Sister Anna Mae Golden, CSC
(Sister M. Joseph Anita)
April 28, 1930 – February 14, 2019
Word has been received of the death of Sister Anna Mae Golden, CSC, who died at 10:55 a.m. on February 14, 2019, in Saint Mary’s Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana. Sister Anna Mae entered the Congregation from Takoma Park, Maryland, on August 1, 1951. Her initial profession of vows took place on February 2, 1954.
Please join us in prayer for Sister as we renew our faith in the resurrected Jesus and strengthen our hope that all the departed will be raised to eternal life.
The Sisters of the Holy Cross learned early in the novitiate at Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame, Indiana, to think of themselves as “daughters of Father Moreau.” In January 2006 Sister Anna Mae Golden shared a reflection on Basil Anthony Moreau, the French priest who founded the Congregation. In her usual soft-spoken voice, she said clearly, “Moreau’s vision was to have members of the Congregation seek holiness for the mission and to call others to holiness through the mission.” Sister herself was a good and holy woman who was mission-driven in every ministry she was assigned. She made the connection between holiness in her own life and mission for others, especially through education and health care.
When Miss Golden applied to enter the Sisters of the Holy Cross in June 1951, she was one of two daughters of William J. Golden and Ethel M. Mullikin. Anna Mae had just graduated from Dunbarton College, Washington, D.C., with a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics. Her Catholic parents were examples of service, yet initially were opposed to their daughter’s vocation. Sister M. Loretto (Conway), CSC, superior, recommended Anna Mae as “a lovable person who possesses all the qualities of mind to make her a good religious. She has shown unusual strength of character in her determination to enter [the convent], even though her parents are reluctant….” Sister Anna Mae later wrote in 2000 that her sense of service was nourished by many people, especially during her college years. “Since that time, it has been a part of my very being.”
After initial profession of vows in February 1954, as Sister M. Joseph Anita, she was missioned to either secondary education or higher education in high schools and colleges sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross in the Eastern Province. Mathematics remained her strong suit, and she earned a Master of Science in in the subject in 1964 from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, and a doctorate in education in 1981 from the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland. Her initial goal was to be the best math teacher possible. “Young people need the inspiring example of those who strive for excellence in what they are doing,” she wrote. Beyond her talent for mathematics, positions related to mission, administration and strategic planning came naturally to her. After a year as academic dean at Cardinal Cushing College in Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1972 she went to Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, where she gave her full measure of service over several years. The 2004 Resolution of Gratitude from the Saint Mary’s College board of trustees testified to Sister Anna Mae’s quiet unassuming presence and deep faith and loyalty to the college.
Sister Anna Mae served Saint Mary’s College in many capacities. She was a member of the board of trustees from 1994 to 2004 and the Board of Regents from 1976 to 1982 and from 1988 to 1994. During those years, she chaired committees to develop the pastoral vision of the college, from which the Center for Spirituality was founded in 1987. Sister Anna Mae was also the director of admission, the admission counselor for the Rome program, coordinator of institutional planning and a lecturer in mathematics. She devoted countless hours to ensure that the young women received a quality education during their four years at Saint Mary’s College by chairing the Education Committee. Her time on the Facilities and Grounds Committee reflected the aesthetics and beauty of the campus inspired originally by Mother M. Angela (Gillespie), CSC, then by Sister M. Madeleva (Wolff), CSC, to today’s commitment to sustainability.
Elected in 1999 to the General Council of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Sister Anna Mae ministered until 2004 at the international headquarters at Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame, Indiana. It is said that, while on the General Council, she made time to tutor some of the young sisters who had difficulty in their college math classes. She also served on hospital boards, notably at Mount Carmel Health System, Columbus, Ohio. Earlier, from 1985 to 1988, Sister was the vice-president for Mission Development at Saint Joseph’s Care Group, South Bend, Indiana. Her last active ministry was as a patient visitor from 2005 to 2007 at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, South Bend, before transitioning into retirement due to failing health.
Sister Anna Mae died at Saint Mary’s Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana, where she had lived since 2009, still remembering the mission and being fully engaged in a life of holiness and prayer. She now is reunited with the deceased members of her Holy Cross family, her parents and her precious sister, Betty.
We invite you to donate to the Ministry with the Poor Fund in Sister’s name.
Written by Sister Catherine Osimo, CSC