Benedictine sister turning 105 says the secret is to love people, God


Benedictine Sr. Helen Lange, who turns 105 Sept. 28, is described as someone who leaves an endearing mark on all those she encounters.

For 44 years, she taught school in Texas, Louisiana and Florida and she talks about these years with great joy and amazing recall.

A story in the Tampa Bay Times when she turned 100 said that Lange, trained in elementary and music education, was part of the group known as the Texas Five who taught in Catholic schools across Florida. She also served as school principal for several years.

When she was growing up, she wanted to study piano or pursue a career in nursing, but her parents couldn’t afford it.

Becoming a sister offered her a chance to pursue higher education and a career.

Her key to working with students, she told the newspaper, was simple: “You’ve got to trust the kids and teach them to trust you.”

Guy Moore, from Tallahassee, planned to attend the birthday celebration of his former teacher from St. Martha in Sarasota along with graduates from another Florida school, St. Anthony in San Antonio. Many of her former students say Lange gave them the profound gift of the love of learning and music.