Marybeth Rich, Homosassa, FL: “she helped me personally on many occasions.”
This Rooted for Tomorrow story was contributed by Marybeth Rich, Homosassa, FL, for the 175th anniversary of the Sisters of Providence arriving in Indiana.
Having attended Guerin, there are so many memories of Sisters who made a mark on my life. The one who had the most lasting effect was my school’s principal, Sister Marie Ellen Sullivan. Not only was she a great example of a leader to the whole school. a symbol of professional success for all, but she also helped me personally on many occasions.
During my Sophomore year, I had an accident outside my locker that resulted in a dislocated knee and broken ankle. Sister was there with me from the moment she heard, offering tenderness because of my pain but also strength so I wouldn’t be afraid. She accompanied me to the hospital, waited for my parents, and then comforted them before returning to the convent. During my lengthy recovery, Sister would often call me to check on me and when I did get back to school, she was there to welcome me back.
In my Senior year, I won a scholarship through the local PDK chapter, and Sister awarded the scholarship to me. Of course, she had to tell the story of how we met, but after I got over my blushing, I realized that she cared for me and I was so honored to represent her and Guerin with the award.
On graduation day she said wonderful things to me as I received my diploma and I got a lovely handwritten note from her a few weeks after that. I had moved to Florida with my parents a few days after graduation, and Sister had known this was a hard time for me. Her words of encouragement would get me through a lot as my life transitioned from high school student, to college and into adulthood. When I worked, I remembered what a great role model she was and have often spoken to other young women about her and the other sisters and their examples of professional womanhood. Now, as I deal with disability, I often remember her kind words and thoughts. Even though, she has left us, Sister remains an important memory in my life.