Monday, November 17, 2014


There are times in life when you think you know someone, especially those very close to you like family.My Aunt Mary Lee, we call her ML, has been ever present in my life. ML has been one of my biggest supporters in my life, there with words of love an encouragement for my entire life. She is my Godmother and a Catholic Nun in the Ursuline Sisters. Over the years ML has never once forgotten about me on a holiday or special day. I know ML has been a teacher, and administrator and an anchor for the family, spending most of her career working at a church that generations of my family has been baptized, confirmed, married and buried .

Sometimes you can overlook the great work people do when you are not looking. Now, even as much as I have been around and enjoyed time with my aunt, the majority of her life she has spent on her own, with the Ursuline mission in her view. Recently, ML was awarded the Alumna of the year from her High School, Ursuline High School. I was happy to attend the mass and ceremony. During the ceremony the Alumni Association President gave a remarkable introduction for my Aunt. It was amazing to see how much impact ML has had on the community. When they read through her list of work, professional and charity, I was humbled. ML has spent her entire life, all of it, at the service of others. Not here and there charity work, or donations, but a lifetime of devotion and dedication. I cannot fathom more than 50 years of humbly serving God, the poor, the marginalized, students, families, abused women, children and just about any group of overlooked people. Simply stating my Aunt is a Nun is such an understatement. ML's counterpart award winner called my Aunt the "Queen of the East Side." This is a successful Doctor, making a living running a highly successful and profitable medical business, calling my Aunt the Queen. This made me laugh, it was like I was meeting a whole different side of ML.

During her thank you speech ML was entirely humbled. All she could speak to was her thankfulness for what Ursuline had given her and her lifelong service to the Catholic Church. She was taught to be of service. She thanked her parents and siblings for their support. She continues to grow in her faith even after 50 dedicated years. I have never seen my Aunt complain about not having a nice car, a great set of clothes, a house or apartment, jewelry or fancy electronics. She was made to serve.

I look at myself in this light and I am humbled. How many times do I let my self interest cloud things. How many times have I let a little materialism get in the way. How much of my time to I spend serving others? I am blessed with a bounty of love from my family, a family of my own, and a nice career. I have looked inside a bit since ML's celebration day, and looked at how I can serve more. Whether service to my kids, my wife, my workers, the opportunity is there to be more like the Queen of the East Side, and focus on service.

Are you made to serve?

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