Written on: December 10, 2015
At age 97, Sister Molly McGuire (Sister Mary Angela) has many cherished memories. Memories of her childhood in Mahanoy City in the coal region of Pennsylvania. Memories of her father, a miner and her mother, who gave life to 9 children. Memories of leaving her home and loved ones, at age 15, to enter the congregation of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart. Memories of the students she taught, the children she prepared for the sacraments, the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart who mentored her, who taught with her, who lived with her in convents and eventually, in the Yardley, PA Motherhouse.
“Those memories are happy memories,” Sister Molly says. “We need to live in the present, though, because that’s what God asks of us.”
Sister Molly resides at St. Joseph’s Manor, a skilled nursing facility in Meadowbrook, Pennsylvania, just outside of the Philadelphia city limits. She traverses the different floors of the building, propelling her wheelchair with her tiny feet. She can be found greeting visitors in the lobby, praying in the chapel and, chatting and sharing gift cookies with residents and staff in the hallways.
“I go to bed early and I get up early. I go to Mass and I pray in the chapel. The care here is good, the food is good, our caretakers are good people. I have no complaints.”
“I don’t have a ministry, really. I just try to be kind. I talk to people, I try to cheer them up when they’re sad, I listen to their troubles and I tell them I am praying for them. I remind them that God loves them, unconditionally. I think that helps them. I hope it does.”
Sister Molly has no regrets about entering religious life at a very young age. “When I was growing up, I thought I would become an actress. I liked the idea of all of the attention. But it wasn’t God’s will. I had a vocation and I knew it. I was ready and I didn’t wait. It’s been a meaningful and rewarding life.”
Sister Molly is surprised that she has lived to be 97 since none of her family members lived to such an advanced age. “Believe it or not, even at my age, God isn’t through with me yet. He is in charge, so I’m still here! So, I’m living the best life I can for Him, every day.”
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