Written on: April 22, 2021
There is a theory that oldest children are often natural leaders. Sister Mary Charlotte, as the oldest of seven siblings, may help to prove that theory. The Barton family lived in Lowell Massachusetts. One of Sister’s fond memories of Lowell is of her fifth grade teacher at Immaculate Conception School, Sister Adele, a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart. Sister Mary Charlotte entered the Grey Nun community in 1946. After teaching at Melrose Academy and Cardinal Dougherty High School, the congregation recognized her natural leadership qualities and asked her to be superior and principal at Melrose Academy and later at D’Youville Academy in Georgia. Sister went on to become President of D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York and later President of the Grey Nun congregation for nine years. She was fluent in both French and Spanish and after her term as President, served in ministry for ten years at St. Hugh’s, a parish with many Spanish-speaking parishioners in inner city Philadelphia. Mary Charlotte succeeded her dear friend, Sister Patricia Smith, as archivist for the congregation. At 91, she now lives quietly with other Grey Nuns at Holy Redeemer Lafayette.
O God, my God, how wondrous You are in all Your ways!
For the past 75 years I have been blessed beyond measure. This year marks the 100th anniversary of our congregation. I entered a young community, but one poised to embrace the challenges of a century of change in world, church, and country!
I am truly grateful for my formation in prayer, which forms the spiritual life of a Grey Nun! How essential to seek God; to ask for faith, strength and perseverance. I have been given a lifetime to fall in love with God who loves me beyond all telling! God is my ever present Friend in the joys and sorrows of this life. The companionship of many Sisters, supporting and praying together has been a precious gift. For the faith formation of my own family, and their willingness to share and support me in my vocation, I am forever indebted.
Grace upon grace continues to be given for the journey! Throughout the years, I have been uplifted by a love for music, the arts, learning, discovering the wonders of our natural world, and convivial times spent with friends and family! These are treasured God-given gifts which I cherish. The call to a religious vocation as a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart has been all I could have hoped for.
I praise You O God, forever is Your love!
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