Covington Celebrates Sister Mary Paul Zembrodt’s 100th Birthday, USA
December 19, 2014
How do you celebrate turning 100? With a party, of course! For Sr. Mary Paul Zembrodt’s birthday, November 28, 2014, the Covington Sisters of Notre Dame invited her family and closest friends to a reception and festive dinner to express their appreciation.
Sister Mary Paul welcomed the guests with her usual grace and winning smile. The dining room was filled with a crowd of well-wishers. After their “Happy Birthday” song, Sister blew out the 1-0-0 number candles—with a little help. As the large cake was being sliced, a sister emcee read congratulatory internet messages from near and far. A number of guests added their tributes and thanks for the impact Sister had had on their lives.
Before and after the meal, friends enjoyed viewing Sister Mary Paul’s photo albums and some of her artwork. As a young woman taking art lessons, she had shown real talent. Her favorite piece was a view of the Devou Park shelter house, based on a photo taken by her brother-in-law, which she gave him as a birthday present. Over the forty intervening years, the picture suffered water damage, and the paint exhibited hairline cracks.
As a special birthday gift, Sister’s friend, SND artist Sister Mary Reina, got help from a local artist who volunteers at the Notre Dame Urban Education Center. Wendy Fleury retouched the painting and provided a beautiful new mat and frame. The climax of the 100th birthday party was the presentation of the restored painting by Sister Mary Reina and Wendy Fleury. Sister Mary Paul’s words of thanks and one of her short poems concluded the festive event.