Photo credit: Anna Anderson/piktochart/Achona Online

Aunt Sr. Mary holding my brother, John Paul, when he was a baby.

Family: The Sister Series Part 1

October 6, 2020

I am starting this series of different Sisters from different orders to share their very different stories, and it is perfect to start with my family. 

Sr. Mary Rinaldi, FMA

Aunt Sr. Mary, my grandma’s sister, has always been someone I look up to.

“You asked about my decision to enter the convent. This may surprise you and your readers, but my decision was made when I was in third grade. I very distinctly remember the teacher saying, ‘Who wants to be a sister when they grow up?’ and I raised my hand and shouted, ‘I do!’ Well, certainly that was a childhood wish and decision, but it stayed with me for the rest of my life as my love for God and all things holy grew and grew inside of me. I remember I was in high school, in 10th grade, and I was in public school at that time. God, He used the public school to make my longing for him deeper and deeper, so I remember speaking to Sisters in Tampa who told me about the high school in New Jersey. So I came and finished my high school after which I became a Novice and then a Salesian sister!”

Today, a young woman has to be 18 to enter a religious order. Back then, though, women could enter as younger teenagers. 

“That was 57 years ago. And I can attest that, although there were lots of ups and downs, God’s grace held me tight. And if I were asked would I do it again, I would say absolutely because God‘s grace followed me and to this day sustains me and my complete giving to Him. I guess you can call me a very happy and fulfilled Salesian Sister with full education and many different experiences all for the sake of young people.”


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