Janice Matthies, SNJM
On a very, very, very hot July 4, 1942, three boys and one girl were born at different hospitals in the Portland area. I was that one girl, the first of four children, Susan, Rodger and Rebecca, born to Fred and Dorothy Matthies.
After attending Sitton Elementary School for three years, I went on to attend St. Ignatius School from the 4th to the 8th grades and to St. Mary’s Academy for high school. Becoming a sister of the Holy Names entered my thoughts in the 7th and 8th grades and all during high school the idea persisted in my mind. I wrote my letter asking to enter the congregation, and I was accepted and entered the novitiate on July 25, 1960 with a magnificent group of women.
From 1960 to 1965, I was a student at Marylhurst College. After graduating, I taught the primary grades up and down the I-5 corridor—in Portland, St. Phillip Neri School, St. Peter’s School, Holy Redeemer School and Holy Cross School. In Salem, I taught at St. Vincent’s School, and St. Joseph’s School. In Eugene, I taught at O’Hara School and in Medford I taught at Sacred Heart School. My teaching career continued at St. Frederic’s in St. Helens and St. Frances in Bend. Besides enjoying my life as a teacher I became principal at St. Stephens in Portland. Along the way I went to school at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Ca. and received my Master’s in Theology in 1980.
I taught for 44 years. My greatest delight was teaching the primary grades and watching the faces of those young children when they discovered they could read. Their world of learning was being expanded! What a thrilling experience for both of us. I also loved introducing them to the world of art, poetry and music.
Currently I am privileged to act as the Holy Names representative for those sisters living in assisted living, skilled care and memory units at Mary’s Woods.
I thank God every day for the wonderful opportunities and education I have received during these past 52 years. I am grateful to my family, friends and to the Sisters of the Holy Names for the many gifts that they have given to me.