A sister for 60 years: one woman's story

A sister for 60 years: one woman's story July 31, 2011

The Georgia Bulletin is profiling several women religious as they mark significant milestones in their vocation — including Sister Angela Abood, who is celebrating her 60-year jubilee.


A native of Georgia, Sister Angela has spent nearly 40 years of her ministry in the Atlanta area. She has worked at the Village of St. Joseph and St. Anthony School, Atlanta, where she helped open a child-care center. The sister also became involved in social justice, inspired by people like Father John Adamski and Sister Ann Brotherton, a Sister of St. Joseph who worked in Atlanta in the 1970s, including at the Martin Luther King Center.

Now retired, Sister Angela remembers attending Mass at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and walking along the downtown streets afterward to visit and aid the people living on the streets.

“I would come out of the Shrine in the winter and these guys would be lying down on the grass with newspaper over them. It broke my heart,” she said.

Sister Angela became known among the groups of homeless people, who began looking forward to her regular visits.

The daughter of Lebanese immigrants, she has a special place in her heart for minorities and those who are struggling, and she spent many years working with them. Sister Angela grew up in Valdosta and remembers being part of a minority herself, because of her ethnicity and her religion.

“I know what it is about because I’ve been there,” she said.

At that time, there were no Catholic churches in the area, and she remembers attending home Masses as a young girl with her brothers and sister. She felt out of place among the vocally non-Catholic population of South Georgia, but found her home with the Sisters of St. Joseph. During her years of service as a religious, Sister Angela has learned to look past all of the differences between her and the people she serves, seeing everyone as a child of God.

“That’s what life is about, helping other people, helping minorities, helping people who are struggling,” she said.

This care for others drew her to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. She met the sisters when she was in sixth grade at St. John’s School in Valdosta and the sisters began teaching there. They left an indelible mark on the young girl, who decided to join the order shortly after graduating from Valdosta High School.

Sister Angela left for the motherhouse in St. Louis, Mo., in 1951 and began her formation at the age of 22. She professed her final vows in 1953. Her first assignment brought her back to Georgia, as she worked at St. Joseph’s Home for Boys in Washington. She also worked in Milledgeville at Sacred Heart School, continuing her work with youth. Sister Angela was then sent to Negaunee, Mich., where she served a few years at St. Paul’s School before coming back to Georgia again in 1972. She has been here ever since. Much of her time has been spent working with children and youth, particularly those with troubled and painful lives.

There’s much more, including glimpses at the lives of two other sisters.  Continue at the link.

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