Mad for…Mary

Be cheerful. Jesus will take care of everything. Let us pay no attention to people who do not know what they are saying. Let us trust in Jesus and our heavenly Mother, and everything will work out well. –St. Padre Pio

I’d like to take a moment today to wish one of the most genuinely cheerful and bright souls I ever have had the pleasure of meeting a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Mary Banta is the wife of Ed (pictured with her here) as well as a mother and grandmother. I had the good fortune of meeting her when she was the principal at St. Louis de Montfort several years ago.

Mary was a former school teacher who had just left her position at OLMC to fill an interim post as our top school administrator. She came in during tough circumstances and did an exceptional job, in large part because I think she could see in each child a point of goodness. She’s sunny!

I see Mary from time to time at mass, where she often sings in the choir, or just out and about in Carmel. I am fairly certain she is now retired, but she is definitely still quite busy. Even if we just run into each other while getting our nails painted, she never fails to say hello and come to inquire about my children.

Mary is a faithful, holy woman with a good sense of humor. She’s not afraid to be self-deprecating and she’s easy to be around. St. Therese of Lisieux, who is my very favorite saint, says “Even when alone, be cheerful, remembering always that you are in the sight of angels.” I suspect Mary follows that sage advice, considering her lovely positivity and ever present smile.

I hope your birthday is filled with laughter and love, Mary, because your life and the way you live it is very beautiful and worthy of celebration! Thank you for always reminding me with your genuine cheerfulness that we are the people of God– so we should SMILE and act like it!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARY BANTA!!

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