Sister Anne McCormick
A Passion to Serve
A woman of great energy and quick wit, Sister Anne McCormick is a daughter of Nano Nagle who believes and lives Nano’s sentiments: “If I could of service … I would gladly go anywhere in the world … ”
“I can only hope I am following in Nano’s footsteps,” declares Sister Anne. “She wanted to be of service and so do I.” And so, Sister Anne who lives at Mount Loretto motherhouse currently tends to multiple ministries that include scheduling drives for the sisters, driving, going with some of the senior sisters to doctor appointments, helping in the finance office, taking her turn as receptionist and serving as Eucharistic minister and lector for liturgies.
“I enjoy all of the ministries I have here,” she states about her passion and energies to serve. “My favorite is going as companion with our senior sisters to their doctor appointments. It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know them better. They are so appreciative. I enjoy being with them.”
Transitioning from ministry “on the missions,” where Presentation sisters carry out various full-time service, to community service and various ministries at the congregation’s motherhouse calls for an openness of heart that Sister Anne demonstrates well. “The most challenging time came when I had to stop teaching and find other ways to serve God and His people,” says Sister.
Whether serving as transportation coordinator, giving hospitality at the reception desk, Sister Anne keeps in mind a favorite quote from Hebrews 10: 7, “Here I am, Lord, I come to do your will.” This speaks to her most of the spirit and charism of Nano Nagle – to be of service wherever she is called.
“I really don’t see any of my ministries as challenging. It was hard at first to leave teaching. I loved my students and still miss the classroom. My favorite part of my teaching career was helping parents prepare their children for the reception of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. But I am happy to be of service at Mount Loretto,” she comments. “I try to approach being present to people with a smile and an interest in them and their needs at that time.”
By continuing to serve and share joy, Sister Anne experiences Nano’s spirit in her life. “Sister Anne and I have frequent contact as she takes care of setting up all the drives for the sisters, getting cars to the shop for repairs and maintenance and serving as a companion for the senior sisters. That’s just the list of things she does that causes our paths to cross nearly daily,” comments Jean Lange, Mount Loretto House Coordinator.
Being on the receiving end of Sister Anne’s spirit is a treat for many. “Sister Anne is like a ray of sunshine when she comes into the office! Rarely do I see her in a bad mood; even when she has less than happy news to tell me when something doesn’t go quite right with drives, she still tells it with a smile!” continues Jean.
Sister Anne’s energies abound. “I am constantly amazed by her energy, enthusiasm and willingness to help out in whatever way she can around the house,” adds Jean. “If there is a list of volunteers for a given job in the house, Sister Anne’s name is usually on it – distributing newspapers around the house on weekends, filling in at the receptionist desk, collecting money for haircuts, baking delicious chocolate chip cookies and peanut clusters for a wide variety of events – often I am a lucky recipient of a cookie or two as well. She is quick to share her happy news with me, as well as the sad things. What a truly wonderful, upbeat person she is!”
Great pleasure and fun in her life as a sister are important to Sister Anne. “Pleasure and peace comes from knowing that I am trying to do God’s will. Fun comes from being with my sisters in community and my family and friends socially,” she declares. “I have family in Wisconsin and on both the East and West Coasts so travel for me usually includes special family visits. Reading, walking, visiting friends and watching good movies on television are things I enjoy.”
Sister Anne’s teaching years were in Charles City, Iowa; Timber Lake, South Dakota; Cedar Falls, Bankston and Sheldon, Iowa; and in Globe, Arizona, with the Presentation Sisters of the Union. When requested she has also tutored children from Resurrection and St. Anthony schools in Dubuque.
In the footsteps of Nano, Sister Anne has walked many lanes near and far, even beyond the Midwest. “My special remembrances of all my years as a woman religious include the students I have taught, lifetime friends I have made from the various parishes in which I have served, the summers I spent teaching religion in many parishes in the Diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota, the summer I was part of a Kairos team working in the Appalachian area and the summers I spent volunteering at a hospital for Hansen’s Disease (sometimes referred to as leprosy) in Carville, Louisiana,” recounts Anne. “Those are opportunities I wouldn’t have had if I were not in religious life.”
All of Sister’s energy and spirit come from a well-nurtured faith and prayer life. “My parents lived their Catholic faith and taught us by example to do the same,” she reflects. “I have vivid memories of my mother sitting in her rocking chair after a hard days work with her rosary beads and novena booklet and my dad kneeling by his bed saying his night prayers. A catholic education, attendance at Mass and devotions, respect for sisters and priests were important to my parents and my faith formation and have contributed greatly to my ministry years.”
To all of the above can be added a spirit of gratitude that Sister Anne has known throughout her life. “I am grateful for the education and opportunities that I have received as a sister. Most of all, I am grateful to God for calling me to this vocation and to the sisters, priests and family members that have supported and encouraged me from the very beginning.”
Great substance resides in this woman of slight build and quickness of foot. One must look quickly to catch the aura of energy and passion and then rejoice for an enjoyable encounter with Sister Anne McCormick.
Left photo: Sister Anne McCormick speaks with a group of students.
Right photo: Sister Marge Loughren and Sister Anne McCormick enjoy time together.