Remember Sister Carolina Gomez del Valle

May 3, 2017 | Seton News

 

September 5, 1940 – May 3, 2017

UntitledIt is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Sister Carolina Gomez del Valle in the early hours of May 3, 2017. Carolina was diagnosed with liver cancer earlier this year and stoically underwent treatment while living with the support of her Sisters in her Ursuline community in Puebla, Mexico. As she communicated with those closest to her that she was at peace in the final hours of her life, Carolina lived out her faith with the same intentionality she’d lived each day of her life. A mentor, friend and inspiring educator for so many, we are so very blessed to have had her in our lives.

Although Sister Carolina Gomez del Valle was originally from Puebla, Mexico, her influence as a Montessori educator has been felt around the world. She established and supported the growth of Montessori programs for children and for teacher education in such diverse places as Peru, Nicaragua, Chile, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Slovenia, Taiwan, Cameroon and Canada. Projects that were especially close to her heart were the Montessori school she helped establish in the Indian village of Tzinacapan in Mexico, and the Montessori teacher education course for migrant workers in California. Most recently, she had been working with Montessori teacher education programs in Slovenia, Spain and Russia in addition to her work in Chile, Brazil and, of course, Mexico.

Seton Montessori Institute has long been Carolina’s home base in the United States. Together with Celma Perry, she founded Seton’s Infant-Toddler teacher education course, and for many years she was a regular presenter in Seton’s Early Childhood courses and keynote speaker for professional development seminars as well. She has returned regularly over the years to Seton to observe, consult and lecture. Sister Carolina was the very first person to be honored by the American Montessori Society with its Living Legacy award in 1993. And last December Carolina was honored as a Montessori Elder by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education in their “Wisdom of the Elders” ceremony. She had a particular gift for helping Montessori educators look more deeply at their philosophical roots and daily classroom practices, and her impact will be felt for generations to come.

Carolina’s first and constant vocation was that of an Ursuline nun, having joined the convent early in her life. Over the years she held various leadership roles within her convent, their national and regional order, and served for 12 years in Rome as one of the few representatives selected to General Council of the Ursuline Order.

Carolina’s years of experience working with Montessori all over the world, specializing in ages birth to age six, are complemented by her background in family and pastoral counseling. Other areas of personal interest and study were Bancubi Mathematics, interactive listening with Classical Music, Qi Gong- Shibashi, and the pedagogical use of films.

“Caro,” as so many knew her as, was a mentor and friend to countless people, both within and beyond the Montessori world. Her eyes would light up with joy and mirth in the presence of children, and she made quick, easy friendships with any young people she came into contact with. An instant and easy companion to all she met, one was never the same after a personal encounter with Carolina. Her playful and patient knack for inviting each to seek their highest path is her lasting gift and her extraordinary influence will continue to ripple and grow through the children, educators and schools she has touched with her life. Godspeed, Sister Carolina!

We at Seton are beginning to plan memorial activities in honor of Caro’s life. If you would like to be informed of these plans, and/or if you have suggestions for ways to honor her here, please email Rachel@SetonMontessori.org.

Post your photos of Carolina and look for further announcements on SMI’s Facebook page

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