On Sunday, December 9th, Sr. Mary Daniel celebrated her 60th anniversary of profession! Since it was a Sunday we transferred the celebration to yesterday.
Sr. Mary Daniel is one of our few "local" vocations coming from Millburn, NJ just a few miles from Summit. Florence was the 2nd youngest of 13 children born to Daniel and Angela Sammartino on 27 October 1924. Sister fondly recalls how her family would often come up to Rosary Shrine when the monastery was still in the old house on 63 New England Ave. Her mother would often help out. Flossie? No, she stayed away although she told us yesterday that once when she was about 6 and came to visit the sisters with her mother she announced that, "I want to be a nun in the cage!" (When we had grilles in the parlor!)
After graduating from St. Elizabeth College, Convent Station, NJ, Sister worked for a while at NJ Bell Telephone Company. She then entered the monastery on 30 April 1946, becoming a "nun in the cage!" She received the habit on November 23, 1946, receiving the name Sr. Mary Daniel of God. She made profession on December 9, 1947. Three years later she made Perpetual Vows and was one of the group of nuns that made Solemn Profession on November 21, 1955.
Sr. Mary Daniel has always been known for common sense, a warm heart, a dry sense of humor and the ability to get things done! She held many responsible offices in the community including novice mistress and prioress. She established our vestment department (now closed) and is extremely gifted at sewing and various handicrafts.
Sr. Mary Daniel has a treasure trove of stories and jokes that have become "classics" in the community. So much so that every new-comer has to hear them! "Inferno" "This is Tess" "Pat and Mike" continue to be funny no matter how many times we hear them due to Sr. Mary Daniel's ability to tell a great story.
Community lore is also a part of Sister's storehouse of memories. Our favorite is the time when as novice mistress she went sledding with the novitiate sisters. Back then wrist watches weren't permitted so Sr. Mary Daniel stuffed a wind up alarm clock in her apron pocket. The young sisters finally persuaded her to go down on the toboggan with them. Zoom! Down they went, hitting the compost heap which sent them flying in all directions! As the sled hit the compost heap the alarm clock hidden in the folds of Sister's clothes started ringing much to the amusement of the Sisters!
We thank God for the blessing of more than 60 years of religious life and pray that her example may encourage the young women of today to follow in her footsteps!