I was born in Gulfport, Miss., June 2, 1929. When I was one year old, my father who worked for the Veterans Hospital there was transferred to Lexington, Ky. when I was a little older than one year. I grew up with two sisters and three brothers. I also had two brothers who died at birth or shortly after. We were all educated at St. Paul School. The girls attended St. Catherine Academy or Lexington Catholic High. The boys attended Lexington Catholic and my oldest brother went to Lexington Latin School. A loving atmosphere prevailed at home. We had to do as we were told, but we knew we were loved. In fact, a good night kiss and hug were part of the bedtime ritual. I can still remember my mother reading to us; it was always a race to see who got her lap! When we got a little older, if we wanted to find out “what happened” she would tell us to finish the book. After that, we’d rather read than do our chores.
During the last three years of high school while working in the St. Joseph Hospital Pharmacy I had plenty of contact with SCNs. My supervisor Sister Anne Snow asked me what I was going to do after graduation and I responded that I would go to UK. She told me if God wanted me, He would get me. One day I visited Nazareth with two Sisters from the Academy and the parish priest. During the next several days I would sometimes stop at the church on my way to work to talk to the pastor about a vocation, get cold feet and leave. When I finally did ring the bell, Father wasn’t there! I finally talked to him about my vocation and that started the ball rolling. Believe it or not, my letter of acceptance to the novitiate was addressed to me on the envelope, but inside it read, “My dear Miss Sullivan”!!
I wanted to be a pharmacist or a nurse, but my thin letter said otherwise. I was assigned to St. Anne School in Memphis, Tenn. And so began 40 years of teaching. I can truthfully say I enjoyed those years. I was missioned in Memphis at St. Patrick on Market St., St. William in Millington, TN., Sacred Heart Academy, Helena, AR., St. Anne, Wollaston, MA., Mary’s Academy. Leonardtown, MD, and St. Mary’s, Whitesville, Bethlehem in Bardstown, and my last 20 years at Presentation Academy, in Kentucky. After leaving Presentation I worked in the library at Spalding University. While I officially “retired” in 2003, I was with Sister Mary John Bannon at home trying to keep her from overexerting. After she died in April 2004, I took over the duties in the apartment. Twice a week I help in the Archival Center at Nazareth, and I am a member of the Pastoral Presence Committee (Night watchers) at Nazareth Home.
I like to read, work jigsaw and crossword puzzles. While I like to sew and do some fancy work, my fingers don’t work very well. I’ve had some hard knocks along the way but I survived. I guess that’s one way I’m sure I made the right decision to go to Nazareth. I value prayer, the Liturgy, and Community life. I support the works and intentions of the Community mainly by prayer and trying to live a simple life.
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