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Older Americans Continue to Make Their Mark

Since 1963, May has been observed as Older Americans Month. When the 2020 theme, “Make Your Mark,” was announced late last fall, novel coronavirus and COVID-19 were unheard of by most of the global community. No safe distancing, no sheltering in place, no self-quarantine.

Over the past three months, the segment of the US population hardest hit by the pandemic has been older Americans. Still, #MakeYourMark celebrates the invaluable contributions of Older Americans in our families and communities. It also calls on all of us to help make a difference in their lives, particularly during this ongoing health crisis when many elderly people have been in isolation for weeks.

Despite having their daily lives disrupted for nearly 10 weeks now, independent living residents at Chateau de Notre Dame have managed to find ways to stay social while still social distancing. Bingo, exercise routines, art activities and even a scavenger hunt arranged by students at Sacred Heart Academy have kept them active.

Among the winners of that scavenger hunt was Sister Angele Marie Sadlier, who will celebrate her 90th birthday later this year. Age nor threat of coronavirus manage to slow her down. After nearly 70 years of vowed life as a Carmelite nun, Sister Angele continues to make her mark.

Born November 10, 1930, Sister Angele describes her life from the beginning as “blessed.” She was the girl that her parents, Angela Viosca and Claus Sadlier Sr., had prayed for after four boys. After graduating high school at Mt. Carmel Academy, she answered God’s calling and joined the Carmelites in the Congregation of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Sister Angele pronounced her first vows in 1950 and perpetual vows in 1953.

She made her mark in education, teaching in New Orleans and Lacombe, serving as a campus minister at the McNeese Catholic Student Center in Lake Charles, and teaching at Loyola City College and Notre Dame Seminary.

During her career, Sister Angele earned degrees from Loyola University, the University of Notre Dame and Boston College.

She also went on sabbatical to attend Washington Theological Union in Washington, DC. While there, Sister Angele was assigned to the Carmelite friars’ formation team for young men preparing to become Carmelites and became director of the Carmelite Institute. After ten years in Washington, she came home to New Orleans in 2001 and served as spiritual assistant with two groups of lay Carmelites and administrator of the convent next to Mt. Carmel Academy.

Countless students over the years, from Louisiana to Washington, DC and beyond attest to the mark that the lifelong educator has made on their lives.

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