Sister Lawrence Marie Hayden, FMSC

Sister in the 1940s I was born in Little Ferry, NJ on July 21, 1925 to Charles and Lillian Hayden. My sisters Carla and Marilyn, came later. I was baptised Lillian Estelle in St. Mary's Church in Hackensack, NJ and five years later I made my first Holy Communion.

I went to school at St. Joseph's in Bogota, NJ staffed by our Franciscan Sisters. They were so dedicated to our spiritual and educational formation. Little did I know that I would meet them later on in my life.

I went to Bogota High School. Among all the subjects I studied, the Business Curriculum was my forte. These subjects intrigued me so much that I was asked to be the bookkeeper for the school cafeteria.

Sister in 1986 Since I attended public high school I attended Religion classes by the Carmelite Fathers of my parish. During these years I did altar work on Saturdays, led the children in processions, and attended Monday night Novenas in honor of the Blessed Mother.

During my senior year I met my former 7th grade teacher, Sr. Grace Vincent. Sister asked me if I thought I would like to become a nun. I said, "No, I am going to be a bookkeeper."I never gave it another thought! One night I awoke and said to myself, "Why can't I stay asleep?" and answered myself, "I know, I want to be a nun!" My instant decision went so deep in my heart and soul that I knew it was the Will of God for me. I didn't or wouldn't question it.

My parents thought I was too young and should wait a year. I accepted this as God's will. The guidance teacher steered me into a position ar Emigrant Savings Bank in NYC. I went for an interview and got a job in the auditing department. It was a fine place to work. At the request of my mother I remained there a second year.

Sister in the new millenium In September 1945, with a free heart, I was accepted as a postulant in our Community. I eagerly sought to do the Will of God forever. There was a pang in my heart thinking that I would never do bookkeeping again nor would I ever again see a piece of chocolate cake! As a postulant I was a group mother with Sr. Mary Robert to 8th grade girls in St. Joseph's Home. As a novice I baked the hosts that would be consecrated at Mass, which was a joy! After my profession in 1947 I taught 1st grade in Assumption School in Peekskill for three years. In those days there were at least 63 children in the 1st grade. I still hear from some of my students today.

I left Assumption to work in the business office of St. Joseph's Home. It was a good feeling to return to the work I felt called to - what I thought I gave up forever! When Mother Cecilia visited from Rome she decided that my ministry would be better served outside this office. I was sent to the Assisium Business School in NYC to teach typing. Three years later I went to Ladycliff College in Highland Falls to assume the position of College Bursar. During these years I completed my BA at Ladycliff and earned a MBA from NYU. My fifteen years at Ladycliff were very happy ones.

In 1972 I was appointed Provincial Treasurer. Eleven years later I was employed by the Archdiocese of New York, working for the Commission of Interparish Finance, where I met many wonderful priests and sisters.

In 1986 I left the Commission as I was appointed Administrator of the American Province. Nine months later I was elected Provincial, serving for 8 years. The next three years found me working back at the Assumption Rectory! I left this ministry due to failing health, but in 2003 was recycled and again took on the job of Provincial Treasurer.

In retirement Sister said that, "Whatever the future holds is the Will of God and He will hold me in the palm of His hands."

Sister passed on to her eternal rest on March 24, 2014. Our lives and vocations are so much richer for her 67 loving years of service. We seek our consolation in knowing that she is in the loving arms of our Father.

Mt. St. Francis, Peekskill, NY
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