Tuesday, August 15, was the 90th birthday of Sr. Marie Irene Breheny, SC. She was one of the most influential people in my life, starting when I was in high school. We kept in touch for many years. After I saw her a few years ago at a reunion, I sent her a birthday card and told her how much she meant to me. I’d like to share two life lessons I learned from her.
I was once having a terrible time with a math problem, unusual because I was one of the top students. I finally gave up and asked her for help. She took one look at my paper and said I had copied the problem wrong! Lesson: before you try to solve a problem make sure you understand it correctly.
Another time I couldn’t decide which of two options I wanted to do. She told me to flip a coin. The instant I saw the result my gut reaction (yay/darn) would tell me what I REALLY wanted. Lesson: find a way to help you reliably determine what you want and factor it in your decision making. Both these lessons have served me well through the years.
I truly believe that the twelve years I spent with the Sisters of Charity (grades 1-8 at St. Lawrence Academy in Manhattan before Seton) played a major role in who I am and whatever good I might have done. And no one had a greater impact on me than Sr. Irene. We kept in touch for many years, she was often better about it than I was. It was her faithfulness, her willingness to remain in my life that meant so much.”
Happy birthday, Sr. Irene, with love and gratitude!
Elizabeth Seton School
Yonkers, Class of 1963
Sister Irene is one of the participants in the Kittay House Walkathon to raise money for the Elizabeth Seton Pediatri Center.