My sisters, brother, cousins and friends, all of us went to Saint Monica's School, located at 17th and Ritner Street in Philadelphia. We had it good, but I didn't realize how good until now. With all the problems discussed on television and in the newspapers about the failings of our education system, I look back and marvel at how one nun with no teacher's aid could manage 90 children in one classroom and still teach. The sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary are super heroes and that is with a capitol "S".
Now of course I didn't think of them as heroes when I was in school because they kept a tight reign on us and God forbid if we got in trouble in school, our parents waited at the door with admonishments of "What did you do to that poor woman?" Believe me, with the sisters and parents working as a tag team, you thought twice before doing something stupid.
Saint Monica's put on elaborate school musicals every year and they were a big success in helping to pay the cost of running a parish, but the shows were also inspiring for the children. The sisters taught us the tunes and the dance steps and all the grades from 1rst to 8th participated. We learned all about art, and the different artists from the sisters, these women were multi talented.
What I enjoyed most of all was being part of the Saint Monica Waves. This was our school's version of the girl scouts, and all the girls were given official uniforms and every Friday we would practice our marching routines. We looked forward to marching in every St. Patrick's Day Parade. So any of you Alumni who were part of the Waves, give out a shout.
I know there are many of you who went to Saint Monica's Camp every year. My parents, eagerly...well more like desperately, looked forward to the peace and quiet they were lucky to have while their four active children spent good quality time at this wonderful place. This is where a city kid learns about "Daddy Long Legs" and lives to tell about them. Does anyone remember the camp song? I do.
Saint Monica needs our help. They need donations, and guess what fellow Alumni, this is a way for us to say thank you. I live in New Jersey, but still try to attend mass there at least twice a month and I promised Father Kelly today at mass that I would use my blog to spread the word.
Contact Sister Helen Marie Gates, IHM at 1720 Ritner Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19145 or reach her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
and stop by and visit my blog, Gilbert Curiosities: http://gilbertcuriosities.blogspot.com
If anyone remembers the words to "An Army of Youth", one of my favorite songs, let me know.