My Law Life

by Scott Ealy (Effingham, Illinois, USA)

Shaping Young Lives / Sister Susan





Participating in the “Shamrock Race To The Cross” this weekend, I pondered my substantial indebtedness to Sacred Heart Parish and Grade School in Effingham, which I attended from 1965-1974.  (I graduated from eighth grade – with 19 classmates – during ceremonies held at the “new” Sacred Heart Church in May of ’74).


My core values were shaped in the classroom, in church, and on the playgrounds at Sacred Heart – on issues of justice and fair play, in particular.


Many of our instructors left lasting impressions.


One especially winsome soul was Sister Susan Antonacci, our 6th grade home room teacher.

Sister Susan’s affection for each student, and each life, was something to behold.


Blessed with many talents, including the gift of enthusiasm, the red-haired Sister Susan was a marvelous educator who often would read aloud to us from classic works with first-rate, role-playing expression.

She also exhibited outstanding musical abilities — and musical tastes ranging from The Carpenters to David Bowie, as I recall.

And she spoke frequently with us about the less fortunate and the tough issues of the day, begging our young minds to think deeply (without ever having to make the request verbally).


With her caring kindness and the affection that she so easily displayed, Sister Susan made a difference everywhere, encouraging each of us to live in similar fashion.




In my childhood, there was a fictional television program, “The Flying Nun,” which ran for several seasons into the late 1960s on ABC-TV.  Well, we had the real Flying Nun at Sacred Heart in Sister Susan Antonacci!





[Ironically, the unforgettable “Sister Susan” departed our world at the much too early age of 50 on the last Monday in June of the year 2000 from injuries sustained in a St. Charles County, Missouri, auto accident].







Scott Ealy



Written by scottealy

June 27, 2010 at 2:27 pm

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