When She’s Hot…!
By Anne Rita Mauck, SCN
Edited by Evelyn Fugazzi, SCN
Perhaps it was a sign of the kind of life she was to lead that Sister Mary Carolyn Abell, the daughter of Corine and Richard Abell, was born on June 16, 1936, the hottest day of that year! Their home, then on Crittenden Drive in Louisville, Kentucky, was considered “out in the country”. Mary Carolyn reigned as queen for seven years until her sister, Margie, was born. Second and third siblings, brothers, were born 18 and 22 years later. Her family moved into “town” near Most Blessed Sacrament Church and School. The neighborhood filled, with a multitude of neighbors and children, provided the livelier environment in which Mary Carolyn would thrive.
After seeing the Sisters teaching at Most Blessed Sacrament School, Mary Carolyn knew she wanted to be “just like them.” After graduating from Most Blessed School she attended Presentation Academy where her desire to be an SCN was further nurtured.
Some of her cherished memories of growing up include the “winter picnics” her parents provided to enliven the cold days of December. Her mother wrapped up the hot food in heavy newspapers and blankets and the family took off to Santa Claus, Indiana for fun in the snow.
Mary Carolyn has always loved animals and had many pets at home including a dog, a cat, rabbits, birds and/or turtles. This love of the fauna of God’s creation caused her to be known later as a “little Franciscan”. If she ever found herself without a pet she made friends with neighbors who did have them.
Mary Carolyn worked at St. Joseph Infirmary to earn her tuition money for Presentation Academy. After graduating in 1954, Mary Carolyn went to Nazareth to join others–some of whom were her classmates from Presentation–in the Novitiate. After professing vows as Sister Maria Goretti on July 19, 1957, her ministries included teaching, being a nurses’ aid at Nazareth Home and at Our Lady of Peace Hospital, and directing choirs. The ministry which did most to utilize her gifts and talents and the one she came to love was being a Coordinator of Liturgy at various parishes most especially at St. Agnes Parish from which she retired from active ministry. However, even though she is currently a resident at Nazareth Home, she still engages in volunteer pastoral care at the Home and at St. Agnes. And what a blessing she is to all those with whom she meets and greets! We told you at the beginning she was hot stuff, didn’t we?