What a great story: remembrances of a religious sister who died recently at the remarkable age of 105.
From The Tampa Bay Times:
Fifty-six years after the sixth grade, Sister Helen Lange’s class wanted a little more time with their teacher. So in 2012, for their 50th high school reunion, they asked her to come, too.
Sister Helen was thrilled.
That night, one after another, the children she guided at Sarasota’s St. Martha Catholic School sat down at the round banquet table. She smiled and listened and asked about their lives. The boys had less hair on their heads, and the girls had grown taller than Sister Helen, who was then 98.
But the nun cherished by her former students hadn’t really changed all that much.
What was it about her? Valerie Crane asked a classmate, Guy Moore, Now, Crane thinks she knows.
“It was from her,” Crane said. “It was from within her. She was just easy, just an easy person to be around.”
Sister Helen died on March 18 at 105 of natural causes.
It is, certainly, a newsworthy accomplishment to live so long. But people who knew her valued the way she lived that life.
Sister Helen grew up on a Texas farm, one of eight in a devout Catholic family. Her brothers and sisters all played instruments, and when they were old enough, they formed a band. Sister Helen played the drums.
At 18, after graduating from high school, she and four cousins — Irma, Pauline, Rosaria and Rosanna — boarded a train to Florida to join the Benedictine Sisters. They became known as “The Texas Five.”
Sister Helen officially became a nun in 1935 and went on to do something that wasn’t the norm then – she got a good education. Then, for 44 years, she taught elementary school and music education.
…Tom Goldsworthy, now a deacon at St. Eugene in Edmond, Okla., used to stop by to see his former principal, Sister Irma, and got to know Sister Helen that way.
Goldsworthy has preached a few times about the example of The Texas Five. They made a commitment, he said, and they stuck to it.
“All of them did,” he said. “They were happy in what they were doing. They were happy to be serving God. You just don’t find that in life much anymore.”
Read it all. God love ’em.