Written on: May 1, 2019
Sister Frances William has spent many of the years of her religious life in the city of her birth, Philadelphia. She remembers fondly many of the Grey Nuns that she met at Little Flower High School. She notes this as the beginning of her calling to religious life.
During her seventy years in the congregation, she ministered in many schools in Buffalo and Jackson Heights in New York and in Lowell, Massachusetts. She served as Principal of Melrose Academy Grade School in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania from 1978 until its closing 1985.
These years in education prepared her for a position that was dear to her heart, her time at CORA Services (Counseling or Remediation Association) in Philadelphia. She was known as the “lady in the trailer” at St. Christopher Parish where she tutored students performing below grade level in both math and reading. The most heartwarming aspect of this position was seeing the progress that the students made following their time with her. She found it so gratifying to see their achievement.
Her days of retirement are spent at Holy Redeemer Lafayette with her Grey Nun sisters. She still finds time as she has for many years to assist in the care of her aging siblings and a beloved niece.
My seventy years as a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart have been filled with joys, sorrows, blessings, and challenges. I have had the privilege of serving in many of our congregational missions, including Immaculate Conception in Lowell, Massachusetts and Melrose Academy in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania. However, my twenty-two years at CORA Services in Philadelphia, were satisfying beyond measure. CORA, a government-sponsored program established to assist children in need of academic remediation, presented me with the opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of children. The teachers as well as the parents were happy to see the progress made by their students and children.
It is gratifying to hear from a number of my students who express fond remembrances of those who have had an impact on their lives and their development. They appreciate the care shown concerning their moral, spiritual, and academic growth. Now, in my retirement years, I recall these memories with a grateful heart. God has blessed me abundantly, and I am forever grateful.