By: Martha Hickman, SCNA
Editor/Typist: Jo Ann Paulin, SCNA
Alice Helen Kern was born in Bellevue, Kentucky on May 21, 1924 to Augustus and Emma Dadel Kern. Her father was German and her mother was French. She is one of eight children all born in the same house at 218 Lafayette Avenue. All eight of the children were baptized at St. Anthony Church where they attended grade school.
Alice Marita recalls her happy life and especially Christmas. She remembers that Christmas Eve was a special time with all the unwrapped gifts under the tree that were locked behind a door until her mother returned home from Confession. One year during the depression her mom reminded her that she shouldn’t expect a doll. Although Alice Marita was very disappointed, she learned that the best gift was the love of her family. Other memories recalled are: Dining together with her family; special celebrations of Easter and Christmas with other relatives at her grandmother’s or at home of aunts; traveling by streetcar to view the Christmas lights in Cincinnati; waiting for her father to come home; her disappointment at not being able to be a flower girl for St. Anthony graduation after getting the mumps; her mother’s Lotto Club meetings and waiting for the leftover Bridge Mix candy; her winning dolls in the Lotto; playing games along the Ohio River; homes floating down the river during the 1937 flood; the horror of watching two boys caught out in the river and one drowning; going to LaSalette High School and singing in the choral club; graduating from High School in 1942, and the war starting that December!
Alice Helen worked at Proctor & Gamble and Hartford, Steamboilers Insurance and Inspection Company until she entered the SCN Community in January 1944. As Sister Alice Marita, she made first vows on July 19, 1945.
Among her many assignments Sister Alice Marita taught at St. Vincent Orphanage and St. Frances of Rome in Louisville, KY; also at St. Margaret, Lowell, MA (23 years), and St. Edward, Brockton, MA. She served as principal at St. Brigid and Most Blessed Sacrament Schools (Louisville), and St. Anne School in Readsville, MA. Sister Alice Marita recalled, “My cousin, Mark Herman, was a quarterback at Purdue. He was awarded ‘All American Player’. When he was going to be on TV playing football, my students shared my excitement in watching him play!”
S. Alice Marita began her ministry as secretary for Catherine Spalding Center in 1998. Following this assignment, she served as Russell Hall Coordinator for three years after which she worked in the CSC Bookshop for over six years. When S. Alice Marita retired to the Motherhouse, she spent many years in the ministry of coordinating wakes and funerals for the Sisters. She currently resides at Carrico Hall. S. Alice Marita is a member of the Catherine Spalding Committee at the Motherhouse. This group determines how the Christmas and Easter collections from St. Vincent Church will be used to serve the poor. S. Alice Marita celebrated her 60th anniversary as an SCN on April 30, 2005. “I felt happiness and joy on this day and on the following day, May 1, when my sister, Grace, celebrated her 90th birthday.” S. Alice Marita feels that her love of God has kept her going all these years. She likes to pray, sing/cantor. She likes a simple life and there is ongoing communication between her and her many friends. She continually prays for people whose names she writes in the community prayer request book. The significance of her vows deepens, the older she gets.