LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - After retiring or leaving a job, some may wonder if their time there left an impact that will be remembered.
In this segment of Making a Difference, that question is answered for two Catholic Sisters whose legacy at St. Augustine High School will no doubt be felt for decades to come.
“I’ll miss the loving relationships that we have with one another and I hope it’s not a goodbye, but an ‘I’ll see you later’”.
Sister Christina Marie reflects about what she’ll miss most after she leaves.
Her colleague, Sister Rose Marie, agrees with her.
“We’ll especially miss the people in our neighborhood where we live around St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, and of course, I will miss the school, the students, the teachers, and the administration,” she shared with us.
Both are now headed out of the city and the high school they’ve called home for the past 15 years taking on new roles with the Felician Franciscan Sisters of North America.
Sister Rose Marie heads to San Antonio to work with sisters who are in their early stages of their vows while Sister Christina Marie —who this year celebrates her 50th year jubilee anniversary— heads to Chicago in a newly-promoted role as novice director.
But it’s what they leave behind at St. Augustine High School that Principal Olga Gentry says is priceless.
“The daily religion classes, the integration of our Catholic identity throughout the day, the spirituality, the spiritual development of our students are all things to which they have contributed tremendously,” she says.
These contributions ensured, when it was time to be re-accredited, the identity of Laredo’s only Catholic high school was clearly defined.
Principal Olga Gentry explained, “Catholic schools across the country —when they are accredited and re-accredited— Catholic identity is probably the most important aspect and I can say that the sisters were here for school re-accreditation in 2007, for the re-accreditation in 2017, and in both years, the highest marks we received were in the area of Catholic identity, and I truly feel it’s because of their guidance and their leadership.”
It was guidance and leadership in their Catholic faith that also made its way outside of the school.
According to Sister Christine Marie, some of their biggest contributions came outside of the classroom. “We were able to start Teen Acts in partnership with Blessed Sacrament Parish and that is always a highlight and it makes such a lifechanging difference in the student’s lives.”
So after 15 years of making a difference in the lives of thousands of students, as well as faculty and staff, their message is simple.
“Farewell for now, but not for always.”
His Excellency Bishop James Tamayo also thanked the two sisters for their contributions.
In a statement, he says:
“A heartfelt appreciation to Sister Christina Marie and Sister Rose Marie for all they’ve done to ensure not only the spiritual growth of our students now, but the lifelong catholic values that they helped to develop in the many students who have graduated from St. Augustine in the past 15 years.”
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