Sister Michaeline Mary Falvey was recently inducted into The Distinguished Mariner Hall of Fame at St. Monica High School in Santa Monica, California. Inductions are made bi-annually to recognize and honor a select few graduates, faculty, or friends of the school, who have made an outstanding contribution as a school, community, or church leader. Besides being a part of the great heritage of St. Monica, the inductees, and their examples of service and achievement, serve as inspiration for the hopes and dreams of the students currently at the school.
Sr. Michaeline earned a BA in education with a minor in music at Holy Names College and her teaching credentials and an MA in school administration at San Francisco State University. She taught at St. Joseph’s School (Pomona), All Souls School (Alhambra), St. Augustine School (Oakland), and was both a teacher and principal at St. Cecilia School (San Francisco) before arriving at St. Monica’s.
Sr. Michaeline was principal of St. Monica High School Girl’s Division from 1965-1970 and of St. Monica Co-Educational High School from 1970 to 1976 (while also teaching religious education classes). She served as principal during the period of time when the school was transitioning from separate girl’s and boy’s departments to a high school with one unified co-ed student body. It was a challenge that Sr. Michaeline handled very well. She maintained a positive environment through creative curriculum development, and effective student leadership.
Another accomplishment of Sr. Michaeline, was the successful implementation of Title IX, the federal legislation requiring equitable athletic opportunities for females. This required not only increasing the variety of sports offered to the young women at St. Monica High School, but also facilitating time schedules and the sharing of resources, such as, equipment and practice space.
In addition to her contributions to education, Sr. Michaeline has made significant contributions as a leader in the Holy Names community. As Director of the Juniorate, she helped young sisters studying for their bachelor degrees. She served as a Provincial Councilor, and was the Northern California SNJM Justice Coordinator for 9 years. During that time, she also served on the Congregational Justice and Peace Network, giving her regular contact with SNJM sisters and associates serving in Haiti, Lesotho, Nicaragua, Peru, Mexico and Canada.
In San Francisco, Sr. Michaeline’s passion for justice led her to begin teaching English as a Second Language. She saw firsthand the challenges facing Latina women as they struggled to help support their families during difficult economic times. She continued to be active with the Haiti Action Committee and many, many other groups working for peace, equal rights, and anti-trafficking. She participated in numerous justice groups around country—including attending meetings of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, and the International Monetary Fund/World Trade Organization.
In 2011, Sr. Michaeline moved to the Holy Names Convent in Los Gatos. She is celebrating her 67th year as a vowed Sister of the Holy Names and says she does not regret one minute of it. She continues to follow justice and peace issues and actively participates in the ministry of prayer.