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Benedictine Sr. Anita Sherwood, a longtime teacher and principal, dies

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Benedictine Sister Anita Sherwood, who entered the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia when she was 15 and celebrated her 80th jubilee this year, died Dec. 4 at age 98.

She was born Nov. 3, 1918, in Lewinsville, Va., to Daniel and Honore Sherwood. She professed her first vows in 1936 and her final vows in 1939.

She served in several positions in parishes, including as pastoral assistant, director of ministries and coordinator of worship and sacraments. She taught for more than 45 years at several schools, including Linton Hall in Bristow, St. Benedict and St. Gertrude in Richmond, St. Charles Borromeo in Arlington and St. Rose of Lima in Hampton. She served as principal of St. Gertrude for 15 years.

Her parish assignments included St. Benedict and Epiphany in Richmond; St. Rose of Lima in Hampton; Prince of Peace in Chesapeake; St. Charles and St. Ann — both in Arlington; Sacred Heart in Hoadly; and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Lake Ridge.

She retired in 1999 to the Saint Benedict Monastery in Bristow. Sister Sherwood was knowledgeable about the Second Vatican Council, was sought after as a consultant and served on several diocesan committees.

She earned her bachelor’s from Mount SaintAgnes College in Baltimore and Mount Mercy College in Pittsburgh. She earned master’s degrees in theology and English through the University of Notre Dame and the University of Louvain, Belgium.

In 1989, Sister Sherwood went on a Holy Year Pilgrimage to Rome, where she had the opportunity to participate in a Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II in his private chapel. She received special recognition from the pope in the form of the John Paul II Benemerenti (well-deserved) medal Oct. 13, 2002 in a presentation at the Richmond Cathedral.

"Sr. Anita was a faithful member of our community for over 80 years," said Benedictine Sister Cecilia Dwyer, prioress of the Benedictine Sisters. "A woman with a monastic heart, she truly loved her God, believed in the pastoral grace of the Church and engaged students and parishioners in lifetime relationships."

Visitation will be Dec. 8 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Saint Benedict Monastery, 9535 Linton Hall Rd., Bristow. A funeral Mass will be offered at the monastery Dec. 9 at 10 a.m.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016