Profile in Ministry: Sr. Mary Domicele Yestonsky

Profile in Ministry: Sr. Mary Domicele Yestonsky

Teacher, St. Thomas Aquinas School, Cleveland, Ohio

The love of learning and teaching has kept me in the classroom these forty years. I believe that education is truly one of the most significant and lasting ways to influence all children, but especially urban youth. Having grown up in the city myself, it is the city that has captured my heart. The faith and courage of “city dwellers” has been important to my spiritual development. I am inspired by people who face seemingly insurmountable challenges knowing and trusting that the Lord will make a way.

As a child I loved school and always wanted to be a teacher. My earliest memory was practicing lessons on my cat and later, on my brother and sister. Interestingly, the cat was a more willing pupil! In both elementary and high school, I had the chance to tutor. Then when I became a teacher, I found that working with intermediate children affords me many opportunities to keep growing. Interaction with parents and other teachers as well as the constant turnover of students, curricula and educational practices provide added satisfactions and skills.

Entering the Sisters of Notre Dame who were known for their educational expertise was a natural choice since it went along with my own inclination. During the first half of my teaching career, I taught students aged 8 to 11 in Cleveland suburbs, and later, in Washington, DC. In that work I gained wonderful memories and friendships, yet I really longed to work with children in the city. I was delighted in 1992 when I was given an opportunity to return to Cleveland to teach at St. Francis of Assisi where I enjoyed supervising parish music and children’s choirs. Teaching Grade 4 at St. Thomas Aquinas School, Cleveland, occupies much of my time now, although this year, I was privileged to companion a candidate for the Associates of Notre Dame. Crocheting, visiting museums, walking, visiting and reading are among my favorite personal activities.