Gene Koester, 1971 McAuley alum, recently wrote a book “The Gift of Grandchildren.” Gene shared with us some of his reflections on the Sisters of Mercy and writing the book.
What legacy did the Sisters of Mercy instill in you?
The impact the Sisters of Mercy had on my life is threefold. First the Spiritual- they brought God to my life everyday through there example and prayers in conjunction with their expression of our Catholic Identity.
Second-Academic-The sisters taught me the importance of loving to learn. The sisters made me realize the classroom is only one venue for learning. This opened my eyes to listening and learning from not only my teachers, but from everyone in my life.
Third-Social behavior-The sisters gave me the background to present myself in a positive and productive manner.
Any teacher that positively impacted you?
The teacher who was very instrumental in my years at McAuley was Sister Corine Holmes who saw my potential and encouraged me to attend college.
What made you decide to write a book? Why this topic?
The encouragement to write my book came from my wife Nancy. The subject matter came from my love of being a grandparent and the joy I am experiencing in this part of my life. I want people to view their senior citizen years in a positive manner and to realize the gift of being a grandparent is God’s reward for being a loving and caring parent.
What was the process like?
The process thanks to the professional help of the Christian Faith Publishing Company has been remarkable. Several edits and decisions concerning cover, dedications and photos were a combination of suggestions from Christian Faith Publishing and input from my wife and daughters.
What recommendations can you give current students who dream of being published?
My advice for students interested in publishing, write about what you are comfortable with and what makes you smile when thinking about what you will put on that blank sheet of paper staring at you from the computer.
Food for Thought
My last comment about my Catholic School Education is how fortunate I was to attend St. Peter’s and McAuley where I received a great education and met my beautiful wife.
I also have been blessed with not only being an alumnus, but I became the Principal of both St. Peter’s and McAuley which was truly a Gift from God.