Sister Ann Marie Daly was born in 1944. The oldest of five children, she grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Her neighborhood had many families, and young Sister Ann and her siblings had many children to play with. Her mother and father were staunch Catholics, and Sister Ann attended Catholic schools in Dorchester and Roxbury – St. Mark’s Grammar School and Notre Dame Academy.
In high school, she worked as a clinical secretary in a hospital. She attended Emmanuel College for one year before entering the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Of entering, she recalls that she felt that God was calling her. She was struck by the happiness that the Sisters she knew seemed to exude. “It was like falling in love,” she remembers. “I wanted to be an educator, like St. Julie Billiart.”
Sister Ann’s first mission was, as she describes it, a disaster. She had trained to be a high school teacher but was sent to the fourth grade, where she had little experience as a student-teacher. Despite this initial stumbling block, Sister Ann persevered and has enjoyed a long career in the education field.
Reflecting on her past 60 years of ministry, the experience which stands out most to her was her thirty-year ministry at the College of Our Lady of the Elms, in Chicopee, Mass. There, she worked with both undergraduate and graduate students on writing and the teaching of writing. She also began a tutorial center for students experiencing difficulties. At the time of her retirement, she was an Associate Professor of Education Emeritus. “This ministry meant the most to me,” she says, “because I was able to use my God-given gifts to help people.” During this time, she also wrote two books of poetry.
When considering the question of what it is that gives Sister Ann hope for the future, she replied: “the fact that the Sisters of Notre Dame have always been on the cutting edge of what is happening in the church gives me hope.”
Sister Ann now teaches a course on memoir writing at Fuller Village.