Distinguished Alumnae Announcement

Emma (Towson) Hatfield ‘95
One of the wonderful things about reconnecting with LFA grads is discovering how absolutely amazing our alumnae are. Each, in her own way, has battled life’s challenges, grown in wisdom, and continually aimed for success in life. It’s inspiring to hear of the everyday successes that we all share and also the awe-inspiring ones of those who find a way to make truly powerful differences in the lives of others.
This inspiration is the foundation of the LFA Alumnae Association’s Distinguished Alumnae Program. We want to share the sparks of pride, empowerment and discernment that accompany genuine inspiration. We want to celebrate the distinguished alumnae we call sisters (along with a few brothers), ensuring our current and former students have strong role models who share a common bond: Little Flower Academy.

The program’s mandate is to recognize and honour the outstanding members of our community who demonstrate the values and ideals upon which Little Flower Academy was founded by providing significant inspiration and having a significant positive impact upon the school community and lives of others. Selection of inductees carefully considers LFA’s core values and ideas: spirituality, integrity, respect, compassionate service, personal excellence and simplicity. These are a powerful combination of guiding principles, ones that can help shape a faithful, balanced and selfless person who is capable of improving the lives of many.

2015 (Inaugural) Inductee: Sr. Josephine Carney ‘38
Our inaugural Distinguished Alumna was certainly an easy selection. Nominated several times this year, Sister Josephine Carney ‘38 is an alumna with an incredibly strong bond to Little Flower and a shining role model of boundless love, enduring vivacity, and unwavering commitment to God.

Sr. Jo has shared her life with Little Flower, starting back in the mid-1930s. To sit down with Sr. Jo and hear about her early days at LFA is a wonderful experience for anyone who has had the privilege. She creates a vivid picture of her daily travel by foot and public transport from rural East Vancouver to campus. She fondly recalls how the Sisters of St. Ann made it possible for her to attend by providing (what we would call today) bursary or financial aid.

Her time as a student at LFA gave way to a firmly rooted connection that spans a remarkable eight decades. Sr. Jo has earned a mark of distinction as the sole person in our community to have been a student, a Sister of St Ann, an alumna, a teacher, and an administrator (she served as vice principal). To everyone and through the decades, foremost she has been a champion of Little Flower.

However, it’s not simply her dedicated years of bringing young women toward the light that sets Sr. Jo apart. She has a spunk and vigor that is extraordinary. Nearly blind and in her mid-90s, this nonagenarian has had the conviction to ride the bus and ferry from Victoria to Little Flower to attend alumnae events and school masses on a regular basis. She knows the bus drivers and the regular commuters. Rather than lamenting her failing sight, she is quick to explain that her blindness has been, in fact, a gift from God in so much as it opened doors for her to start new conversations with people she might not otherwise have spoken to. It was, in essence, a new opportunity to evangelize given to her when her influence to do so might have otherwise waned.

Sr. Jo has always had an unwavering love for God and honesty to share it with everyone she meets. Her confidence in God’s love has always given her the strength to be a light for others, pushing people to be their very best, for themselves and in faith. She in essence, embodies the mission and vision of the school.

In more recent years, Sr. Jo has often spoken about “seeds of hope.” Memories, be they of LFA or otherwise, are seeds sewn in our hearts which give way to our approach in the years that follow. Following her metaphor, the experiences we’ve shared at the school give us deep roots: a combination of faith and self-confidence that help to give us strength and define who we are and how we interact with the world. In an article last fall, Sr. Jo explained that, “Memories are the seeds of hope: During the good times we might forget God but during those really difficult times we survive with God’s help.” 

In that same article, Sr. Jo talked about her decision to become a Sister of St. Ann; some of her favourite memories through the years; and, many of the changes to uniform, campus and school life through the years.

After 80 years entwined with LFA’s history and mission, it’s only fitting that Sr. Jo breathes life into our Distinguished Alumnae Program. Her story and example will shine for all who enter Little Flower to see what our ladies can and do become.

Our hope is that the Distinguished Alumnae Program will bear witness to accomplishments that inspire both alumnae and current students. Surely a lifetime of service to our community is inspiration worth acknowledging. Sr. Jo’s legacy is, after all, our shared legacy.

Celebrate with us
Come join us and celebrate Sr. Jo’s lifetime of accomplishment and the impact she has had on both our community and the wider community in British Columbia at our Alumnae May Mass and Distinguished Alumnae Award Reception on Thursday May 7, 2015. Mass is at 1:30pm in the school Auditorium. Reception to follow in the LFA Dining Hall. While Sr. Jo’s age and frailty mean she is unable to attend in person, we will make every effort to have Sr. Jo join us by Skype or give a video message.

Let us know
Let us know who we should be celebrating as distinguished alumnae! Do you know an exemplary story worth telling? Please nominate a classmate or someone associated with the school that you believe has done great things in her life. The annual deadline for nominations is November 1, and nomination forms can be found at www.lfabc.org/distinguishedalumnae


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Tel: 604-738-9016
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