Sr Barbara Jean Glodowski and Mary Anne Glodowski

Recorded July 16, 2020 Archived July 16, 2020 35:34 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby019909


Sisters, Sr. Barbara Jean Glodowski (78) and Mary Anne Glodowski (76), talk about their family's connection to God, their life in the monastery, and their careers as creative educators.

Subject Log / Time Code

B.J.G. speaks on their father, who was a farmer, and his connection to the land as a way to connect to God.
B.J.G. describes their mom as having endless creativity. "She never followed a recipe, she always had to put a unique twist to everything. She never threw anything away."
M.A.G. reflects on her time in the convent and of the love her family had for music. The Gregorian chants were fascinating to her.
B.J.G. and M.A.G. remember the time they climbed the hill near the monastery, so that M.A.G. could hear what God had to say to her. As they climb higher, they notice a storm is forming, heading in their direction, and the trees start to buckle and crack. They both thought they would die.
M.A.G. shares about her daily walks: "Let the walk take you. Let the earth move you. Don't try to move it."
B.J.G. shares about her breast cancer coming back. "You learn to live a day at a time. I plan for a good day. To look for love."


  • Sr Barbara Jean Glodowski
  • Mary Anne Glodowski

Partnership Type



StoryCorps uses Google Cloud Speech-to-Text and Natural Language API to provide machine-generated transcripts. Transcripts have not been checked for accuracy and may contain errors. Learn more about our FAQs through our Help Center or do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions.

00:06 My name is Mary Anne glodowski and I'm Barbara Jean both asking my age is 76 and 78 and today's date is July 16th, 2020.

00:20 Thursday July 16th, 2020 and we're sticking to you from Cottonwood, Idaho.

00:27 The monastery of Saint Gertrude

00:30 And this is my sister Sister Barbara Jean.

00:34 And I'm Barbara Jean sister Marianne at one time. I was a nun. We were sister sisters.

00:40 So that's our relationship.

00:43 I would like to share a little bit about ourselves with you Shirley Temple Black and her experiences as Rebecca at Sunnybrook Farm Was a Movie experience.

00:56 Big Lebowski girls Mary Ann had a real life experience on the Sunnybrook Ranch.

01:05 I believe the who we are today.

01:09 Reflects our past

01:12 And when we look at our past first of all, we had parents that are always put God first. We never miss Mass on Sunday. We can go to sleep at night listening to Mom and Dad praying the Rosary.

01:26 That is such a love for soil that he went time when I was going to college. I asked him I said dad. Why are you a farmer? And he said he brought me out to the field and let the dead University soil. He said this is too cool yet, but he said when this is warmer and the Moon is just like I'll clean it and then God will help me water. God will give me the sun to grow and then we'll Harvest so I had a real sense of being routed into the farm life. They're really rooted. We were at the age of 3rd grade about eight or nine. I was handed a hole

02:08 I got the feel of it and what to use it for as a family we would go out all of us children with our hose and hold hands and help thin out weeds from sugar beets.

02:21 And so that was a lot of work for us and we did that until I left home every summer but we made a lot of money in acre a dollar but we were alone in the value of work the value money the value of being part of a greater system called the farm family and so is the difference between a weed and a Beat.

02:48 If we didn't do it, well the first time we had to go back in October with a shovel in its a weeds out. So responsibilities Creeps in

02:58 We grew up on also the potato farm and so the potato would help we had to cut potatoes making sure there in each quarter and we had to help with that piece and then we had to help with not only that the farm and then we also have had help with all the harvesting. We working to be feels a potato field days for school. And so when do the new things about Dad he gave us opportunities to drive all kinds of vehicles. We had to learn how to drive a tractor first. We had to learn to drive the truck and then after the truck could do the stick shift and then only when you give us the automatic

03:44 Let me see. It was interesting. Not only did we have responsibilities outside. We also have responsibilities inside and it seemed that we were the only two girls that were actually a family of six our youngest brother died and but at 6 Counting the children.

04:06 We had responsibilities inside and mine was always the bathroom. So I didn't think I was I thought I was picked on a little bit.

