Helen's message triggered some old memories of my earlier years. Our parish was St. Thomas the Apostle at 40th and Balboa in the Richmond District.
Prior to the school being built, our Catechism classes were held in the basement area below the church. There was one large space that had a built-in stage. It was a true multi-purpose room for all the parish - meetings of the various adult clubs and activities, including the Thomasonians teens/young adults age group. occasional parish luncheons or dinners, amateur shows and the Catechism classes. There were several smaller rooms that served as classrooms, too.
These classes were conducted primarily by two nuns, members of the Sisters of the Holy Family order, with the help of a few volunteers and one of the priests, who usually worked with the Confirmation preps.
Besides my mother, the one woman who most influenced how I lived my life was Sister Teresita, who was there with her partner every Thursday after school, Saturday mornings and every other Sunday at the 9:00 o'clock children's mass where we all sat together in the left-front section of the church. Her other parish was the St. Mary's on Van Ness Avenue - a big old church I believe was referred to as a Cathedral - long before the new one was built.
I couldn't tell how old she was - she was always in her wimple and black full-skirted clothing. I once saw a bit of her hair - it was gray - but her face was perennially young. She had a lovely singing voice and led us in hymns and had the wonderful gift of expressing the faith that was inspiring. She could discover talents in many of us and found ways for us to use those talents in the Church. Those few years with her are still precious to me. I expect she's singing with the Angels now, bless her.