One is 105 years old and will mark 90 years as a religious sister in September. Another is 103 and still attends daily Mass. A third is 101 and left Ireland at age 15 to become a nun in the United States. For many of the faithful, nuns are the unsung heroines of the Catholic Church. Here are the stories of three on Long Island who have passed the century mark.
‘I loved teaching, especially math’
Sister Grace Regina Wingenfeld entered religious life when she was 15. In September, she will mark 90 years as a nun and on Nov. 9 she turns 106.
A legend among the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville, she was an accomplished math teacher for decades — known for getting the most recalcitrant of students to learn the science of numbers.
Her explanation of that talent? “When you like something, you can sell it,” she said.
“She’s brilliant,” said Sister Lenore Toscano, who brought Wingenfeld into the order’s Opening Word program that taught immigrant women English and math. “She prepared the women diligently, professionally, enthusiastically — and was quite a taskmaster, to tell you the truth.”
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