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.