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Sr. Mary Berchmans Hannan '48 & '50

President Emerita
Mother Superior of the Georgetown Visitation Monastery


What roles have you held at Visitation?

I first came here as a 14-year-old and joined the sophomore class. After graduating from the high school and junior college, I entered the Monastery 67 years ago. Since then, I was a teacher of Latin and religion for eight years, Headmistress for 20 years, then President for 17 years.

What is your favorite thing about this place?

I appreciate the manner in which Visitation through the years has maintained a moderate path, retaining the important, stable values of the past while also reaching toward the new, creative ideas of the future. The name of our current capital campaign captures this essence well: "A Cherished Past, A Vibrant Future."

What makes Visi unique?

The positive way in which the tenets of our Salesian Spirituality have become woven into the very fabric and life of our school is distinctive.

What is your favorite Salesian Little Virtue and why?

Thoughtful concern for others is my favorite. I think it is the foundation of a loving, caring school community where all support one another.

How do Visitation students and alumnae inspire you?

It is inspiring to see how many of our alumnae have embraced not-for-profit work as they enter the professional world. I am also impressed with the reflections many share with us about the impact Visitation has had on their lives. I love seeing our present students grow in their awareness of the world around us during their four years here. And it is a joy to see their happiness as they move through the halls of Visitation, often with a bright “hello”!

What would you want prospective families to know about the school?
I believe Visitation offers its students a safe and comfortable environment in which they discover their true selves as they move through the challenging adolescent years. They will learn self-confidence and have the freedom to discover new areas where they can test their talents and interests. It is a lovely experience to watch them grow into mature, self-possessed young women.
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