News & Events
Thomasine Knowlton, CSJ
We Remember Her
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter.
Sister Thomasine Knowlton, CSJ
January 7, 1933 – December 5, 2021
“Attention to the fine points shows the training of the scholar every time.” That quote resonates with those Sisters who studied Latin in the Novitiate with Sister Finbarr. According to that statement, Sister Thomasine was a consummate scholar, beginning at an early age.
Mary Eleanor Knowlton was born in Framingham to Thomas and Mary Knowlton. She was preceded in death by her parents and her only sibling, her brother Thomas. Her education at St. Stephen’s School, Framingham, and at Sacred Heart High School, Newton, brought her into contact with the Sisters of St. Joseph. Following graduation Thomasine began studies at Framingham State College to become a teacher. After one year she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph where her desire to teach found fulfillment.
Thomasine was a self-professed “staunch believer in the Catholic School”. Her teaching ministry attests to that fact. Thomasine enjoyed a long tenure as a secondary school teacher at Matignon, Marian, and Cardinal Spellman High Schools. Those who observed her work described Thomasine as a woman of “high intelligence, personal integrity, with a true sense of dedication”. Her classroom displayed a “happy, open environment that indicated great rapport between teacher and student”.
In accordance with Sister Finbarr’s observation, Thomasine’s love of learning caused her to excel as a student, resulting in her selection for a program of study at Fordham University. There she mastered the Russian language and brought it into the curriculum of Matignon High School, then Marian High School, and ultimately to Spellman.
It was her thirty-six-year tenure at Spellman that served as the highlight of her ministry. Beginning as a teacher of Latin and Russian, Thomasine soon became assistant principal, principal, and finally, president of a thriving school. “Sister T” endeared herself to faculty, students, and parents alike because of her sincere dedication to all who comprised the school community.
Fittingly, Sister Thomasine was recognized for her role in providing quality education both by the Spellman community, who established a scholarship in her honor, and by Stonehill College, who presented her with the President’s Award for Excellence.
In recent years when failing health brought her to the Framingham community, Thomasine acknowledged limitations but did not let them impede her involvement in the life of the community. Thomasine was ever gracious and graced, bringing joy to all who knew her. May she now enjoy the reward for her life of dedication and for her “attention to the fine points”.
Given by Judith Costello, CSJ
December 13, 2021