Sister Annette Cecile Holmes
“We praise you in the blast of trumpet, we praise you with lyre and harp!” (Psalm 150:3)
“I chose this Psalm because of how Sister Annette Cecile gave praise to God through her music,” began Sister Betty Hopf in her commentary for Sister Annette Cecile Holmes, who died Dec. 28.
Born Anna Mary Holmes May 22, 1927, in Arbutus, Md., Sister Annette Cecile was one of four children of William and Margaret (Haake) Holmes. “She had two older brothers, Harry and Eddie, who both thought it their job to spoil their little sister,” shared Sister Betty.
Sister Annette Cecile attended Ascension Grade School in Halethorpe, Md., and Trinity Preparatory High School, Ilchester, Md. After graduating, she entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, but soon left and entered the Sisters of Providence on Feb. 11, 1946. She professed first and perpetual vows Aug. 15, 1948, and 1953, respectively. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a master’s degree in musicology from Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
Sister Annette Cecile commenced teaching music in 1948 at St. Athanasius, Evanston, Ill. In Illinois, she also ministered at St. Francis Borgia, Chicago, and Mother Theodore Guerin High School, River Grove. She taught three years at St. Mary, Lafayette, Ind., and three years at Immaculate Conception, Tulsa, Okla. Sister Annette Cecile spent several years in her home state of Maryland at St. Clement, Lansdowne; Ascension, Halethorpe; and Holy Redeemer, College Park. Her favorite missions were in Florida at Rosarian Academy, West Palm Beach, and St. Joseph, Bradenton.
“For 17 years Sister Annette Cecile ministered at Immaculata Prep in Washington, D.C. These were difficult years with the closing of the school, but she was able to let students and families know of her love and concern for them and remained faithful and connected while she served as coordinator of the alumnae association from 1997 until her death. She made many good friends who cherished her help and concern as their moderator,” said Sister Betty.
“Sister Annette Cecile loved life! The words that were quoted over and over from people who knew her were: positive, cheerful, pleasant, upbeat, patient, energetic, vibrant, funny, spirited, outgoing, friendly and a true friend,” continued Sister Betty.
“Fun-loving was her trademark. She liked to travel, swim, play cards, play sudoku and rummikub, watch sports, play the slot machines and go out to eat,” said Sister Betty.
“Sister Annette Cecile was an avid fan of all sports. Her favorite teams of late were the Tampa Bay Rays, the Orioles, the Buccaneers and the Colts. When she was recovering from knee surgery in 2006, a friend of mine was going to watch the Colts practice and invited Sister Annette Cecile to go along. She was so excited to get Coach Tony Dungy’s autograph, and I found it strange that she didn’t share this with the sisters here. It was then that I realized that no one else knew that she had gone out!” continued Sister Betty.
“While in Florida, ‘Sister Hospitality’ was her name, sharing God’s creation with all who came. She graciously shared her living space with many sisters, family and friends.
“She loved to talk. She didn’t stop, even when it was difficult to understand her. May she continue to speak to us through the memories we have of her,” said Sister Betty.
“Gracious was the most frequently used word by people who knew Sister Annette Cecile. She was kind and friendly to everyone and loved others the way she wanted to be loved. No matter where she was, she touched people’s hearts. She has truly been an inspiration, and what a blessing she was to us all. She will certainly be missed, but her spirit will live on through each person whose life she touched in any way,” concluded Sister Betty.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Annette Cecile was Jan 4, with the Rev. Daniel Hopcus presiding. She is survived by her sister, Helen Dmytrow.
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