters and by hand signals, we were ready for them.

Finally, here they came. We would dash to the windows of the cars looking for any familiar faces. We would scream in excitement. Then, it was time to haul the Sisters’ stuff up to their individual rooms. Now we were able to eat. The rest of the evening was spent in visiting in small groups. The Sisters just seemed to fit in with our families and even non-Catholics would join us to talk and listen to the Sisters.

It was at these times when I realized what the Sisters meant to us and our whole town. It is their presence and service in the town that told us God is here. It is their love for us and our love for them, which made us one family.

No wonder they loved and remembered us. No wonder they would inspire parents to name children after them.

2 thoughts on “A priest remembers the sisters who taught him

  • Janice Haber

    I remember nuns. They were unloving, often physically violent, and sometimes cruel. At age 11, tired of the physical abuse of one particularly vile sister, I punched her in the nose. Apparently violence in return for violence was considered unfair, and thus ended my relationship with Catholic school. It was the happiest day of my life.

  • I was born in Concordia in August 1948.I was a premature baby.I was put in the first incubator that they had in Concordia!The sisters were wonderful.I think it was Sister Anne Loretta that delivered me ,since the Doctor didn’t make it on time.My Mother was Marie. L Bessette Hoodand my Father Lloyd Hood.I remember going to Mass with my wonderful Grandmother Virginia Bessette.She is now related to St. Bro.Andre Bessette.I can see why the sisters were so important to me since we had 2 in our family at the Convent in Concordia.One in the Bessette family and one in the Dorais family.I now have lived in Calif.for 50+ years but I love to go back and visit the Motherhouse when I am home and put flowers on the sisters graves.God Bless them all! Forever grateful, Joette Hood Bachlund-Shapiro

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