When I was in the third grade at St. Paul School in Lexington, Ky. we had an important visitor one day, Mother Ann Sebastian, the leader of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. I don’t remember any of her words to us that day except the following: “How many girls in here want to be a Sister?” I raised my hand. Through the years, I never forgot this incident, but didn’t dwell on it.
I was born Betty Sue Mahoney in Owensboro, KY in 1928. My mother was also born there and my father had moved there from New Haven as a young man. His ancestors came to the Bardstown area from Maryland as members of the first expedition (Pottinger’s Creek) in 1785 and settled near Holy Cross. Records show that my ancestor, William Mahoney helped to build the first church at Holy Cross, KY.
We moved frequently during my childhood. My father was an insurance salesman and had frequent transfers. After attending grade school in Lexington, we moved to Covington where I attended Notre Dame Academy, graduating in 1947.
I entered the Community in 1948 and my first mission was to teach at St. Stephen School in Owensboro. Most of my missions were in Kentucky. I taught in Henderson, Paducah, Louisville and Bardstown. My only missions outside of KY were Memphis and Roanoke, VA.
I loved teaching very much, but that career came to an end in 1980. For the next fifteen years I was in Community Service. I spent five years in the Provincial House in Memphis and ten years here at Nazareth in the Finance Office for Campus Service.
In 1995 I was delighted to begin my present ministry in the Ceramic Shop at Nazareth. While not in active ministry, our endeavors in the shop give us the opportunity to help our missionaries with proceeds from the Gift Shop sales. Art has always been present in some way in my life from early childhood in a limited way. Now I am involved on a daily basis creating beautiful pieces to be enjoyed by many. I know for certain that being able to participate in this creation, is God’s greatest gift to me and through this gift I have come to view all of God’s creation in deeper and more meaningful ways.