"How good is the Good God!" – St Julie Billiart
Sister Charlotte Francis Wickes was born Mary Frances Wickes in Somerville, Massachusetts to parents, Francis and Charlotte (Devereux) Wickes. She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur on August 4, 1949, making her First Vows in 1952 and Final Vows in 1957. She graduated from St. Joseph High School in Somerville, where the seed of her vocation was planted by many wonderful SNDdeN teachers. She earned a BA in English and History from Emmanuel College, as well as an MA in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She also received a Post Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Ministry from Emmanuel College.
Sister Charlotte taught in several schools in the greater Boston area, including St. Mary, Cambridge; North Cambridge Catholic High School; St. Jerome, Weymouth; St. Mary, Danvers; St. John and Bishop Fenwick, Peabody. She led teacher training in Religious Education for the Archdiocese of Boston and was coordinator of religion for the Notre Dame schools. She was also a Director of Religious Education at St. Thomas, Peabody.
Sister Charlotte went peacefully home to her good God on November 2, 2021 at Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, Mass. at the age of 89.
Sister. Charlotte is survived by many dear cousins, including Linda Manzelli of Stoneham and Rosemary Bouzane of Milton, and James and Diane Lawson of Florida. She is also survived by her Sisters and Associates in the Notre Dame de Namur community, her many friends and former students, and the devoted staff of the St. Julie Billiart Residential Care Center.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, November 11, at 10:30 am at Our Lady Queen Chapel on the SNDdeN property at 30 Jeffrey's Neck Road in Ipswich, Mass. The Mass will be preceded by a wake service at 10 a.m. in the chapel. If you would like to attend, please call to register at 978-356-4381, as due to COVID-related restrictions there is a limit on the number attendees that can be in the chapel.
The following is a reflection that Sister Charlotte wrote in 2019 on the occasion of her 70th Jubilee as a SNDdeN:
I grew up as an only child, but it was a happy childhood. When my dad, an optician, served in WWII, my mother and I moved in with my grandmother. She had room in her heart for everybody.
I attended Notre Dame schools from first grade through high school and loved the Sisters. I entered the novitiate right after high school and went to Emmanuel College to get a BA in English and History. I later got a degree in Religious Studies from Catholic University.
I taught all the grades, from 1-12, and enjoyed all of them. No favorites! When I was quite young I served as principal of St. Mary's, a big school with 850 students. Later I was appointed as the Religious Education Supervisor for 50 Notre Dame schools. I missed teaching, but the work turned out to be very fulfilling. I loved being able to see and help so many Sisters in their classrooms. I also loved helping teachers in the Diocese become comfortable with Vatican II.
When I was no longer working full time, I volunteered to help junior high children with reading and help adults learn English. I am a teacher at heart.
At this time of Jubilee, I am grateful. I have always loved being a Sister of Notre Dame.
St. Laurence O'Toole School, Lawrence, Mass.
St. Augustine School, Lawrence, Mass.
St. Mary School, Cambridge, Mass.
St. Mary School, Lynn, Mass.
St. James School, North Weymouth, Mass.
St. Mary of the Annunciation School, Danvers, Mass. – Principal
St. Mary School, Waltham, Mass.
North Cambridge Catholic High School, Cambridge, Mass. – Guidance Counselor
Bishop Fenwick High School, Peabody, Mass.
St. John the Baptist School, Peabody, Mass.
Service to the Sisters
Ipswich Provincial Council, Ipswich, Mass.
Province Secretary, Ipswich, Mass.