Identical Twin Sisters Remain Active in Retirement
By S. Mary Bodde
Identical twin sisters, Sisters Florence and Therese Sliva, are a busy twosome around the Motherhouse. They distribute and post notices from the Hospitality Office. On Sundays they staff the Front Desk in Mother Margaret Hall, and on Mondays they sort and distribute mail to the Motherhouse Sisters mailboxes.
“That’s a big job,’ S. Therese says, ‘because it’s two days’ worth of mail.”
“We walk a lot,” S. Florence adds. “In Mother Margaret Hall we also deliver mail to the offices (on the fifth floor especially). And we take care of the food in our residence area, distributing it to each of the Sisters. We call that our ‘special delivery.’”
About their dressing alike, S. Florence says, ‘It’s one way to find each other in a crowd – just like the military. Besides if we dressed differently, it would be just as hard for others to remember what color or style one of us wore and who she would be when they would meet us.”
They sometimes have almost overlapping experiences. Like the time S. Therese mistakenly put a bundle of her own clothes in the parish collection box for the poor. S. Florence, without knowing S. Therese had done so, dreamed that this had transpired. S. Florence adds, “The older we get, the more receptive we are to each other.”
Sisters Therese and Florence were members of the Vincentian Sisters of Charity of Bedford, Ohio, from 1945 until 2004, when the Vincentian Sisters of Charity merged with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. They remember seldom serving on the same missions. Because, separated alphabetically by first name, S. Florence was near the beginning of the alphabet and S. Therese near the end. On only one mission were they together, “And twice I got a message from the clinic that was supposed to be given to Florence,” S. Therese said.
“It was better to be separated so we could develop our own personalities,” she added.