The following excerpt comes from a June 8 story of Catholic San Francisco.

Traditional sisters and trendy students may not seem like a compatible combination, but at Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield, they’re proving to be a propitious pairing.

Since arriving on campus in August 2011, Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Thomas Aquinas Betlewski, Miriam Holzman, and Maria Jose Acosta have shattered stereotypes, debunked misconceptions and formed a unique union with the sophomores and juniors in the theology, science and math classes they teach.

The last woman religious, Sister Mary Ferguson, a Franciscan art instructor, had departed in 2004, so students at first weren’t quite sure what to make of the newcomers….

“At first, I didn’t know what to expect, but as I got to know them, I found they were kind, trustworthy, tough but fair and a lot of fun,” said junior Tarantino of San Rafael. “And when they say, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ it really means something!”

Harmon, a 17-year-old junior from Kentfield who felt “very nervous” the first week of class, has made the sisters his closest confidantes.

“They are so approachable, I can talk to them about March madness, my personal troubles, anything,” he said. “I feel closer to them than to other teachers.”

The sisters believe their traditional habits have a profound impact on the high schoolers.

“Because we wear a visible sign of our consecration to Christ, students are less likely to misbehave around us and more likely to take what we say seriously,” said Sister Maria Jose, a former computer analyst who teaches sophomore and junior geometry.

“The students know we’re not doing this for personal gain or to advance our careers or even for altruism but for the salvation of their souls,” said Sister Thomas Aquinas, who holds a master’s degree in theology….

“I’m used to schools where nearly all the students are Catholic.”

Walking out of St. Francis Chapel following the 7:30 a.m. Mass, she expressed surprise at the attendance of only six of the school’s 719 students, 68 percent of whom are Catholic.

“Of my teaching experiences, Marin Catholic has given me some of the most unique challenges,” she said. “This is the first time I’ve encountered students who don’t have a very religious background so we have to start at ground zero….”

From June 8, 2012 issue of Catholic San Francisco.
Click here.



Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 4:42 AM By Nancy
Parents have been paying tuition all these years, and the students have not had a religious background. Not only is this sad, but also fraudulent. Pray for the success of these good Nuns. I hope Seniors use the CCC as a text.

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 5:14 AM By JMJ
Our Blessed Lady told Blessed Mary of Agreda, back in the 1600s, that the nuns that take off their habits and/or leave the convents, will share a much greater fate than Lot’s wife, when she disobeyed the Angel and looked back. It is no wonder that when “sister” Kane and the others showed complete disrespect for Blessed John Paul II, first when they remained standing and then helped to start the new ‘fad’ of not wearing their wedding gowns showing that they once belonged to Jesus, now they divorced Him and married the devil and we have seen their fruits, with laymen and youngsters having complete disregard for others, especially those that God has put over them. At least in this school, the girls will have wonderful role-models to guide them and hopefully and prayerfully, we will see some future Nuns in the making. Praise God in all things. +JMJ+

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 6:12 AM By Sue in soCal
What else can you say about the news in this article except, “YAY!!!”

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 7:08 AM By MacDonald
I have met these wonderful Sisters and am thrilled they are now part of the Archdiocese of San Francisco — as is Monsignor Sheeran, the ‘new’ priest at Marin Catholic High School. We often hear that Marin County is so terribly ‘unchurched,’ so my fervent prayer is that the presence of these Dominicans, and also the work of the faithful, dedicated moms and dads who teach in our Catholic schools, will bring about a renaissance of Catholicism in our area. I also hope, please God!, that their ministry here will inspire more young women and men to respond when God calls them to religious life or to the priesthood, which is probably not a popular thing in this affluent area. “Arm yourself with prayer rather than a sword; wear humility rather than fine clothes.” (Saint Dominic de Guzman)

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 7:24 AM By Dana
These beautiful young nuns are making such a difference where ever they’re serving. The only fault to be found is there just aren’t enough of them! Pray for more excellent, authentic young women to fill the void . We need oceans of vocations to be salt and light to our young people.

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 7:44 AM By MD
With the media trying to convince the US that the Church is on a witch hunt of religious sisters it is nice to read this article. The reality is there are only a small sect of religious sisters who are being investigated and I would venture to say a vast majority of our sisters are good and holy women truly doing t he work of the Lord in schools, hospitals, etc. There are so many good orders of women who devote themselves to prayer, Adoration and ministry and are Eucharist Centered Christocentric women. Thank you for another great article. Gold Love You.

