Loyalty In Faith
Demonstrating commitment to others
Sister Emmett’s Commitment
by Mary Andres Russell
My elementary school career was pretty much shaped by Sister Mary Emmett who taught me in grades 1, 2, 3, 7, and 8. You may be asking, is that even possible? It was a 3-classroom school in a 0-stoplight town.
When I graduated from 8th grade, my mother and I decided to give Sister Emmett some gift in appreciation for all those years. So we gifted her with two cabbages from our garden. Pretty small return to the woman who taught me how to read and write and countless other skills. But she was delighted.
When I was in my 40s, Sister Emmett reentered my life when we both attended the funeral of one of the moms in that small town. At the funeral luncheon, she showed me the little black notebook with all the names of all the students that she ever taught. They were listed by year, and of course, I was on five of those lists. She said that every night, she prayed for those students. You can imagine my gratitude in finding out that Sister Emmett had been praying for me all of those years.
That day, she asked me to serve on an Advisory/Fundraising Board for the Order. Finally, I could give her something in return, much better than two cabbages. And so for the next few years, I volunteered for the Sisters, but even better, I got to visit Sister Emmet regularly. In those conversations, she told me what led her to join the convent, she kept my wedding photo in the latest version of her “little black book,” and she told me I was always a joy. She also broke the obligation of silence on Good Friday, trying to get my attention. “Psst… Mary!”
Sister Emmet was the joy. Her loyalty to her students, teaching them and also praying for them, will never be forgotten. She died in her early 90’s, her skin still as fresh as a peach. At her funeral, it was said that she would be flying all around the church that day in gratitude for all of her Sisters and friends. I am the one now full of gratitude for my loyal teacher and friend.
The Links below will take you to Resources you can use in a Christian Faith Based setting
to encourage the Character Quality of Loyalty.
Our other Pillars have resources that can be adapted for use in a Christian setting.
Power Up with Character
Adult Business Books