A beloved Edmonton nun who placed a high value on education and ended up having a west Edmonton school named after her has passed away.
Sister Annata Brockman died early Tuesday morning at the age of 89. An elementary/junior high school in the Hamptons neighbourhood was named after her.
“For the children and for all of us actually, she was very much the glue that brings us together,” Principal Denis Gauthier said.
“Her words, her love, her warmth, her best wishes, and her guidance, her gentle wisdom, is very much and will always be an inspiration.”
Sister Annata was born in Middle Lake, Saskatchewan in 1927, the eighth in a family of twelve children. Sister Annata always placed a high value on education, starting with her own.
She received an education very few women of her generation ever dreamed of, was a pioneer for women in leadership and a strong advocate for equality.
She obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree, a Bachelor of Theology Degree, one Masters Degree in Educational Administration and another in Theology. She also became a member of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul (Halifax).
When she was featured as a Global Edmonton Woman of Vision in 2011, Sister Annata admitted she was reluctant to become a nun, because she dreamed of getting married and having children.
Watch Below: Lesley MacDonald profiled education advocate Sister Annata Brockman in November 2011.
When she was told by her Mother Superior she had a calling, she initially looked for all kinds of ways to get around it. But in the end, she accepted it was God’s will for her.
Sister Annata taught in Nova Scotia and British Columbia before coming to Alberta in 1960. She spent 21 years as a teacher and principal with Edmonton Catholic Schools.
After retiring from teaching she became a Pastoral Associate Minister at St. Joseph’s Basilica in downtown Edmonton. She continued to be actively involved in education.
She was also a beloved figure at Sister Annata Brockman Elementary Junior High School (355 Hemingway Road). Since the school opened in 2010, Sister Annata had greeted children and parents on the first day of school, but this year was her last.
Watch Below: Sept. 1, 2016 was an exciting time for students at Sister Annata Brockman because they’re back at school with their friends, but they’re also saying goodbye to a very dear friend who has been with them since the very beginning. Erin Chalmers reports.
“It’s a thrill because my whole life is a life with people. Not with saints, with people — and they are so special,” Sister Annata told Global News back in September.
On Sept. 1, students lined up for a chance to hug the Sister and say what would be their final goodbye. After 88 very active years her health was beginning to fail, so Sister Annata was moving to Halifax where she would be cared for by her order.
In the wake of her passing, an Edmonton Catholic Schools crisis response team is at the school talking with children. A prayer table in the foyer was also set up for children to drop off prayers.