Sister Mary Consilio Wilson, 82, educator

August 09, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Sister Mary Consilio Wilson, O.S.P., a teacher and parochial school administrator for 45 years -- many of those at the St. Frances Academy in Baltimore -- died Aug. 2 of heart failure at Bon Secours Hospital. She was 82.

Sister Consilio was a member of the Oblate Sisters of Providence -- an order founded in Baltimore inthe early 1800s -- and lived at themotherhouse in Catonsville. Sheentered the convent in 1937 andprofessed her final vows in 1940.

She began teaching in 1941 at the old St. Pius V school, then on Harlem Avenue in West Baltimore, where she taught all levels in grade school. She later taught at St. Frances, once in the late 1950s and again in the 1970s.

"She painstakingly made sure that all [students] learned," said Sister Mary Elaine Frederick, who taught with Sister Consilio and had known her since the late 1950s. "She felt responsible to the students."

A short, often stern but mostly pleasant instructor who wore wire-frame glasses and her nun's habit throughout her career, Sister Consilio tried to befriend her students, many of whom remained friends.

However, she firmly believed that educating them was more important than socializing with them.

"There are some teachers that you always remember, and she is one of them," said Sheila Wilkens of Baltimore, a former student at St. Frances who talked with Sister Consilio several times a year.

"Whenever I talked to her, I was always very proper. It was still always 'Yes, ma'am,' because you never lose respect for someone like that," Ms. Wilkens said.

Sister Consilio was assigned to schools in Chicago; Alexandria, Va.; St. Paul, Minn.; New Orleans; Montgomery, Ala.; and Washington.

She taught a variety of subjects, including history, mathematics, language arts and social studies, colleagues said. She had a keen interest in theater and drama and helped stage theatrical productions at several schools.

"She made sure you practiced what was taught," Sister Elaine said. "She was very dedicated to the students that she taught. She was strict, but yet she had patience. Students later said how much they owed to Sister Consilio."

Born Alma Vashti Wilson in Panama, she came to the United States with her parents in the 1920s and lived in Alabama. Sister Consilio received a bachelor's degree in English from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee in 1959.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 7: 30 p.m. today at Our Lady of Mount Providence Convent Chapel, 701 Gun Road, Catonsville.

She is survived by four nieces, Alma Bullock of Washington, Lisa Gentry of Lansing, Mich., Ruth Anderson of Washington and Polly Mattison of West Chester, Pa.; and many cousins.

Pub Date: 8/09/98

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