Sister Carmel Marie (Sallows), CSC, was presented the Spirit of Service Award from Saint Mary’s College at this year’s Down the Avenue event in June. The award celebrates Saint Mary’s College’s outreach to those in need in regional communities and honors individuals who exemplify the college’s mission to prepare women for roles of leadership and action. At the event the college honors a member of the South Bend community, a current student and a Sister of the Holy Cross.
With a life dedicated to others, Sister Carmel began her teaching career in 1954 and continued teaching through 1985. She remained in ministries that served youth, working as a librarian and later as a volunteer at Saint Joseph High School, South Bend, Indiana. Today, she continues her history of service at the Center for Hospice Care at its South Bend inpatient care facility.
“As I began reflecting on my connection to Saint Mary’s and how it has influenced my life, it occurred to me that most young women first encounter the beauty of this campus on their first visit either as a prospective student or Sister of the Holy Cross. So how they process the beauty and majesty of ‘the avenue’ is from an adult perspective,” remarked Sister Carmel at the event.
“For me, it was quite different because my first vision of the avenue was back in 1939, as a six-year-old child on my first day at the campus school. I was quite small and looking up at those giant trees was quite overwhelming. Sister M. Madeleva (Wolff), CSC, was president and had written ‘Old Soldiers,’ a poem about the majesty of the avenue,” she continued.
“How could I have known as a small child just beginning her educational life that this avenue would have such a profound impact on my life? How could I have known that it would lead me to a life of Holy Cross influence of such profound magnitude that I would be called to become a Sister of the Holy Cross just as it had moved Sister Madeleva so many years ago?”