In 1941, while the Second World War was taking its toll on European soil, William and Dorothy Terry welcomed their first child, Darlene, who was eventually to become Darlene Terry, PBVM. Alan, their second child, was born 11 years later.

Montebello, California was home for many years through elementary school at Saint Benedict and high school at Sacred Heart of Mary. She reflected back with amazement when hearing the ever-present cry that class sizes needed to be reduced, and marveled at how, in classes of 80 or so students as it was in grades 1 through 4, students learned math and reading so very well. Sister Darlene remarked, “I suppose it was a combination of good teaching and few outside distractions to occupy kids’ minds in those days.”

It was in sixth grade that she recalled first thoughts of a religious vocation. Throughout high school, sports, dating, etc., thoughts of religious life remained. As graduation approached, she seriously considered becoming an RSHM (Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary), applied and was accepted. However, encouraged by her parents to wait, she did. Six years later, following work experience, some college, and two different experiences of coaching girls’ sports at Saint Benedict School, Sister Darlene decided that Presentation was calling her. In 1965, at age 24, she made the drive up Bear Creek Road and entered the Novitiate with 12 other young women. Three of them remain in religious life.

In 1968, and newly professed, she went back down Bear Creek Road. Teaching took her to Saint Patrick and Saint John Vianney schools in San Jose. Sister Darlene said, “I quickly learned that, while the kids were really cute, primary grades were not for me.” Along the way, she received her B.A. from California State University, San Jose, followed by a Lifetime Teaching Credential.

Sr. Darlene Terry coached sports teams at St. Benedict School during the 1960s.

Final profession took place at Saint John Vianney Church in 1974. In 1975, Sister Darlene was assigned to Saint Catherine School in Morgan Hill as principal. Two years later she returned to her roots, Saint Benedict School, as principal for eight years. “What a thrill it was for me to return to Montebello and the elementary school that I loved, and where I had received such a wonderful education.” An M.A. in education from the University of San Diego was earned in 1981. In 1988 she moved into parish work as a Confirmation Coordinator. Darlene reflected, “It was during my experiences as an educator that I came to realize that some families needed help beyond what I, or teachers, were able to provide; hence I pursued and received an M.S. in Counselling Psychology from Mount St. Mary College in 1996.”

 

The next adventure involved Sister Darlene in two part-time ministries in the Diocese of San Bernardino: she coordinated a high school Confirmation program in a parish and provided marriage and family therapy through Catholic Charities. Both provided means for improving peoples’ lives spiritually, socially, and emotionally. Opportunities for creativity, as well as many challenges, were also provided! The post-graduate degrees have served Sister Darlene and others well.

Following that, she was invited to serve as the Congregational Secretary for the Sisters of the Presentation in San Francisco. She was secretary for six years, ending with the close of that Administration’s term of office in 2016.

Since then, Sister Darlene has been retired and spends time with other areas of interest, such as puzzles, to keep her mind active.

Ministries

1970 – 1971  Teacher, St. Patrick School, San Jose
1971 – 1973  Teacher, Counselor, St. Benedict School, Montebello
1973 – 1975  Teacher, St. John Vianney School, San Jose
1975 – 1977  Principal, St. Catherine School, Morgan Hill
1977 – 1985  Principal, St. Benedict School, Montebello
1985 – 1986  Secretary, Community Law Center, Whittier
1986 – 1987  Teacher, St. Raymond School, Downey
1987 – 1988  Teacher, St. Pius X School, Santa Fe Springs
1988 – 1992  Youth Program Coordinator, St.John of God Parish, Norwalk
1992 – 1993  Youth Minister, St. Margaret Mary Parish, Chino
1993 – 1994  Youth Minister, St. Margaret Mary Parish, Chino; Student, Mt. St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles
1994 – 1995  Youth Minister, St. Margaret Mary Parish, Chino; M.A. Student part-time
1995 – 1997  Director of Youth Ministry, St. Margaret Mary Parish, Chino; Marriage & Family Therapy Intern, Catholic Charities
2002 – 2005  Confirmation Coordinator, St. Margaret Mary Parish, Chino; Marriage & Family Therapy Intern, Catholic Charities
2005 – 2008  Counseling Intern, Catholic Charities,Chino
2008 – 2009  Counseling Intern, Diocese of San Bernardino
2009 – 2010  Counseling Intern, Catholic Charities
2011 – 2016  Congregational Secretary, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
2016 – 2019 Volunteer Services, Motherhouse, San Francisco
2019 – 2020  Ministry of Prayer, Motherhouse, San Francisco
2020 – 2022  Ministry of Prayer, Motherhouse, San Francisco; Coordinator, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco