Sister Sharon Murray
I was born in Chicago, IL, on June 24, 1932, the only daughter of Melba and Leo Murray, and given the name Joanne Claire. My brothers, Jim and Jerry, preceded me by 2 and 4 years. All are enjoying heaven now and praying mightily that I don’t write anything I’ll regret. Also I must mention my maternal grandmother, who came from the east coast to assume responsibility for raising my brothers and me after my mother’s untimely death when I was just 2 and the boys 4 and 6. Although she professed to be a Methodist, she knew that my mother had promised to raise as Catholic any children born to my Catholic father and her.
It was my grandmother who taught us our prayers and catechism and got us dressed and ready for Sunday Mass and all processions–startched and pressed accordingly for the occasion. My father did his part, insisting that we attend Catholic grade school and high school. His religion was rarely worn on his sleeve but certainly set the tone for us. Every Dec. 2, he would have a memorial Mass for my mother and, no matter what day it was, we were all together at Mass. Yes, Nana took care of us and our home, and Dad provided all our needs.
I had no idea what I would do in life. I just knew after high school I wanted no more of books! Dad changed my mind and insisted I find a college, so I started looking. I was attending St. Scholastica in Chicago and grew to love and appreciate the Benedictine Sisters, whom I found to be not only wonderful teachers, but also warm and welcoming women. My decision was made. I would attend another Benedictine school known as Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Ks. When I told my Dad, he said to me, with a look of disbelief, “Where?” When he calmed down, he smiled and gave me a huge hug.
Off I went to college; and after my Freshman year, I asked to enter the community. After 10 months, I left and went home to grow up and have some life experience. I returned for my sophomore year and then realized the “Hound of heaven” would not let me go. I returned to the monastery and never looked back. I came to be a Benedictine not realizing that almost everyone, became a teacher. I was very fortunate in that I came to truly enjoy teaching. After some forty years as a grade school, high school, and college teacher, it was time to be recycled and do something else. With the support of my loving and supportive Sisters and, above all, the grace of our God, l joyfully look forward to whatever that good God has in store for me