Today, June 14, 1987, the senior class of St. Benedict Preparatory High School graduated. In itself this isn't unusual. Senior classes usually graduate and graduations sometimes happen in June! What is unusual is that the entire graduating class entered religious life.
What is even more unusual is that this same class entered the Order of Preachers.
What is totally unusual is that this same class entered the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary!
So, how did this happen?
Well, the size of the graduating class of St. Benedict Preparatory High School was—
And that ONE is our Sr. Mary Catharine!
Congratulations, Sr. Mary Catharine on the 25th anniversary of graduation!
Sr. Mary Catharine tells us that St. Benedict School was always a small school. She said that, "It was almost like a Little House on the Prairie experience!" A good number of the students were from the nearby Fort Devens so students came and went and class sizes varied. The usual graduating class was about 4 students but Sr. Mary Catharine says that she "lost" her classmates during high school because of base transfers.
The school ran many high school classes on "cycles" so it wasn't unusual to have a freshmen in with the juniors and seniors. Although there was little money the Sisters gave a high quality education. "PSAT's were a total disaster," Sr. Mary Catharine remembers. "None of us knew how to "think" in multiple choice questions. All our tests were done in essay style. Sister put about 10 questions on the board and we had to answer them in the form of an essay or at least write a paragraph for each question." Sister also likes to tell us that since most of the students came from big families and money was tight they would have a box in the back of the room and if paper was written only on one side it was put there to use another time!
Sister Mary Catharine's favorite memory? "I was terrible in Algebra! I was trying so hard to keep up my average to stay in the National Honor Society. Sr. Cecilia would give up her Saturday mornings to tutor me in Algebra. Once she said, 'If you get this problem right I'll jump for joy.'" So, I teased her, "How many time will you jump?" She said, "Ten times!" "Well I got that problem right and you know what? She DID jump up and down ten times!"