COVID was about to upend wedding plans for Kathy Lim’s son. So why was she so happy?
Marc finished his first year as an attending interventional radiology physician at Oregon Health & Science University when he needed to move cross-country to join his fiancé, Stephanie. Kathy offered to accompany him. During their eastward journey it became increasingly clear the big joyful wedding they planned was in jeopardy. As the couple struggled to handle their disappointment, Kathy overheard Marc on the phone with Stephanie: “After all, it’s not the reception that’s important,” he said to her, “It’s the sacrament.” Could there be any words sweeter to the ears of a Catholic parent?
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“My second eye”
Kathy attributes Marc’s mature understanding of his faith to the formation he and his two sisters received from their Dominican teachers in elementary and high school. More directly, she credits Sister Francis Mary Philipp, who she says was “like my second eye,” looking after her children while they were in school and away from her. “I am so thankful that they started playing music in the church,” she added. “It helped the kids maintain their faith. They are still practicing Catholics.”
Sister Francis Mary beams when she talks about the three Lim children who she taught throughout their elementary and high school careers. All three: Annamarie, Marc, and Grace, are doctors now.
“Marc got the teacher of the year award at his medical school when he was barely out of school himself,” she says with pride. “He told me one of the things he always told his students was ‘practice makes perfect.’ He said he heard it from me so many times that he used it with his students all the time.”
Wisdom of heart
Annamarie won a student-of-the-year scholarship with an essay about Sister Francis Mary during her senior year at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School. “I have the wisdom of Sister Francis Mary’s heart to thank for most of the accomplishments which I have since achieved,” she wrote. “She will always be a source of inspiration and motivation for me throughout my life.”
Once, Kathy mentioned to a Christmas party guest that her children were studying music with Sister Francis Mary. “If your kids have her as a teacher they will go through any difficulties in life able to handle it” the guest told her. It has proved to be true, Kathy says. “Sister Francis Mary is just good. I consider her as part of my family. The kids, too, consider her part of the family.”
Encountering love and grace
Sister Francis Mary is one of many of our sisters who have helped—and continue to help—parents and children bridge across the turbulent waters of adolescence to adulthood with love and grace. Whether those families encounter our sisters at one of our high schools, in their parishes, in a counseling office, or in the neighborhood, our sisters can and do make a difference in their lives.
Stay with us to learn more!
Stayed tuned for more great stories about the impact of Sister Francis Mary’s life on young people as we discover what it was that made her such a great mentor for the hundreds of students and adults who’ve passed through her life. Read more here.