And Who's Counting?

It's a good thing that this year March 11th fell on a Sunday. Why so? Because today we celebrated Sr. Mary Anthony's 90th birthday and such a milestone has got to be celebrated with a birthday cake!

Years ago Sr. Mary Anthony was the monastery's official "cover girl." If a photo was needed for vocation purposes it was Sr. Mary Anthony who was chosen. Photo albums in the archives are replete with beautiful photos of sister and we even have a huge poster of her when she was novice mistress, sitting at her desk in her cell, studying. This poster along with 3 others were used for the monastery's display at the 1958 Vocation Fair at Seton Hall. Today, if any comes 10 feet near Sister with a camera she hides her face! However, we managed to get this photo of her without her knowing!

For years, Sr. Mary Anthony worked in the garden, the print shop, and sacristy, but her real forte was the kitchen and the bakery. Sister's bread and cakes, especially her cheese cake were eagerly looked forward to on feast days! In her later years she delighted in teaching the next generation her secrets.

Today arthritis often keeps Sister in her cell, but in point of fact, she lives her vocation more fully today than ever. Sr. Mary Anthony is fond of assuring us that her day is filled with prayer for vocations and priests. "Especially priests," she says enthusiastically!

Still, she would really like to "go home!" Occasionally, she tells Sr. Maria, our infirmarian, to pass on this message to the community: "Tell the Sisters they aren't praying hard enough! Tell the Lord to take me home SOON!"

Today when after we sang "Happy Birthday" we began our traditional "God grant you many years" when she said firmly, "STOP! Change the words to 'God take her home soon!'"

Don't tell her but we don't do as she says!