Sister Ann Veronica Wall
“But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.’” (Luke 18:16)
“I did not notice until yesterday that the verses that I just read, about Jesus and the little children, are immediately followed by the account of the rich young man who was invited by Jesus, ‘Sell all you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But when the young man heard this he was filled with sadness, for he was very rich.
“Of course, there are riches and there are riches. Sister Ann Veronica was rich in the friends that she had, in the relatives she loved, in her love of reading, in her ability to handle difficulties with a sense of humor, in her ability to mellow gracefully, in her enjoyment of hearing from her family and having visitors when she was no longer able to get around herself. These are true riches, which Sister Ann Veronica knew how to enjoy,” said Sister Margaret Quinlan in her commentary for Sister Ann Veronica Wall, who died Sept. 1.
The youngest of nine children, Gertrude Olive Wall was born Jan. 7, 1910, in Malden, Mass., to John and Mary (Hennessey) Wall. She attended grade school and high school at Cheverus in Malden.
“She entered community Aug. 14, 1931, at the ripe old age of 21, having worked before entering community, at one time in a Jewish deli. She called herself the ‘old lady’ of her band,” shared Sister Margaret.
Sister Ann Veronica professed first and perpetual vows Feb. 27, 1934, and Aug. 15, 1939, respectively. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.
For nearly five decades, Sister Ann Veronica taught school. She commenced this ministry in 1934 at Our Lady of Sorrows, Chicago. Her other Chicago classrooms included Maternity BVM and St. Mel-Holy Ghost. In Indiana, she ministered at St. Simon, Washington; St. Patrick, Terre Haute; St. Charles, Bloomington; St. Joan of Arc, Indianapolis; and St. Charles, Peru. Sister Ann Veronica spent one year at St. Therese, Wilson, N.C. In Maryland, she ministered at Ascension, Halethorpe; St. Clement, Lansdowne; and Holy Redeemer, College Park. In Massachusetts, her classrooms were in St. Rose, Chelsea; Sacred Heart, Malden; and St. Polycarp, Somerville. In Rochester, N.H., Sister Ann Veronica spent 10 years at either St. Mary Grade School or Rochester Catholic. She retired in 1983 and returned to the Woods in 1993.
“Sister Ann Veronica was very close to her family. She was the youngest of four sisters and four brothers. She once wrote that she was the one in the family who got picked on, but that is probably the memory of many a youngest sibling in a family of nine. She was especially close to her sisters, and losing her siblings over the years was very difficult for her. Her nephew, who knew how much she enjoyed reading, would send her boxes of books. When she would receive those boxes, she would share the treasures with others,” said Sister Margaret.
“Sister Ann Veronica began her ministry of prayer in 1996 and moved to Mother Theodore Hall in 2004. She once wrote that the staff should know how much she appreciated what they did for the sisters. She enjoyed sitting by the front desk in Mother Theodore Hall, folding Kleenex, greeting visitors and answering questions. She obviously loved being there in that place,” continued Sister Margaret.
“Sister Ann Veronica is also remembered as a spiritual person, not that she wore religion on her sleeve, but that she was a very prayerful person,” said Sister Margaret.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Ann Veronica was celebrated Sept. 7, with the Rev. Daniel Hopcus presiding. She was preceded in death by all of her siblings.
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