Sister Profile: Sister Alice Hein

Sister Alice Hein

What was your motivation/inspiration in entering the CSJ community?

 I knew I wanted to be a sister when I was in high school at St. Joseph’s Academy in Green Bay. That was my first association with sisters. I had gone to a public grade school. I was attracted by the way the sisters lived and treated us. Sister Anna Bridget Walsh was a cook, originally from Ireland. After school, I would go down and help her. She was such a dear. I liked all the sisters. They were good to me.

What was your favorite subject in school?

Probably English.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

My first degree was in education – in 1960. When we finished high school, most of the time we were sent out to teach. We only were able to attend college for six weeks in the summer. My master’s degree was also in education, from Saint Louis University in 1966. That also was summer work. I enjoyed being a teacher.

What would you say was your most rewarding time during your service as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet?

My first assignment on the Menominee Reservation in Keshena Wis. It was just 60 miles from my home. I was in my early 20s when I went there, and I stayed there 10 years. We had a boarding school there, and we were with the kids, morning, noon and night. We taught and took care of all the rest of it, too. Most of the kids lived there. One of my fourth grade students joined the CSJs, Sister Jean (Jane) Miller.

What was the most important thing you learned from your years in education?

Learn with the kids. Be patient. And get them on the right track with their faith life and family life – and keep them there.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Being a seamstress was my favorite thing to do. I used to love to sew, knit, read – they were the things that kept me going. But the Lord decides otherwise. Now my eyesight is gone, and I have arthritis in my hands. So I listen to books on tape. And I pray. I spend a lot of time saying the rosary. The Lord knows what he’s doing. The Lord has helped me a lot.

What’s the last thing you do before you go to sleep?

 I can’t go to bed until 10 p.m. I might listen to a tape. I say a rosary during the evening.

What is one of your most memorable stories from your life as a CSJ?

When I was teaching at St. Anthony of Padua (in the late 1930s, in St. Louis), I had charge of the boy servers. At the time, my religious name was Sr. John Chrysostom. I met with the servers once a week after school to learn the prayers in Latin. One week, I forgot my folder, so I sent one of the boys to the convent. I told him, "Tell whichever sister answers the door that you need Sr. John Chrysostom’s folder, on the desk in her room." Sister Georgia Theresa answered. The boy told her, “Sister John Chrysanthemum wants her folder.” After that, I was known as Sister John “Mum” in the convent! When we were allowed to go back to our baptismal name, I changed my name to Alice.




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