SOMERVILLE, TX — The community of Somerville is mourning the loss of a mother, a teacher, and a friend after the death of Sister John of Saint Ann Catholic Parish early Wednesday morning.
“She was a mother, my second mother, and to the whole community, she was like a Mother Theresa,” said Frank Maldonado of Somerville.
Sister John came to Somerville, Texas from Northern Italy as a nun for the Diocese of Austin. After a long tough battle with cancer, Sr. John died in the St. Ann Convent surround by parishioners who were her family. Throughout her nearly sixty years as a member of the community, and serving St. Ann’s Parish, Sr. John has changed the lives of many who had the pleasure of meeting her.
“We’ve been here about 15 years, we retired out of Houston and have been up here for 15 years, and she was a big part of our life,” says Rodney “Buddy” Walters, a St. Ann’s Parish Council Member.
Sr. John has been a part of many lives in Somerville, all since childhood… as there wasn’t anyone she loved more than a child.
“Kids around the community were her kids, even if she didn’t teach them, she still accepted them as her own. She would hug them, and care, she would always show that love, that motherly love,” said Maldonado.
Sr. John even had her very own preschool, the Ecumenical Day Care center, better known as Sister John’s school, where she taught multiple generations.
“She probably taught more people that were not members of our parish preschool, than actual member’s children,” said Walters.
Hours after her passing, community members turned to social media writing tributes to her on Facebook. With many recalling their personal favorite memories with Sr. John, many are crediting their strong faith, to her.
“She was a strong believer in God, no matter what happened, she always stayed positive and believed in prayer and strength, and in your faith, never give up on your faith,” shared Maldonado.
While Somerville mourns the loss of an important leader in their community, many say, it’s the love for Christ she taught children that's going to be missed the most.
“Even my own kids were taught by her, and how she taught them how to pray, recite the rosary, that’s something you will never forget,” said Maldonado.
“She’s in a better place, but she’ll always be here [in our hearts],” said Walters.
Funeral arrangements for Margherita Giovanna Della Morte, ‘Sister John’, have not yet been announced.