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Sister, historian and educator

By Sister Kathleen Brice

Times of celebrations and anniversaries create opportunities for reflection. This being my 50th Jubilee, and January 2023 marking my 50th year in education, this milestone has flooded me with many memories.

Sister Kathleen Brice, a 50-year Jubilarian, shares a reflection on her years as an educator and historian. This photo is of S. Kathleen teaching history at Notre Dame High School in St. Louis.

As a young person, I always loved learning about the past. I had a dream of discovering something of historical importance. Studying family history and School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) heritage allowed me to fulfill this dream. Many hours of reading old newspapers, searching for documents and exploring cemeteries, led me to make the discoveries for which I had hoped to find. Over 10 years, I researched events and people of the 1884 fire at the SSND school in Belleville, Illinois. This began with a family interest because my great-grandmother attended the school. I wanted to learn about the sisters who worked and died there. When I have an opportunity, I love sharing what I discovered.

I was also fascinated with the unusual – the trivia of history. This helped me as a teacher to hook students into learning instead of just rattle names, dates and places. My message to students is that history is not a book to learn, but an opportunity to experience the lives and challenges of those before us. History is the story to be learned and these events can cause tears and laughter. Recently, I created and am now teaching a family history class to encourage students to explore the uniqueness of their family heritage.

This image is of Sister Kathleen Brice's class in 1962 at Sancta Maria in Ripa in St. Louis

As a young sister teaching in high school, I found myself creating and sharing experiences of the life and service of Blessed Theresa and Mother Caroline; my own history of the Order. My love of exploring the past and my ability to create learning experiences enriched me and helped me present Blessed Theresa, Mother Caroline and other SSND as women committed to the message of the Gospel and to serve God’s people. I made it a practice to make SSND gifts for my students on special days. Over the years, I used media presentations, heritage jigsaw puzzles, buttons, coasters, paperweights, special cards, all with messages found in the letters of Blessed Theresa, Mother Caroline and You Are Sent, the SSND constitution.

Now as a SSND, historian and educator of 50 years, my memories of the people, places and events that shaped me are memories of gratitude. During this time of my Jubilee year, I am reflecting on family, friends, past students and SSND who enriched my life. To say I am grateful is an understatement. I was blessed with many gifts and these allowed me to be an educator and a School Sisters of Notre Dame in the spirit of Blessed Theresa and Mother Caroline.

 

Sister Kathleen Brice teaches at Notre Dame High School in St. Louis, a sponsored ministry of the School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province. Enjoy the short vignette of Sister Kathleen in Unscripted real stories from sisters asking the question, “What is your current ministry?”

 

 

Learn more about our Jubilarians
and watch the virtual celebration held on May 22, 2022.

 

Want to learn more?

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School Sisters of Notre Dame

320 East Ripa Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63125

Phone: 314-561-4100

info@ssndcp.org

 

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