THERE WERE TIMES when my dad’s well-worn Chevy struggled to climb the steep hill where the church and school awaited, but a cranky means of transportation could scarcely discourage us from our Sunday pilgrimages from Clinton to West Fitchburg.
Sister Mary Bernard was there waiting. A Roman Catholic nun, clothed in a severe habit of black cloth, veil, and a starched white bib, my aunt was not allowed to visit us. So we went to her. It was the mid-1960s, and Dad’s older sister taught at a parochial school. While the adults sat in a classroom and visited, my siblings, cousins, and I, products of parochial school ourselves, had the run of the place.