Srs. Columba Colley, Adelberta Goosen, and Francis Xavier Brannen

Sisters Columba Colley,  Adelberta Goosen, and  Francis Xavier Brannen

CCVI were not frequently seen on campus but they were known to many students, especially those who lived on campus. Sister Columba was a native of Ireland who grew up speaking only Gaelic and was maybe four feet tall, and Sister Adelberta, on the contrary, was from the Netherlands and tall. Sister Francis Xavier was a native Texan and a walking encyclopedia of Texana.

Sister Francis taught history before her assignment to the IWC Library. She knew everything about the Alamo history and post history, including the women who fought to preserve it. History overlooked the role her friend Adina DeZavala played in saving a major structure and Sister was persistent until her death to get the story straight. Only years after Sister’s death did Miss Adina get the recognition denied her in life.

Sisters Columba and Adelberta worked together in the IWC kitchen until they retired. Most of the day Sister Columba was a seamstress but after meals she washed the dishes and tidied up the kitchen. Her famous witty line was “When I go on vacation it takes five Ph.Ds to replace me.”

Sister Adelberta cooked for the students and the nuns, but pastry was her specialty. Her recipes were all in her head but the aroma of baking filled the halls of the Administration Building. Sister was called out of retirement at least twice to bake temptations for visiting accrediting teams.

This is our heritage. Making a Difference.

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