Sr. Monica Wood, a teacher and librarian, successfully combined these roles throughout her career in education to accent the importance of research and information.
After entering the Community of the Sisters of Charity of New York in 1952, Sr. Monica began an extensive teaching career in 1955. She taught at St. Denis School in Yonkers, St. Raymond in the Bronx, St. John the Evangelist in Manhattan, and at the high school level at Cardinal Spellman in the Bronx, and Cathedral in Manhattan, where she later served as Chairperson of the History Department.
Sr. Monica earned a bachelor’s degree in History from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. She continued her postgraduate studies to earn a master’s degree in History from Manhattan College, a master’s degree in Theology from Providence College, and a master’s degree in Library Science from St. John’s University. In 1972, she held the first of several increasingly demanding roles as librarian at St. Raymond High School for Boys.
After serving as librarian at St. Raymond, St. Catharine Academy and Mt. St. Michael Academy in the Bronx, Sr. Monica was appointed Library Director at St. John’s University on Staten Island. During this time, she prepared an annotated bibliography of women religious and their educational endeavors among Native Americans. She also volunteered her time to teach inmates at the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility.
Continuing as a school library director for several years following, in 2001 she became the Director of Library Services at the Corrigan Memorial Library at St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, managing a collection of over 100,000 bound volumes, including rare publications dating to the 16th Century. Sr. Monica was able to blend the “old with the new” in research materials and techniques, offering workshops on investigative methods, available sources and the collection materials.
After retirement from librarianship and teaching, Sr. Monica volunteered at Cabrini Nursing Home in Dobbs Ferry. Today Sr. Monica enjoys volunteering with the College of Mount Saint Vincent Office of Campus Ministry where she prepares the altar linens for Masses in the Chapel, a task that requires careful attention, preciseness and great reverence.
by Mindy Gordon, Director, Archives