Patience and presence
Through her patience and presence in her work as a teacher, principal, and reading therapist, Sister Mary George Kissel, OSB has opened minds and changed lives.
A native of Evansville, Indiana, Sister Mary George entered the Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand in 1938 and made her profession in 1940. She celebrated her 75th jubilee this past October.
In 1975, Sister Mary George and her biological sister, Sister Margaret Carolyn Kissel, OSB established The Reading Carrell in Evansville. For 38 years, she and her late Sister worked tirelessly with students who were struggling severely with reading and learning skills. With prayer, love, patience and presence, the Sisters served over 5,500 children and their families.
Sister Mary George’s commitment to serve the people of God and using her gifts as a teacher helped students gain self-confidence as well as improve their reading and learning skills. Her love and care for God’s people is strengthened by her Benedictine life, where hospitality and welcoming each person as Christ is key.
The gentle encouragement offered by Sister Mary George has inspired many people. Recently, a former second grade student of Sister Mary George’s let her know she was heading off to college to become a teacher. She said, “I’m going to watch out for the kids who can’t keep up, like you did with me.”
While Sister “retired” at the age of 90 in 2013 after her Sister Margaret Carolyn’s passing, she remains far from retired. At 92, she continues to be active in ministry, working in the monastery support services as well as tutoring students.
Always open to where God is calling her to serve, Sister Mary George asks for prayers and assures SOAR! and its donors of her prayers and thanks.