Relatives of sister who died 51 years ago visit the Mount

Mary Rose Ridgley visits with Sister Lennora Carrico in St. Ursula Hall.

Taking the name Sister Mary Esther, she taught elementary school in New Haven, Knottsville, and Owensboro, Ky., before being diagnosed with cancer in 1960. She died the day after Christmas that year, with Fred Ridgley serving as one of the pallbearers. “They said she never complained,” Mary Rose said.

After her sister’s death, Mary Rose and Fred Ridgley moved to the Boston area, where they lived for 34 years. They returned to Kentucky 15 years ago, Mary Rose said. Father Larry Ridgley was ordained a priest in 2002, after retiring from the U.S. Forestry Service. He is a pastor of four small churches in and around Grand Isle, Vt.

Mary Rose Ridgley hugs Sister Marie Brenda Vowels at the end of their visit. The two are from the same hometown.

The remaining members of Sister Mary Esther’s novitiate class celebrated 60 years in 2010. Those remaining are Sister Mary Cabrini, Sister Elaine, Sister Marie Goretti Browning, Sister Joan Walz, Sister Mary Jude Cecil, Sister Alfreda Malone, Sister Mary Angela Matthews, Sister Marie Carol Cecil, and Sister Amanda Rose Mahoney.



Sister Mary Esther Yates died of cancer at age 28, after being an Ursuline for 10 years.