Honoring our past, securing our future
The Holy Cross family is a blend of many “families.” Each sister who enters the Congregation brings with her the gift of who she is, as shaped by her “growing up” family. In turn, that sister shapes the memories and decisions of the generations that follow her, including sometimes their faithful monthly contributions to the Sisters of the Holy Cross.
Sister M. Rita Estelle (Estelle Rita Broussard), CSC, came from a large and vigorous Catholic family in Beaumont, Texas. Her older brother forged an early connection with Holy Cross when he graduated from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, in 1913 and passed the value of a Holy Cross education down through multiple generations of his family.
One of Sister Rita Estelle’s great-nieces, Anne Steinman Montalbano, recalls that Sister was very intentional about connecting with each of her family members when she came home to visit. She continued to return to Beaumont even after her parents died, says Anne. “She knew us all — and there were 126 in my generation!”
Sister Rita Estelle was quick to share her many gifts with others. An accomplished concert pianist who toured nationally with prominent musicians, Sister entertained her family with private concerts when she was home. “She would always start with ‘Tea for Two’ because that was my mom’s favorite,” says Anne. Other favorite memories include spirited games of gin rummy, listening to stories from Sister Rita Estelle’s many travels, and meeting other Holy Cross sisters who were invited along for some much-needed rest and relaxation.
Anne has been a longtime supporter of the Sisters of the Holy Cross. About four years ago she switched from giving an annual donation to establishing a monthly recurring gift. Her reason? “It’s a whole lot easier to give each month with a credit card [on file] than to write a big check,” Anne says. “And with Aunt Estelle being a Sister of the Holy Cross it just seemed the right thing to do.”
It seems the apple does not fall far from the tree.