For Mary Nagy:
I have another picture from school. It is a trip to Harrisburg in eighth grade. There is Sister Francis Maureen, front and center. We all loved her so much.
Mary, she changed my life, too. She helped me 'see' things in a whole new light. One day, during religion class, she was teaching about hell. She just had one thought that she threw out. Perhaps 'hell' is not a place of fire and brimstone. What if it is a place where we cannot see the face of God ever for eternity? Won't that be a terrible punishment? I never looked at hell the same way, though both thoughts are scary.
I just noticed in the picture her pointer finger is pointing to the ground. Or maybe it's the sign 'We're Number One!" She was so proud of the boys on the basketball team. Remember the Spartans?
This trip must have been taken place in the fall because she was gone by Christmas, right? Or just after Christmas. I remember the boys had a basketball game just after she left and they were determined to win 'for Sister Francis.' They didn't. We cried and the boys were dejected.
Mary, you are right. My mom (and maybe someone else's mom, too) drove us down to Chester to her new inner city school. I remember the graffiti on the walls outside and I remember my mom was scared to leave her car parked outside. I remember Sister Francis just had the biggest smile on her face and she said she was happy there. But we knew she couldn't be happy without us! She had to be lying. I remember she said she asked for the transfer. But, again, we knew she was lying (or we thought she was). We all bawled our eyes out the whole time!!! We wanted her back. We didn't care if inner city kids needed her! How could she leave us?!
Remember one time there was a fire drill and some of the boys went to Gibneys? When the Mother Superior was checking to see if we are all back, I remember Sister went up to Joey Atkinson from behind and put her hands on his shoulders, shook him, and facetiously said, "Yes, we're all back, aren't we, Joseph?" He looked up at her in surprise that she didn't rat him out. I don't know if he ever had it in him to 'love' or even 'like' a nun, he seemed to always have so much anger in him, but I think at that moment he liked her very much.
Oh, Mary, you got a letter from her? Where from? Do you know where she might be? I think Mona said Florida. Do you know her 'real name?' Wouldn't it be so great to get in touch with her again?
Yes, we heard she left the convent and even got married. I think Mona got a letter from her, too. I never did, but she gave me a special gift before she left (though I didn't know she was leaving at the time). She gave me her art portfolio from college. (Who knew nuns went to college? At that time I just thought they joined the convent and then taught school.)
She knew I was interested in painting and one week she let me bring my paint box and canvas and easel to school to work on during 'art' class on a Friday. I remember my mom came, too, to help me. That probably never happened before--or since. But, she gave me her portfolio! I still have it.
That's another reason I think she was transferred, not of her own accord. She told me, when she gave me the portfolio, that she would help me with my painting. She said, after Christmas we would concentrate on it during art class. I was shocked that she made me that promise, then left!
Here is a picture of the painting I did.
|Haha...I remember that shirt. From the Sear Roebuck catalog, I think. Or Penneys catalog.|