By: Sister Arlene Kleeman
What drew me to enter the Order of Saint Benedict – I can answer that in two words. The Sisters.
I was very lucky to live within walking distance to St. Timothy School (in Chicago). This school was run by the Benedictine Sisters from Duluth, MN. On the first day of school I cried all the way…that is, until Sister Jean Clair opened the door, told my mom she could go, took my hand and brought me in to the kindergarten room. No more tears – there was a slide and sandbox.
In 1st and 2nd grades Sister Hermina and Sister Victoria taught us the Pledge of Allegiance and quite a few prayers. Now I never go anywhere without a book – what a good job they did. 3rd and 4th grades were taught by Sr. Mary Odile. We were still working hard and started to clean the boards after school and we could stay and talk to the Sisters. That was the best! In 5th and 6th grades our class had Sister Melanie – she was an artist and made such nice things – learning was fun!
I smile when I bring all of these memories to mind but the best was yet to come. Sister Mary Martin invited the twelve girls in her class to come to Duluth for five days and this would be in the summer. All of us were able to go and it was just a great time.
It was this time in Duluth that we learned and participated in the Divine Office. We ate with the Sisters, laughed with them, and I for one wanted to teach like they did, pray like they did, and make a difference in people’s lives. I’m still working at that…and I still love it all. I’ve taught for 56 years and I still love it.