Sally Slyngstad, SNJM
I was born, the fourth of seven children, in New Jersey in 1947. Most of us were educated in Catholic schools, some from kindergarten through college. We spent many vacations in Worcester, MA visiting with my Mom’s relatives, principally my grandparents and their siblings. I learned to love and respect older folks at an early age. My grandmother’s sister (Aunt Tuse, who lived in Boston) was a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, and my mom’s brother (Uncle David of Amherst) was a Catholic priest. Catholicism had deep roots in our early years. Some of my most treasured memories are from the many days spent in Worcester.
My family relocated from New Jersey to Oakland, CA in January 1963 due to a change in my dad’s employment. I met the Sisters of the Holy Names after enrolling in Holy Names High School in January of my sophomore year. I entered the community in 1969 after completing a B.A. at the University of California-Berkeley. I believe I was influenced by the spirituality, joy, fun, competence and good sense of the Sisters I encountered during the two and a half years I spent at HNHS.
During the year as a postulant, I completed a teaching credential at Holy Names College (now HNU) and later earned a M.A. at USF. My first seven years of ministry were spent teaching in elementary school and the next 10 in parish ministry. I then spent 12 years serving in California Province Leadership. Next came two years in non-profit development work, after which I served nine years as principal of Holy Names High School. Each of these varied experiences held abundant blessings, along with sometimes surprising challenges. For each I am very grateful.
I have been graced by the women and men, SNJMs and our colleagues, with whom I shared these years and am deeply blessed by the many children and adults I met in ministry along the way. I thank our God for the support and love of my family these many years and the goodness and blessings that have come from our SNJM community. Our God is indeed good and my life has been a wonderful journey.