they met on the links

On a late August Saturday in 2016, we met up at a driving range with a few sisters who’ve always had a love for the game of golf. It was a beautiful day and these ladies were ready for a long drive – off the tee, that is. Sr. Rachel McGuire was one of the first to arrive and, in no time, was in her stance and ready. Though she hadn’t hit the ball recently, she certainly hadn’t lost her ability to make contact with the ball and some pretty impressive shots followed.

The course pro was in the middle of a lesson when he approached and shared that his student was mildly complaining about his back being stiff when the pro pointed to the sisters stating, “if they can do it . . .” I told him they were Sisters of St. Joseph and that Sr. Rachel was 97 years old. He was stunned and quickly relayed that to his student. A few minutes later, the student, Harry Izbicki, asked if her name was McGuire; apparently she taught him at Erie’s Cathedral Prep high school. Sister Mary Rachael McGuire ministered as a teacher for more than 55 years in several Erie Diocesan schools, including Cathedral prep. During her active ministry years, she also worked at Saint Vincent Hospital and was a pastoral minister at St. Julia parish in Erie.