04:16 Because that was one of the dirtiest jobs, I think I had to do and did I learn anything about the kitchen know I got as far as the doorway. Mom always said was isn't there something you need to do outside the Hudson ever caught in the kitchen with Barbara, Jean learn how to make pancakes with baking soda or powder or what? What's that? Anyhow, she measured wrong and we had a hundred and twenty twenty-four and and and to recipes were she would never follow a recipe. She always had to create around it and she never threw away anything. She kept all the pain of water. Did you cut the potatoes and that would go into the the baking and so a lot of times mom and my aunt would both have the same recipe but Mom's things always tasted better because

05:16 Never follow a recipe she always had to put in something unique and special about it and then she always reused and never threw away anything again that was another value that we were taught to respect the land to respect the animals to respect the people not to throw away to live life is Simplicity. We were never too young to interact with adults on the ranch. I remember the earlier years. He used to have to go pick potatoes and that was taking a sack dragging along the role and putting potatoes in it. You got paid by the sea.

05:52 And then later on and right when school is out. I was found myself down in the potato Cellar. We had one and cutting potatoes cutting to make sure you saw the eye of a potato and I work with adults. I was in junior high and hear what these ladies and I learn the value of that from there went out to the beach field and then when Dad got to pick her up at 8, O worked aligned with the ladies and boy really had to be careful cuz it took fingers off and if you had long hair course, I never had long hair and it would capitate you almost and never horrible accidents on that but we worked with it. We were allowed to do that on the beat Harvester Harvester. We just did all kinds of harvesting Grove truck crane still itch with all the rain coming in but afterwards dad would come in the house. It might be six 7 for supper and then he'd say

06:52 That was Mom's name was take the kids down to the hot baths. So down and Thousand Springs Idaho close to Twin Falls, Idaho and mineral baths. So we did that. We learn how to soak his children how to take those hot baths even one summer for a vacation. Dad took us up in the mountains to a hot springs. That's where we children were very young then maybe 3rd 4th disgrace. We're taking off a stirring the day that really sucks. I think our parents strategy strategy.

07:29 Surprised at that time with our parents on the values that we learned since my early years in the monastery and and Mary and earlier when I first got here I discovered that they recycle here and there were talking 1959 and they were recycling already and never and nausea at home. We don't ever throw anything away and I always I always I wanted to go outside and work and I wanted to go outside and mow the lawn but they just so they stuck me inside and I had to check for the library and I guess she got to go out and work in the environment that work. Okay, honors. She will she sent to you have a sense of humor.

08:23 Anne De she said have lines and one line was the early line was the one we had to take baths course. I'm not first born neither was Barbara Jean so I don't know who got to take the back first, but Dad didn't not on this but we had to take all bath in the bathtub and there was a troubled water and it was then thrown out and then freshwater put in for Dad. Another line was chicken line Saturdays. Come on. We got to do chickens today all my God butcher. I don't know how many of the time my job was to get them. You got the joke chicken, and then she and then I got to send him, you know to this day. I cannot go into Kentucky Fried Chicken and get a piece of chicken that's got a feather on it.

09:16 Or even smells like a chicken, then I can certainly didn't help me any so when I came to the monastery, we had chicken parties here. Well, I know how to get them. So I would be there after getting 4050 chicken to the time and not be taking the feathers stuff when we were at we were really taught to respect animals. We were taught to respect the soil animals and you know, and that's that's anything about the monastery. She was we look at the monastery because one of the things that we treat everything as if it were a vessel they all sure everything is with respect. We have a wonderful wonderful wonderful.

10:05 Recently, we I got to climb permission to come back. One thing is that I remember about animals and love is that we always have horses. So we never played who played was real horses Barbara. Jean says she doesn't remember doing that. But I think I remember dad was when we were younger coming from down the road with his team of horses, cuz that's the way he farm and he would put me up on the horse and I would I can smell the horse now and I can feel the bridles as we were coming home and the Dustin and then course we went from that to tractors and so forth and so on the high remember one time my brother Jim who is ask the way now in Parkinson's was complaining to Dad. Please get me a motorcycle. Please get me a motorcycle cuz he used to have to irrigate we had air gated land that's hard work on there and my brother used to have to go shovel diction in the horse would come home.

11:06 And he have to welcome. So give me a motorcycle. That won't come home to Hyundai. Dad was look Mama's looking out the window that you're here was Jimmy walk in the motorcycle home run out of gas. So I don't know what he's learned from all of that.

11:23 Barbara one thing that my mother and father insisted on was a good education.

