For 62 years Sister Julie Carmel shared her generous, loving spirit and tremendous teaching skills with elementary school children and families in Notre Dame schools from Covina in southern California to Portland, Oregon. Nearly 30 of those years were spent at Madonna del Sasso School and Parish in Salinas.
Former principal at Madonna, Sr. Barbara Matasci said that “Sr. Julie served as classroom teacher, librarian, computer teacher, teacher aide, yard duty supervisor. She gave generously, had lots of patience with her students, was ready to hear of special circumstances that made each student’s ‘excuse’ acceptable. In the parish she was a greeter and Eucharistic Minister; she found joy in bringing Communion to the homebound.”
Carmela grew up in the San Jose area where she graduated from Notre Dame High School, before entering the Novitiate at Saratoga. She loved her family and often shared happy memories of growing up with her brothers and sisters, especially times at their ranch near Mt. Hamilton. “Having Sr. Julie/Aunt Carmie as a member of our family has always been a blessing to us,” says, Barbara Torrison, a niece. “My sister Julie and I were always so proud we had an aunt who was a nun. And not just any nun either. She was special. When we were children and would visit her, we loved sitting on her lap and scratching her white starchy ‘bib’. We got the biggest kick out of that.” Aunt Carmie made sure that they always went home with the treasured medals, rosaries and holy cards.
When the Province Center opened in Belmont in 2003, Sr. Julie became a vital part of the founding community. Because of her daily walks she also came to know many people in the neighborhood. After she moved to Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland, neighbors frequently asked about “that friendly Sister who walked by every day and always stopped to say hello.”
As Sr. Julie Carmel celebrates 75 years as a Sister of Notre Dame, her Sisters, family, and friends are grateful for every minute of these years and for her generous and loving spirit.