Sister Veronica: a "great teacher"

Sister Veronica with the All Saints School students

“Sister Veronica was one of the greatest teachers I ever had because she taught me to always practice common sense and good judgment,” said Norman Kotoch, 8th grade student of Erie Benedictine Sister Veronica Mirage for the 2008-2009 school year.

“Outside of my family, she is one of the most important people in my life,” said Gabriella Nicole Cicerini, who graduated from All Saints School in 2017. “Through Sister Veronica’s lessons, I have realized the importance of practicing my faith.”

“Energy,” “passion,” “faith-filled,” are a few of the words that present and past students, co-workers and parents used to describe Sister Veronica Mirage, who recently retired after 36 years at All Saints School of St. John Vianney Parish, Cleveland, OH.

As the Religion Coordinator at All Saints School, Sister Veronica shaped the faith of every student: to 6th through 8th graders she taught religion daily. She taught Kindergarten through 5th grade students weekly. In addition, Sister Veronica planned and coordinated liturgies and other religious activities, always actively involving the students. “I have watched students grow from small children to young ladies and gentlemen participating in liturgical celebrations, proclaiming Scripture, dramatizing, reading, singing, dancing, taking part in liturgical movement and learning to live their lives according to the gospel. It has been a joy to see children I have taught grow into responsible adults who are now parents and leaders in the community,” she said.

One of the most anticipated events of the school year for 8th graders—for 26 years running—was the annual trip from Cleveland to Sister Veronica’s monastery, Mount St. Benedict in Erie, Pa. The 40-some students and their parent chaperones would make the two-hour trip arriving in time to visit and tour Emmaus Ministries in inner-city Erie (soup kitchen and food pantry), and then arrive at the monastery in time for prayer and lunch with the sisters. After lunch the students were invited to a music concert, they visited the Garden of Memories and hermitages on the monastery grounds and ended the day at Glinodo Conference Center on the Lake Erie shorefront. There was rarely a student who hadn’t heard ahead of time about the trip from an older sibling, a former student or even a parent who had made the trek 25 years earlier. “Going to your monastery in Erie felt like a rite of passage and I’m so glad your sisters welcomed us with open arms,” Brittany Wood Gesing, All Saints Class of 2002, remembered.

Prior to her ministry at All Saints, Sister Veronica taught at several schools in the Diocese of Erie and was an administrator at Sacred Heart School in Sharon for 19 years. Sister Veronica is from Sharon and attended St. Joseph School there where she was taught by the Erie Benedictines, entering the community shortly after graduating from Sharon High School. She holds an M. S. Ed. from the University of Dayton. Now that she is residing at the monastery, Sister Veronica will be sharing her gifts on the community’s Liturgy Team.

“The name Veronica means “true image,” in Latin, “vera-icona,” a reference to the image of Christs’ face left on her veil after she wiped his face on the way to Calvary,” said Father Tom Johns, pastor of St. John Vianney Parish. “Sister Veronica has been a true image of Christ to us for 36 years. I consider myself blessed to have known her.” So do many, many others.

Thank you for teaching us so much!
Thank you for teaching us so much!
Thank you for making First Holy Communion so special!
Thank you for making First Holy Communion so special!
Thank you for teaching us the Christmas story.
Thank you for teaching us the Christmas story.
We love Sister Veronica!
We love Sister Veronica!
God bless you Sister Veronica!
God bless you Sister Veronica!