As a young girl at St. Columbkille School in Los Angeles, Eloise knew that she wanted to be a Sister, “but didn’t let it show too much.” But she was always active, helping the Sisters teach catechism and bringing flowers and food to the sick in the parish….
Sister Christina Marie entered the SND community in Saratoga after graduating from Moreland Notre Dame High School in Watsonville. She taught her first first-grade class at St. Joseph’s School in San Jose and soon learned about Dr. Maria Montessori’s work with young children. In the simplicity and naturalness of Montessori’s methods, she found her life mission – bringing Dr. Montessori’s wisdom and great respect of children to the world.
After teaching in classrooms in San Jose, Los Angeles, and Marysville, Sister was assigned to Belmont where she opened the Notre Dame Montessori Preschool (now the Early Learning Center) and started the Early Childhood and Montessori Teacher Training programs at then College of Notre Dame. She has trained teachers at Seattle University, Chaminade University in Honolulu, and Notre Dame Seishin University in Okayama, Japan, and in India, the Philippines and Tahiti.
To understand Sr. Christina’s influence in the Montessori world, one need only to “google” her name! In 2010 Sr. Christina was honored with the American Montessori Society Lifetime Achievement Award.
For several years in retirement she worked with the Casa de la Cultura community center in Pajaro, a farm-worker community near Watsonville. CA. Once a week she taught parents how to teach their children. “The parents made hands-on materials that helped their young ones learn to speak and read English. Of course, the parents learned too,” says Sr. Christina with joy.
Today Sister resides at the Mercy Center in Oakland.