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 8:10 AM By OneoftheSheep
Only good things can come with a match up like this! I love the interaction. Think of the graces to ensue. “And when the sisters say they will pray for me…” Indeed.

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 8:54 AM By Peggy
Dana and others: vocations to these traditional orders are increasing faster than provisions can be made for them. You can help them out with donations. Go to their website (Dominican Sisters, Mary Mother of the Eucharist). I have met these sisters on a number of occasions and they are traditional doctrinally and delightful personally!

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 9:37 AM By MacDonald
“4:42 AM By Nancy: Parents have been paying tuition all these years, and the students have not had a religious background.” Wrong, Nancy. Just ask Bishop Thomas Daly, the former president of Marin Catholic High School, who, like Monsignor James Tarantino before him, worked very hard to keep the Catholic foundation of this school. When Bishop Daly learned he would be moved to the Diocese of San Jose last year, he was instrumental in making sure these Dominican Sisters, and Monsignor Sheeran, would come in. Also, faithful Catholic teachers who are not Nuns or Priests can ALSO pass on the faith very well, thank you very much. Just ask the moms and dads who sacrifice so much to homeschool their children.

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 9:55 AM By Abeca Christian
This is such lovely article! I wish more Catholic schools would have traditional nuns teaching classes. I would appreciate that so much. I hope that the more traditional Catholic Colleges consider have these kind of traditional nuns walk or even teach around their campuses. God bless these nuns, I really enjoyed reading about them through this article! Good to know!

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 9:56 AM By Anne T.
How wonderful for Christian students to be able to go to a school where they do not have to worry about saying “under God” in the Pledge or “God bless you” when someone sneezes. When Catholic schools were like this in my youth, it even made the public schools better because they had to really teach and encourage moral behavior to keep up. Some of the public school teachers then had been taught in Catholic and private schools. It helps society all the way around.

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 12:08 PM By tom byrne
MacDonald: I’m with you and worked at MC 1984-5 in the Science Department and on Campus Ministry with Fr. Wester (now Bishop of Salt Lake City) and some wonderful Holy Family Sisters. Despite the very secularized community in Marin County, they were orthodox and loyal.

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 1:58 PM By bellaitalia
To Nancy (first comment). Schools can only do so much. Students without a religious background come into high schools that way because they have not been taught at home or in their parishes (if the parents take them to Mass). It is very unfortunate that the parents of these children don’t pass on the faith but the parents also have been poorly catechized. I have become very well versed in my faith due to a protestant friend asking me why I believed in certain things. Now I can’t get enough of my Catholic faith. Just about everything I read has something to do with the faith. It takes work on the parent’s part but my children have benefitted. My high schooler who goes to Catholic school often texts me with questions while doing assignments about religious topics and my 7th grader seems to know more about the faith than many of his classmates in Catholic school. It is very satisfying! Parents are the first educators. We can’t trust others to do it for us.

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 2:45 PM By Elizabeth
Everyone, keep praying for these wonderful young nuns and for MANY MORE!!!!! The kids want the ‘real deal’, this is surely part of the new ‘springtime of the Church’!!!!!

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 7:19 PM By max
marin catholic high school is known for giving a solid cathlic education to the boys and girls who go there. this was true before the dominican sisters came last year, and i think it will remainn true for a long time to come. HOWEVER, i think it’s just great that these wonderful religious women, in full habit, have come to work with teens here in the archdiocese of san francisco! our priests always are seen in the roman collar, or in vestments for mass and other sacraments, so how refershing to see women religious also wearing a visible uniform of their calling, just like the priets!!!

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 10:00 PM By Thomas Edward Miles
Sounds wonderful!

Posted Thursday, June 14, 2012 5:34 AM By David
bellaitalia June 13, post 1:58pm; yes parents are the first and most responsible teachers of children. This should be preached from the pulpits. But education has to start somewhere, and many young parents today don’t know enough to teach. When parents pay tuition they expect a “CATHOLIC” education or it is fraud. Help us spread the Faith ACCURATELY, read the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” and encourage others to do so. Give the CCC as birthday, Christmas, Easter, Anniversary or other special occasion gifts. Give the CCC to your non-Catholic friends and say – this is what the Catholic Church really believes.

