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The day she was born, Mildred Marie Talemal was baptized at St. Michael Church, Derby, CT. With her father Felix a native of Sicily and her mother Rosalia of Poland, each speaking only their native language, the couple quickly learned English so they could communicate with each other and their four children.
First-born Mildred Marie attended Lincoln School in Ansonia, CT, and Nazareth Academy in Philadelphia. She sought entrance to the CSFNs after her high school graduation without her father’s approval. He brought her back to Connecticut where she worked and looked after her three younger brothers.
At age 21, she returned to Torresdale and entered the community. As a novice, she received the name Sr. M. Matylda. She returned to her baptismal name as soon as it was permitted after Vatican II.
Sr. Mildred Marie earned a B.A. from Manhattan College, NY, and a master’s from Marywood College in Scranton, PA. During her 50-year-plus teaching career, she particularly focused on preparing students for careers in business. She taught in Baltimore, MD; Pennsylvania; Worcester, MA, and Brooklyn, queens and Long Island, NY.
Her limited knowledge of Polish caught up with Sr. Mildred Marie when she taught at St. Mary’s School in Worcester, where she was expected to teach the language. Solution: She and a more fluent sister traded the Polish class for a religion class.
Such ingenuity followed her throughout her teaching career; she was known by parents and students as an excellent teaching. Her students were well prepared in typing, stenography and other commercial subjects.
Sr. Mildred Marie was considered a “kind and gentle mother” by both the school communities she served and her extended family. She also is remembered as a loyal friend who regularly assured her fellow sisters: “Don’t worry; our Lord will take care of it.”
Cane in hand and armed with her quick smile, she retired to Monroe, CT, in 1991. She died quietly the morning of March 26.