Follow Up with Sister Maria Elena Whitney, SJS
After 70 plus years as a professed member of the Sister Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, Sister Maria Whitney (previously featured in 2016) continues to be an inspiration, bringing happiness and joy wherever she goes. Her sense of humor and her ability to tell a story make her a sought after member of the community.
Sister Maria Elena spent 59 years teaching or serving as principal in schools throughout California. Her favorite class to teach was kindergarten, and she enjoyed sharing her musical abilities on piano. Another highpoint for Sister was driving the students to various field trips and games.
Now, because of limited mobility, Sister Maria Elena can no longer drive. It was difficult to transfer her from her wheelchair into a car. There was always a possibility that either Sister or her caretaker might get hurt. This caused anxiety and unneeded stress.
Thanks to the generosity of SOAR! donors, the Sisters received a grant for an accessible van. Now Sister Maria Elena and the other Sisters with mobility issues can travel safely and comfortably and not worry. The van allows the aging Sisters to live with the utmost dignity and enhances their quality of life. It’s simpler to get to doctor’s appointments and to drive visit another Sister. An added bonus is the Sisters can easily join in on a drive to pick up a coffee or a refreshing ice cream.
Sister Maria Elena’s life has been impacted by her dedication to her mission. She made an enormous difference in the lives of so many students, but her life was also touched by them. She carries them in her heart, remembers them by name and prays for them every day.
Sister’s mission continues to be one of love and service. With the wisdom that comes from a life of service, Sister shares, “We must never tire of doing good to others and to ourselves. That is what God wants us to do. It is God’s will.”