When Sister Cecilia Wallace reflects on her life, she finds a sense of fulfillment and inner peace. “It is hard to explain,” she says, “but it’s about being able to be there for people and the children.” And Sr. Cecilia is certainly there for people. As Sr. Liz Tiernan relates, “No matter how often she is called on for help or advice, her natural serenity, faith in God, and belief in Notre Dame, remains constant. She is a quiet light, embodying all that is good about religious life.”
In earlier years Sr. Cecilia taught and was principal in Notre Dame elementary schools throughout California, Oregon and Washington. Rita Gleason, recently retired principal of Notre Dame High School, Belmont, was in Sr. Cecilia’s first grade classroom at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School, Redwood City. “She taught me to read, to write, to think and to reflect,” Ms. Gleason says. “She modeled what I tried to do as a principal: be attentive to one student at a time and let each one know that she is a special part of the Notre Dame community.”
A startling phone call from the Provincial Superior set Sr. Cecilia on a new path. The Sisters wanted her to be Superior at Notre Dame Villa, a ministry that became one of the most treasured experiences of her life. “I will never forget the peace among those elderly sisters,” she recalls. “There was true happiness in that house.”
After six years at Notre Dame Villa, Sr. Cecilia was asked to be the CCD Director for St. Lucy’s Parish, Campbell, and, later, religion coordinator for Resurrection School, Sunnyvale. Today, Sr. Cecilia is retired.
Looking back, she says, “I answered the call to belong to Notre Dame and I am grateful.”