11:30 We went to parochial school. I started in third grade that was 28 miles round trip and dad and mom because they believed in a good education with another gentleman afforded a school bus that would take us back and forth every day across the prime Memorial Bridge, which I thought for sure it was going to fall in when I went over it to Twin Falls Idaho to procure school and that's where I graduated and I think you did to my did 1 start.

12:02 So when it came to learning book learning dad said he went to a private school in Boise Idaho to Cathedral School, but he was taken out to work on the farm at a very young age. So he's always valued that there was no even when I went to Junior College dad and expect me to pay for it. He wanted me to be Earnest about what I was doing and

12:26 In the study is what he wanted to do. I think maybe when we look back is that in the monastery you learn the gorian chant that was fascinating when I was none and both of us have a musical background our father that played the saxophone for a band and Mom had a beautiful voice and Mom and Mary Ann and I and my Aunt Teresa. I played the organ for the church choir and and we sign all the way through and it wouldn't Barbara Jean enter the convent they put me on the 49er play keyboard. So they gave me lessons so I can have play for high masses. So I did it for years when there wasn't television and we were one of the first level where the second oldest phone went wrong, but the first ones to get gelatin before that.

13:26 They would put on the radio and the music and watches dance gufa sing and enjoyed it because our parents were very good dancers. Nice to go to Lawrenceville open La so they gave me ballet lessons tap lessons piano lessons baton lessons baton lessons in the one thing is that I asked the accordion guy when he came to demonstrate cuz I came to your home at those days to demonstrate how to play the accordion. I said, the only way we'll buy the accordion is if you put a box of bubble gum with it is my mouse work harder than my hands. So I'm a jack-of-all-trades but a master of none Master none also learned the clarinet and that was

14:26 Is the band kind of Lights in back in the public? And so I used to go out to play the clarinet and mice squeaking and so it looks as if I may interject here also help me on my multiplication tables to see what all come up and go back to going to the monastery then like I said it did, you know entering the monastery was twas. Well, it was just a step from where we were before and beautiful. This is. Beautiful beautiful mountain, and I never wanted to be a nun.

15:17 And then I came up here because I got allergic to the sugar beets and the doctor said I had to be off the farm for a while to get off my allergy and I came up here and I was it destroyed my heart and so on my way down. I did take my my test for the nursing school. But by the time I got back down to Jerome I said to Mom and Dad I think I think I'll go try it and my attitude was I'll prove to God I didn't belong.

15:47 And like I said here I am ready to celebrate 59 years of profession. I think going to the public school up to 8th grade, and then I mean Public School 1 through 3 in Catholic School 3 through 8, and then Public School. My parents decided that Marianne needed life experience. So they sent me to the academy up here at Saint Gertrude's Academy.

16:18 So cuz I need you to interact with other young women my age and so I was aboard a girl.

16:25 And during the time of being aboard a girl course Beauty up here. I'm since 8 and then environmentalist at heart. I fell in love with the place. So I was having trouble Discerning whether it was a vocation or Isis in love with a ski resort. So I studied in my junior year up here at the Academy and doing a little group finding out about the sisters in the next year. My senior year are joined the start of the process of becoming a nun.

16:59 And I don't know if you need to know if I was just going to say when you when you and so we had absolutely no contact with the outside world for a year and have her upstairs 1 hour away from me and see her often and I'm not I'm not rule sheet. She is much better than I do. I always cut Corners. I mean that was because she had worse because I thought we needed somebody just to with her all night, then they found out that I had a voice and so I stayed with Barbara Jean during that time, but my entering the convent was just

17:58 It was ideal for me because I like the order of the day. I like schedules. I like that if I'm responsible for this. So are you and that helps me although I'm creative and another way, but the environment and I got because I thought I was better outside. I got to mow grass used to calling popcorn.

18:23 And that was me anytime. I could be outside walking up the hill. I walked up the hill, so he'll taught me music. We songs. Newport RI spoke to me and not speaking to me got us in trouble one day Barbara Jean and she was in Retreat and she looked at me really weird Michael what and she said. Well, I think that the hell needs to feels going to speak to me today and I asked God who could go up with me and she said so after the first personal it happened to be me and I walked out and she said would you walk up the hill with me and listen to what God has to say, so I thought so I walked up the hill with her and she was showing me all the way up the hill all the beautiful things and she went to places that I am waiting for the church.

