Melba Inés Giraldo, RSCJ

Birth: March 23, 1941
Profession: Dec. 13,1969
Death: September 2, 2012

Religious of the Sacred Heart M. Inés Giraldo,died Sunday, September 2, in her native country of Colombia. She was 71. Remembered for her gentle, nurturing approach to education, she was many students’ first teacher. Her funeral will be held in Colombia.

Inés Giraldo was born in El Peñol, Colombia March 23, 1941 to Feliz Antonio and María Susana Goméz Giraldo, both deceased. She was predeceased by four brothers: Gaime, Xavier, Alonso and Manuel, who died as young children. She is survived by brothers Jaime Giraldo and Gabriel Giraldo, and two sisters, both vowed Religious, Susana Inés Giraldo, a Presentation Sister, and Olivia Giraldo, a Franciscan Sister, as well as many extended family members in Colombia and Religious of the Sacred Heart around the world.

Sister Giraldo first entered the Society of the Sacred Heart in Medellin, Colombia in 1960, but her noviceship was at Newton College, a Sacred Heart school, in Newton, Massachusetts. She professed first vows in 1963 and final vows in 1969 in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Sister Giraldo began her life as a Religious of the Sacred Heart as a housekeeper and later served in the infirmary at Kenwood, the Sacred Heart school and convent in Albany. In 1970, she began the ministry that would become her passion: working with very young children, first at Kenwood, later in Detroit and Miami, including 17 years as the preschool teacher at St. Michael the Archangel School in Miami, 1992-2009. As the Montessori teacher at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, she was for many children their first experience with school and their first experience with the Society of the Sacred Heart.

One former student wrote of her, "My first Carrollton memory is of Sr. Inés greeting me on my first day of kindergarten. She had a joyful, nurturing and gentle spirit. It was her radiating kindness and warmth that made me feel welcome at my new school all those years ago. Sr. Ines was our Sacred Heart grandmother and made Carrollton feel like home and, for that, I will always be grateful."

“Her friendliness made her reach out to everyone and she just welcomed everyone into her heart, wrote Helen Rosenthal, RSCJ, who lived in community with Sister Giraldo for 24 years. “She loved working with the little ones.”

Sister Giraldo earned Associate’s Degree in early childhood education in 1985, but the warmth and love that defined her as a teacher were with her from the beginning.

In 1986, Sister Giraldo felt called to a prison ministry and spent the next two decades as a volunteer in the women’s detention center in Miami.

In 2010, Sister Giraldo retired from active ministry and returned to Colombia to be closer to her family. When she became ill this spring, she received loving care from them and from the Religious of the Sacred Heart of the Colombian province, for which the U.S. Province is so grateful.

Comments

Submitted by Cathy O'Conor on

Ines made me feel very welcome my first year at the Southern Quad Area meeting, although we had not met before. Her infectious smile and willingness to share as well as her love of the children with whom she worked endeared her to me from the moment we met. INes will be very much missed by her communities and by everyone with whom she came in contact. Rest in peace Dear One.
 

Submitted by jmcnabb on

I got to know Ines really well when she was in Detroit, studying to get her degree in

childhood education.  She was a born educator and her love for young children

was duly reciprocated by her kindergarteners.  But not only the children benefited

from her love.  All of us did.  She was a most loving person, caring about each one,

and reaching out to everyone in love and concern.  I will miss her more than I realize.

Submitted by Ginny Hamel on

I can never think of Inez without being uplifted
i picture her smiling
her taking my hands into her hands,meeting my eyes and assuring me in that tender gesture that all would be well

i will be forever grateful that this joyful woman,so full of grace and love came into my life for even just a little time

rejoice always in that joy,Inez

Submitted by Enit Fuste-Costa on

Sister Ines was my Daughter and Son's Kindergarten teacher at St Michael the Archangel, she was one of the most wonderful and loving teachers they have ever had. We are all so lucky to have had the opportunity to have her in our lives even if only for a short time. Allthough they were her students many years ago she always remembered us and called me atleast once a month to see how we were doing while she lived here in Miami. I am so sad about the news of her death but I know we will meet again.  You will forever be missed. May you rest in peace.