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Mary Ann Valentino, Chicago, IL: “Many fond memories”

Sister Agnes Rose Cook
Sister Agnes Rose Cook (St. Mel’s School)

This Rooted for Tomorrow story was contributed by Mary Ann Valentino, Chicago, IL, for the 175th anniversary of the Sisters of Providence arriving in Indiana.

I went to St. Mel’s Grammar School and was taught by those wonderful Sisters of Providence. At the time the girls were in one building and the boys were in another.

I received my First Holy Communion there at the time when a 24-hour fast was required, not even water. As a reminder, the faucet outside was covered to avoid children drinking the water. The sisters put us through our instruction to prepare us for Communion and Confirmation. For the May procession when we crowned the Blessed Virgin, we wore our Communion dresses.

Our Monsignor at the time was a gruff, but kindly man named Francis Purcell.

Pride and Prejudice
Left to right: Lorraine Vicelli, Mary Milici, Rose Cimbalo 1945 Senior Class Play “Pride & Predudice”

I went to Providence High School in Chicago in 1941 and graduated in 1945. Our school play was “Pride and Prejudice.”

I visited the beautiful St. Mary-of-the-Woods in Indiana several times and it was a pleasure to meet some of the nuns who taught me, one being Sister Agnes Rose Cook, a descendant of a man who Cook County was named for here in Illinois. I used to bring a 25-lb. box of hard candies from Brach’s and a 10-lb. box of Lenel cookies when I visited. Sister Agnes Rose said they would put them on the trays of the nuns in the infirmary. She was my teacher at St. Mel’s in fourth grade and taught my son in sixth grade previous to going to St. Mary-of-the-Woods.

Reverend Mother Mary Pius
Reverend Mother Mary Pius November 1963 (St. Genevieve School) * also served at St. Mary of The Woods as principal.

Mother Mary Pius was superior and loved by all of us. We used to call her “The Little Flower” as she was so young and beautiful. I had her in my freshman year.

I have many fond memories of the Sisters of Providence and my school days with them.

Mary Ann Milici Valentino
Mary (Milici) Valentino 1945 Graduation at Providence H.S.

Mary (Milici) Valentino

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Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, are a congregation of Roman Catholic women religious (sisters) who minister throughout the United States and Taiwan. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence in 1840. The congregation has a mission of being God's Providence in the world by committing to performing works of love, mercy and justice in service among God's people.

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