19:23 I thought you would. I brought some sodas in and I was hoping it was sisterly love that she loved to go with me. But all at once I heard the storm coming and we live close to the salmon brakes and the store was getting really create fast. And we looked up in the sky was dark the wind started blowing. I said Barbara Jean we may be better find some shelter section and it would there's a cabin up in the hills for the Sisters to make retreats.

20:05 And we were too far away and I don't want we could just hear the thunder and lightning the win Roy in and we're going to die because we were right in the pine trees trees were cracking buckling and hail storms. And finally, we just got to keep your trees off the 6 feet above the ground really really well as soon as it came off of continuing we both stood up and I was shaking and I look back at it.

21:05 I used as a marker. It was falling and I just started to cry. I thought the heel doesn't want me here anymore.

21:14 And that was kind of a clue to me to not felt it was it said something and I I never felt the same going back up to the hill the hill.

21:26 Turn me away from it for a while. And I said to her Mary and next time you think God is going to speak to you. I said don't bite me. So the other day when we went up for a walk a week ago. I have mission to be part of their bubble.

21:44 And I brought my little dog that my brother gave me that she thought I needed to have a little dogs inside of alone.

21:51 And I retired in Centerville, Idaho little small village three miles from here and I love it. Some people like to visit Bahamas and and I like keuterville, Idaho because of the trees in the quiet in the Beauty and the Earth and if you would go hiking you have to be careful cuz it might be bears.

22:12 Other varmints out there that that's why people carry guns up there, but I don't know so that walk up the hill the other day was really the first time I feel at peace and calm since that experience with us a while back.

22:28 So while we were while you were still in the monastery, however, one of the things that got to help in our lives in the twins again, we always got assigned to where we had to go. We never got a choice and I everybody every two years. They move me to a different school. Well, I was principal at school in Rupert and Mary Ann was assigned to me and we were the only two on the mission all the first year we weren't there was another person.

23:01 For my from my viewpoint Marianne was the best teacher I had never ever supervised and because of our musical background whatever we would give concert with in spring summer program a lot from us to CDN. I like that structure. I like knowing what's expected of me and I will do that and Beyond you cannot I'm Dependable responsible and I think I do you spell use from the farm.

23:39 At one of the things I had given by organized to play in one of my places in Greek Rick and had that I put the whole play around having the drummer boy and the play with in and we had we thought if you were in 1st 2nd 7th and 8th grade you belong to Catholic school. And if you were 3 4 5 and 6 you belong to the public school in that town. And so anyway, I had so I had her second 7 and 8 and so I had one of my eighth-grade boys and to be the father of the drummer boy and the drummer boy. Supposed to fall asleep during the play. Will he actually get but he was a bad weather and he wet his pants.

24:35 And I can just see the horror on the boys face, you know is it's little trouble if it's going down. I'm sleep and at the very end of the play the father and I woke jewelry up enjoy got his little drum and can play the whole German song.

25:05 No, I just wanted to mention here that when I was in the monastery my education continued my father mother provided us with a very good education. And when I was in the monastery was able to achieve a masters of arts degree and I worked a lot in and then after I left the convent, I used that in the Yuma Arizona for 23 years. I taught in the inner city schools there and I got my bilingual endorsement. So but believes and I have no and anxiety or hate towards the monastery. I feel that I'm Still A Part in a lot of ways.

25:51 Here but not here.

25:54 I don't know if there's something else you need to say barbecue before or one of the things, you know about you up the hill is that

26:05 You know what the story of Maria young what it what you going to do about the cruise line. That would be like Marianne because she was always up the hill at least five to six times a week and came flying down in just in time for prayer because everything in the monastery is so regimented according to being down if you need me. I might have cowboy boots on and I got was the first one to wear Levi's I told them that my veil kept getting caught in the lawn mower. So I got to put on a cowboy hat in my cowboy boots. I had those to check my legs and then I ended up with the whole outfit on lawn mowing and having a good time and it was there that I found out that I was creative in in. Well, I knew it was you know that you finally can say I'm a creative person innovating spontaneous and I can do these things I was

27:05 Entertain Entertain Entertain into skits and programs and I play lots of instruments now I play guitar and ukulele drums piano, Oregon Indian whistle Irish whistle. It was just feels like music is part of who I am and I took those skills into the classroom along with my environmental skills, and I started environmental programs in Yuma, Arizona that still our existing today with different teachers and institutions and mine was respect for the Earth or let the walk take you

27:49 When you let the walk take you it's amazing when you step out the door and just say, okay, where do I go today? And let the earth move your feet. You don't move it will be cognitive and it will be an adventure for you. That's what I found going up the hill.