Posted Thursday, June 14, 2012 7:05 AM By MacDonald
BELLA ITALIA makes such a good point about parents being “the first teachers of their children in the ways of faith,” as the Rite of Baptism so beautifully states. Sadly, many parents ignore this sacred duty and these sacred words like water off a duck’s back, giving their children no admirable example to follow, no discipline and solid teaching to follow. “Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God is one. Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today. Drill them into your children. Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest.” (Deuteronomy 6:4) When the teaching at home and at school are the same, we have hope!

Posted Thursday, June 14, 2012 7:58 AM By Dana
So true, MacDonald. That is why I believe blaming everything on the Church and the bishops is really not right. As I keep saying, we’re accountable for how our children are raised, not the Church or the State. How they end up is out of our hands,but while they are under our care it is up to us to teach them and be living examples. Everyone of us can look back at our childhoods and see who influenced us the most for good or ill, and remember their strengths and weaknesses and unless our parents were completely absent or really negligent, it will be our parents who hold primary position. Thank you for that excellent post, MacDonald!

Posted Thursday, June 14, 2012 9:10 AM By Brian S
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, First Edition, is in error? Must I dispose of the Baltimore Catechisms I’ve got in the house? How did folks know the faith prior to 1997?

Posted Thursday, June 14, 2012 1:02 PM By MacDonald
BRIAN S, you are hilarious with your question about being in error, especially the Baltimore Catechsim and the CCC 1st Edition. On the serious, side, though, I wonder what the difference is between the 1st and 2nd edition of the CCC? I’ve never been told precisely…

Posted Thursday, June 14, 2012 9:57 PM By JLS
MacD, the way some people tell it, the difference is that if you read the second edition of the CCC, you go straight to Heaven … which is why I’m dragging my feet.

Posted Friday, June 15, 2012 11:20 AM By MacDonald
JLS, if I had more time, maybe I could try to compare the 1st edition with the 2nd edition, but I really have no idea what changes (if any) were made. This is why I never upgrade my phone, either — it works just fine. Even if they do have an app for that. (I did learn about the mistakes made when the YouCat was translated from German into Italian, and the Italian version said contraception was just fine and dandy! The poor Pope, who had written the introduction, probably had a heart attack; then all the books had to be pulled, translated CORRECTLY, and sold again.)

Posted Friday, June 15, 2012 5:23 PM By k
catholicculture website has a list of catechism changes from the congragation of the doctrine of the faith. These are the changes that were issued after the CCC 1st edition was published. The changes were made and the CCC was republished in it’s 2nd edition.

Posted Friday, June 15, 2012 9:04 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
According to Father Fessio, who probably single handedly stopped the first translation from being published because he knows several languages, including French. The real problem was in the horrible English translation from the French one. I say single handedly, because he was close to then Cardinal Ratzinger, and he contacted him to report on the horrible translation. Fr. Fessio called it, if my memory is correct, “a mutilation not a translation”. That is when the publishing of the English version was turned over to the traditional Daughters of St. Paul. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Friday, June 15, 2012 9:07 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
I believe the main mistakes in the first edition have to do with the treatment of the homosexual problem in the first edition. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Friday, June 15, 2012 11:19 PM By JLS
Like you cannot learn Catholicism from the Bible!???! Does the CCC answer any questions not answered by the Bible? If you think so, then name one.

Posted Saturday, June 16, 2012 6:26 AM By Larry
To clarify for MacDonald: the CCC 2nd has a list of the corrections in the back of the book.

Posted Saturday, June 16, 2012 7:19 AM By Abeca Christian
Some things in the CCC are vague and due to people’s imperfections, there will always be misinterpretations. The book is a great tool but it does not always give the gift of reason to newby’s. I learned the faith without it through reading the complete books from saints, church doctors, councils especially from my grandmother and more so from my husband, when he converted as well, we are always learning from the Lord and His church etc…..then when I bought the first CCC edition,in the beginning of my marriage, I read it but was then told to throw it away because it contained many errors, so I ended up buying the second edition. I enjoy using this tool along with my Bible and complete writings from earlier church doctors and saints etc! But of most of all, I try to get to know Jesus not know of Him. Everyday is a growing experience. Life has it’s lessons when we approach with humility and great love in Christ!

