sister anne carlos souto

May 17, 1927 - February 18, 2015

Compassionate, hard-working yet ready to enjoy life

In Mobile, Alabama, May 17, 1927, a fourth child, Gwendolyn Elizabeth, was born to Manuel and Viola (Fullerton) Souto. Siblings Frank, Manuel and Magdalene proceeded her and Carlos followed. Her parents also raised her cousin Jack who simply became another brother in the family. Her mother was from Alabama, but her father came to the United States from La Corona, Spain when he was nine years of age. Arriving in New Orleans, Louisiana, where her father was to meet up with his father, he received the news that his father had died. He learned the shoemaking trade to support himself.

Gwendolyn began her education in the local public school. When her parents decided to move the girls to the Catholic school, testing put both herself and her older sister into the same grade. They spent grades 5-8 at St. Matthew’s where they were taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph.

After their graduation from Bishop Toolen High School, her sister Magdalene (Sister Manuela) entered the Sisters of St. Joseph. Gwendolyn recalled that her sister’s last words to her as the train pulled out were, “I’m praying you in.” She replied, “Not me.” Two years later, she told her parents that she wanted to be a Sister of St. Joseph.

So my dad wasn’t happy [about entering]. If he was under the house fixing a water pipe, I was there with him. If he was up on the roof, putting on roofing, I was with him. He told me, ‘Think about it for six months and if you still want to go then I’m okay with it.’ So I worked for an insurance company for six months. I went back to him and said that I really wanted to go. So he said, ‘Okay, but I won’t be happy.’


[Five years later] “Manuela and I both went home at the same time. Well you couldn’t have seen a prouder man walking down the street with his two girls... just swinging his arms and telling everybody, ‘These are my daughters.’ He was very thrilled.”
 

S. Anne entered the Sisters of St. Joseph, September 15, 1947, and received the habit and the name, Sister Anne Carlos, March 19, 1948. S. Anne was after her favorite sister-in-law and Carlos was for her favorite uncle. S. Anne received a degree in education from Fontbonne College (1956) and a master’s in special education from the University of South Alabama (1975).

In 1950, S. Anne began ten years of teaching in Missouri, first at St. Cecilia and then St. Margaret of Scotland in St. Louis. Next, she taught at St. Joseph Girls Home and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Kansas City. The year 1960 brought her to St. Joseph Grade School, Marietta, Georgia. In 1967 she returned to Kansas City as Principal at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Grade School.

Beginning in 1973, S. Anne spent 28 years serving in various capacities in the south. She was principal at Little Flower in Mobile; taught at the Village of St. Joseph, Atlanta (1977); substituted as supervisor at Marian Manor in Atlanta; was a maintenance assistant for the Knights of Columbus in Atlanta; and an instructional aide at the DeKalb County Mental Retardation Service Center.

In about 1960, S. Anne had found out that she had diabetes. By 1997 the disease interfered with her continuing an active ministry and she retired, spending time in Georgia and then St. Louis before moving to Nazareth Living Center in 2003.

Talking about her retirement, S. Anne said:

The most fun I’ve had is here at Nazareth. Yes, because I love to fish. That’s one of my hobbies. Gretchen [Wagner] has taken me several places. [Once] we caught good-sized bass and she cleaned them and fried them at her house and then brought them here for me to eat. They were so good.

S. Helen Oates
Excerpts from S. Anne’s Oral History
April 2015 “Province New Notes”

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