28:06 One of the things that you and I went on a teacher principal in Rupert my kids.

28:16 There they were just kind of like kind of a poor academic class. And when I first got my degree as a reading specialist, and that's what I would do with my teaching and one of the things that

28:33 The little kid that got me one day as well. He said you can't teach me to read and I said, oh I said I just got finished being a reading specialist. So I said I told me thank you so much because I had so much faith in him and then he became a teacher and so but this class regular school just was not working for them. And so I thought you know what I'm going to get rid of the desk. I'm going to put their books in a tub. We're just going to we're going to sit around these what are those called those big round things school for electrical spool. I painted them and made them and so when the kids came back after Thanksgiving vacation, it was a totally different way of doing it.

29:33 And I have the kids study the history of Rupert and they they wrote books. They wrote for the newspaper. They all I had and then I decided Well, I'll take him on a camping trip and never been on a camping trip in my life. I check 38 sixth graders on a camping trip.

29:57 Your parents as possible cuz then you can get in the kids will respect you and you can have discipline with the kids for my bus driver with a geologist and and I had my nurse with his red and so between those two and so the kids had to we plotted out our trip we had to earn money the kids had to put on projects or money for the trip. We plotted out our trip where we go and I I made sure every night we were someplace with swimming pool.

30:31 They had to get off the bus and give a lecture as to where we stopped. We did a 240 Mi radius around the surround Rupert and saw all the different places and the kids had to give the lecture then the historian would sell things in and then I had a new food and a night for you and the kids had to put prepare lunches. They were all planned ahead of time.

31:01 So until at the end of the year when we tested them on the standardized test the kids gained an average of two and a half more years because we just did and get a lot of riding in a lot of studying a lot of reading and to me it was it was a year and some people still tell me they they keep their the book but they wrote their Pippen pop-up. They still keep their butt.

31:31 Yes, I think that's as a teacher as a person we have influences on a lot of people but who we are now that I'm retired and I have been for about 5 years what I considered. I came back to Idaho 7 years ago cuz mama's still living and help Barbara Jean with mom and my brother had a feeling about my brother Jim that he wasn't going to make it and he lived about two and a half months after I got here. So I feel the spirit calling me and I came up here to do the real because Barbara Jean had some health issues and needed to move back to the mother house.

32:08 So I thought if I could be here to help out the mother house and take her to her appointment since I'm still single and and meanwhile, I gave some guitar lessons and I lost every play for the nonce once in awhile or sing the program or play the drums for Christmas or whatever III still.

32:31 I feel that I'm still on a journey.

32:34 And we are on a journey that is for sure and it's not complete and my head had the last because now they said are you retired and I should go in the monastery. I'm in my 11th recycle and in so what am I doing now? I am answering the prayers and huge humongous project that I thought would take two years. But and reason for being at home is that I had cancer and it cost a lot of compression fractures on my back.

33:19 But the thing is in the cancer is back, but the thing as you know, you smart you just like a live one day at a time and you keep an upper lip and you and you know, somebody will say to me will BJ have a good day and I plan on a good day. I set my my day everyday to look for 11 and when I look around I can find it.

33:41 Well, I feel good since I've been up here and back into Idaho that our lives have intersected a lot by you know that as adults we are older women now mature. Well, maybe your question is you're wondering about the Sunnybrook Ranch. You have something else you want to say. I don't think she did it.

34:13 The whole thing's are on what on organizing backpack project Christmas for the poor food banks recycling all those things that we need to do in order to get ready for continuing on the story.

34:30 Okay, and the Stony Brook brunch is now Walmart. See if you go to Jerome, Idaho. That's why Ranch was for Walmart overarching p.m. Well, that's the pet Department Walmart some of the big pan so we can go back home and there's not complete.

34:56 But in this world that we're in right now that is in constant flux, it'll change daily.

35:04 And so I'm just happy to be able to be with Barbara Jean and

35:08 We have one elderly aunts and we have two brothers living yet in ourselves, and thanks for the song from tunity to go down memory lane. I'm sure I mean we could do another 40 minutes, but I think that's a thank you. Thank you.