Sister of Charity Mary Ellen Roach Celebrates Diamond Jubilee
Sister Mary Ellen is a native of Denver, Colorado. She attended Holy Family Grade School and later graduated from Cathedral High School in 1961. It was there that Sister Mary Ellen met many women who would influence her decision to enter religious life.
“All of them put the desire in me to become a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati,” Sister Mary Ellen reflected. “I entered out of high school and received my training after entering the Community.”
Sister Mary Ellen received her bachelor’s degree in education from the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1968. In 1973, Sister received her master’s degree in learning disabilities from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado.
Sister Mary Ellen began her education ministry at St. Jude Elementary School, Cincinnati, in 1964. She served there until 1969 when she moved to Denver to begin more than 40 years of service at Loyola Catholic Grade School; her first assignment at the school was as an elementary teacher. In 1978, she was promoted to principal, a position she held for the next 33 years. The school closed in July 2011.
“The highlight of my life is the 42 years I have spent at Loyola Catholic Grade School,” Sister Mary Ellen continued. “My 33 years as principal were a wonderful challenge for me. I think the professional experience that meant the most was my experience with other principals in the Archdiocese of Denver over the years. Many of us have been together for many years and have developed a real ‘educational bond.’”
In her free time Sister Mary Ellen enjoys training her dogs with Sister of Charity Sue Verbiscus. “Training my dogs is the thing that has kept me going over the years,” she said. “Sister Sue and I have trained many dogs and have earned many titles over the years.”
As she reflects on her 60 years with the Community, Sister Mary Ellen says her happiest memories include Community life with Sisters Sue Verbiscus and the late Janet Marie Wehmhoff. “Community is the thing that gets us through the ‘trials of life,’ and I have a wonderful community that I have lived with and a wonderful extended community in the Denver area.”