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Relationships with Viatorians Matter

January 7, 2020

Sr. Ann Sharp, OSB, publicly celebrated 80 years of vows in July, at the age of 99.

Sr. Ann Sharp, OSB, celebrated 80 years of religious life in July.

Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, and Sr. Ann Sharp, OSB in the Benedictine Monastery chapel.

She died less than six months later, just shy of her 100th birthday, and it was a Viatorian who celebrated her funeral Mass. Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, presided at the liturgy held at St. Scholastica in Chicago.

The two religious — Sr. Ann and Fr. Bolser — had met just three years earlier, but their meeting resulted in an unexpected gift that Sr. Ann  cherished dearly: a connection to her brother, Br. William Sharp, CSV.

Br. William Sharp with his sister at her graduation in 1938 from St. Scholastica High School

He died at the age of 21, after pronouncing his first vows as a Viatorian. His framed photo remained on Sr. Ann’s dresser until she died.

Over her decades of ministry, Sr. Ann spent many years in elementary education. She was a member of the founding faculty at Queen of All Saints in Chicago, and taught at other schools in the city and in Colorado. She ultimately attained her certification as a principal and superior and served in the administration at St. Joseph Parish School in Salida, CO.

Sr. Ann Sharp in Salida, CO, circa 1960s

While there, she hired many VISTA volunteers as teachers, which took her back to her thesis — written in the late 1940s at DePaul University — entitled “The Status of the Lay Teacher in Parochial Schools.”

Sr. Ann returned to St. Scholastica Academy in 1968 in Chicago, where she taught religion and later became dean. She ultimately served as Prioress of the community, from 1978 to 1982.

“Her supportive lifetime of mentoring was rooted in a listening heart,” said Sr. Judith Murphy, OSB, Prioress, at St. Ann’s funeral. “Benedict’s Rule starts with the injunction: Listen with the ear of your heart, and she did.”