By Joel William McGraw/Special to The Commercial Appeal
Judges John T. “Buddy” Dwyer, Robert K. “Bussy” Dwyer, Tim Dwyer, John Brennan Getz, John P. Colton and Louis Joseph Montesi; former police director Walter Crews; baseball pros Tim McCarver, Ray Crone and Phil Gagliano; actors Stella Stevens and Andrew Stevens; civic leaders Kevin Kane and Jack Sammons; restaurateurs Frank and Ronnie Grisanti, priests such as Val Handwerker, Peter Buchignani and John McArthur — I could go on.
All were taught in their youth by Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Memphis.
In following years, they staffed 14 schools in Shelby County: St. Brigid, St. Peter’s Orphanage, Sacred Heart, Our Lady of Sorrows, St. William, Little Flower, Holy Names, St. Mary, St. Anne on Highland, St. Ann in Bartlett, St. Anthony, Holy Rosary, St. Michael and St. Patrick. When all were in operation simultaneously, about 140 Sisters of Charity of Nazareth were present in Memphis at one time.
Life for a Sister of Charity in Memphis meant living in a cubicle just off the dormitories at St. Peter’s Orphanage, and tending day and night to the children’s needs. Their quarters were so cramped that one morning two sisters tried to put on the same habit.
One evening, Father Gresham spotted two Sisters riding bikes around the campus. There was one TV in the auditorium, rarely watched except on rainy afternoons.
The old Christian Brothers College on East Parkway hosted Saturday afternoon movies for sisters until an untimely visit by Mother Bertrand, who deemed “The Student Prince” unfitting for sisters to see.
For 200 years, they have given their lives generously to serve humanity.
What: A public reception honoring the 200th anniversary of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Ky.
Who: The Sisters have been serving various Memphis Catholic schools since 1882.
When: 3-4 p.m. Sept. 30.
Where: Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 4841 Park Avenue