SAN ANTONIO -- Sister Marie Green, formerly of Windthorst, celebrated her 60th anniversary as a professed religious of the congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word on May 25th.
During a special mass, at the Incarnate Word Chapel in San Antonio, Marie and nine others in her band renewed their vows with family and friends in attendance. Two other sisters celebrated their 75th anniversary, four their 50th and one her 25th.
The celebration coincided with the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word whose mission is to make the love of the Incarnate Word tangible in the lives of people. Three Incarnate Word sisters originally came from France to Galveston in 1866 and then on to San Antonio in 1869 to where they established a Mother House.
Some 40 members of Marie’s extended family attended the celebration including three of her brothers, one sister, two sister in-laws and one brother in-law. After the mass, family and friends gathered for a luncheon for the honorees. That evening the Green family continued the celebration with more visiting, eating and some pitch playing, a Green family tradition.
Born in Caldwell, Kansas on October 8, 1937, Edna Marie Green is C. J. (Bob) and Edna Green’s is the eighth of 13 children. Bob was an oilfield worker for Shell Oil Company, and the family lived in many places in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas before settling in Windthorst in 1943. At that time, he became a pumper and was no longer required to move around, so the family was able to set down roots in the German Catholic community.
Mr. Green appreciated that the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word were the administrators and teachers at St. Mary’s School. This same order of sisters had taught some of the Green children in Pampa a few years earlier.
Marie attended St. Mary’s School (later Windthorst School) through all 12 grades. Except for her junior and senior year, she wa
taught exclusively by the Sisters of Incarnate Word. Marie says this likely had a lot to do with the fact that this was the order the Lord was calling her to enter.
She recalls that in the fourth grade the kids were required to write an essay about what they might want to do with their lives. Marie wrote that she might want to be a sister. She also recalls that at one point, a priest came to Windthorst where he offered a mission on vocations.
“The priest told us to think about joining the priesthood or the convent and ask, ‘Why not me?’ I asked that question, ‘Why not me?”
She never shared that with anyone until when in her senior year of high school, she told Sr. Eleonor Cohen that she was considering such a vocation. Sr. Cohen and Sr. Reparata were the two who had the most influence on her decision to join the convent.
In September of 1956, Marie entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio making vows in 1959, and final vows in 1964. She was given the name Sister M. Jogues, but later returned to her baptismal name.
Over 11 years, Sister Marie received a B.S. in elementary education with a minor in math and English. She taught fourth grade in Windthorst public school for three years.
“The parishioners, lay co-workers, parents all showed me how to love and care for others,” Marie says. “Growing up in Windthorst, where the parish was such an important part of the community, was a blessing.
After leaving Windthorst for the second time, Marie taught in the Catholic elementary schools in Missouri and Illinois for 19 years. She also served at the Dunne Memorial Home for Boys in Dallas for one year.
When it seemed time to move on to another type of ministry, Sister Marie became employed as a clerical staff member for evening classes (Arts and Sciences) at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
After about 9 years at Washington University, she returned to San Antonio to continue in office/clerical type work for the sisters. For the last 25 years she has worked in the areas of health insurance, medical bills, social security, and Medicare for the sisters.
Presently, many of the sisters live at the retirement facility in San Antonio built by the congregation at the location where the original Motherhouse stood.
“This has given me the opportunity to see many of them often, which benefits me as much as it does them.”
Marie adds that she is most fortunate to have always lived in community with other sisters, while teaching and engaging in other ministries.
“Through all my years of ministry as a sister, there were many graces and opportunities to grow as a person as one dedicated to serving the Lord and others,” Marie says. “It could not have happened without the love and care of my family growing up and continuing throughout the years.”