Posted Saturday, June 16, 2012 9:47 AM By max
k — thanks for telling us all how tyo discover the diferences cbetween the first edition of the CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIK CHURCH and the second edition. i will check out that site you mention. i keep hearing people talk about CCC second edition but always wondered what happened wrong with the first try…did they leave GOD outr? did they say JESUS did not rise from the dead? did they proclaim everyone can make up their own version of catholicism? thanks for the hellpful tip!

Posted Saturday, June 16, 2012 10:59 AM By Brian S
My point is only that the CCC is not Holy Writ, it is a teaching tool, one of many. I’ve found Father Brown mysteries to be helpful fools as well. As for the changes, paragraph by paragraph lists are easily found by straightforward internet search and there is nothing remarkable in them. We’ve still got the first edition (with its nihil obstat and imprimatur) in our house, the emphasis placed on the second edition strikes me as odd. Ours is not a religion of the book.

Posted Saturday, June 16, 2012 5:56 PM By JLS
max, first edition had zillions of typos, as if the keyboard was break dancing.

Posted Saturday, June 16, 2012 5:58 PM By JLS
max, I have to confess that I find your cyber studdering to be humorous. Yet it just dawned on me that people can read words when the letters are mixed up. There is probably a point where the economy of thinking and communicating achieves optimum with some sacrifice on either end.

Posted Saturday, June 16, 2012 5:59 PM By JLS
My initial introduction to religion came in the lyrics of a pop song, “Here come de judge”.

Posted Saturday, June 16, 2012 7:12 PM By JonJ
Well, JLS, totally tongue in cheek, maybe they’ll make an exception in your case. if you read the CCC, nd send you somewhere else.

Posted Saturday, June 16, 2012 7:52 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Larry, 6:26 AM, Thanks for the information, you have just given me more reason to purchase the 2nd edition. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Sunday, June 17, 2012 7:42 PM By MacDonald
The Catholics of Marin County are said to be very “unchurched,” so perhaps this infusion of new Dominican Sisters will help turn that around. The fact that these young, happy women teach such a variety of subjects is interesting, too, which shows the young people under their care that you can be a priest, or a religious, and serve in various ways! Some people get the notion you just sit in a room and stare at the wall all day, but these Dominicans demonstrate that one can be a person of prayer, hard work, meditation, worship, virtue, and outreach – especially to young minds.

Posted Sunday, June 17, 2012 8:39 PM By JLS
JonJ, they’ve always made an exception in my case … that’s the problem.

Posted Sunday, June 17, 2012 10:14 PM By JLS
So, what are you getting at, MacD, that the wealthy Marin County-ites have done gone and bought themselves a Catholic college?

Posted Monday, June 18, 2012 7:00 AM By max
oh, JLS, you are truly…exceptionall! that’s the reason. just ask your dogs.

Posted Monday, June 18, 2012 6:12 PM By Abeca Christian
JLS I agree with your dogs, you are exceptional! wuf JK Sorry guys just thought max was funny. JLS and max you two have a great sense of humor. gotta love it!

Posted Monday, June 18, 2012 7:29 PM By JLS
max, you should have heard the daily symphonic articulations when Ol’ Mama Doggie was nursing and teaching those puppies. “Move over Beethoven”. I understand dog language and especially puppies; it’s the crying and whining babies I don’t quite get … but I believe that the mothers really understand all the racket … that it is not really racket to them at all, but a symphony, especially the more babies there are.

Posted Monday, June 18, 2012 7:36 PM By MacDonald
JLS, um, how can I break this to you? Marin Catholic High School is not a college. It’s a high school. Hence the name. As for the wealthy people of Marin County “buying themselves” a school, if the Dominican Sisters are truly humble and traditional, they probably work and are paid under the older “stipend” system rather than the “lay parity” system, which means they earn about what priests earn–much less than lay people with similar degrees and experience. If you are on the stipend system (priests, sisters, brothers), you earn MUCH less, but then you get a place to live (convent or rectory).

Posted Monday, June 18, 2012 11:01 PM By Abeca Christian
JLS you had me laughing hilarious….lol. I think your dogs are becoming famous because of max.