Mission Dolores Academy | The education of tomorrow rooted in tradition.
Sister Ann Celebrates 50 years as a Dominican Sister
Everyone familiar with Mission Dolores Academy knows and loves our Director of Religious Education, Sister Ann Providence.
Sister Ann has been involved with MDA for over 20 years and is much loved by our students, parents, teachers, staff and alumni. She has been teaching for 56 years and we are truly blessed to have her teach and support our students with such love and warmth. She is responsible for the religious education curriculum and sacramental preparation at MDA, and also helps organize many of the community service projects that our students participate in throughout the year such as the annual canned food drive.
This year she is celebrating her 50th year of vowed religious life as a Dominican Sister. Our community will join Sister Ann this Sunday February 5th at 11:00 am at Saint Mary’s Cathedral to commemorate her 50th Jubilee during Mass celebrated by Bishop William Justice. All are welcome to join!
We caught up with Sister Ann this week and asked her some questions about her life as a Dominican Sister:
1. When did you know you wanted to become a religious?
I was 17 years old. I was participating in a Youth Retreat Day in Santa Rosa. I can remember exactly where I was sitting and the happiness I felt. I knew God was calling me to become a religious, a Sister! I just knew.
2. Where did you go to school?
In high school, I attended Ukiah Union High School; however, in college I attended Dominican College in San Rafael. It was here that I knew my religious vocation was to become a Dominican Sister of San Rafael.
3. How many years have you been working in Catholic education?
I began teaching the 5th Grade at John McPhail School in San Rafael in 1961. In 1964 I experienced a year as a lay missionary in Missouri, in a Catholic School. In 1965 I entered the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael. After two years of religious formation, I began teaching at St. Dominic’s Elementary School in San Francisco. This is my 50th year of teaching in a Catholic School!
4. Have you seen many changes in Catholic education during your time?
I began teaching in a Catholic School at the time of experiencing the wonderful renewal of Vatican II. The changes were always inspiring, calling teachers and students to a relationship with God, a friendship with God.
5. How long have you been involved with MDA and its predecessor schools?
I began teaching at Sacred Heart Elementary School in 1995. Soon after we merged with St. Dominic’s Elementary School, and, then, with Mission Dolores Elementary School - becoming Mission Dolores Academy.
6. What is your favorite thing about your work at MDA?
I love teaching and preaching God’s love. I love working with awesome colleagues, and coming to know and love our students and their families.
7. How long have you known some of MDA’s families?
I am blessed to know many generations of MDA’s families. The longest genealogy for me would be the families I have known for 5 generations: for example, the family of of Vontre and Amari in Eighth Grade, and the family of Saanaiya also in Eighth Grade.
8. Tell us about your work outside MDA.
I am blessed to have a summer ministry as well as my school ministry at MDA. In the summer I work at the border of the United States and Mexico, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. There I work with the Dominican Sisters of Christian Doctrine, who have a daycare - thus making it possible for the parents to work, knowing that their children are receiving excellent care, and a pre-school education. I have also worked many summers in Tijuana with the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Peace. In Tijuana, I work at Casa de los Pobres - where the poorest of the poor receive nutritious meals, clothing, health care, and a time and place to worship God.
Thank you Sister Ann for your continued dedication to our students and families at MDA and congratulations on your 50th Jubilee. We all love you Sister Ann!
If you would like to leave a celebratory messages for Sister Ann you can do so via our Facebook page. She would love to hear from you! Or join her this Sunday February 5th at 11:00 am at Saint Mary’s Cathedral.