The Crusader Newspaper Group

Isabel Glass, St. Sabina Bible study teacher recognized for 20 years of service

For 20 years, Isabel Glass faithfully taught Bible school in St. Sabina’s McMahon Hall to several generations of children. On Sunday, May 26, she officially retired and was pleasantly surprised when presented with an award and a bouquet of flowers from the children who adore her so much.

It was a happy and fitting ending to Sunday’s St. Sabina eighth-grade graduation day service, where Father Michael Pfleger spoke on “His Plans are in our Hands.”

His sermon was focused mostly on the graduates who filled the first two rows of the church—boys on one side, girls on the other. He told them from this point on their lives were literally in their hands and that one bad choice could affect their lives forever.

It was a message that Glass often taught her Bible study students as their parents worshipped upstairs in the sanctuary. At 81, Glass decided to stop teaching Bible study, a job she loved so much, “because it was time,” she said.

“We used to accept babies, some wearing diapers,” she recalled. “We had boxes of diapers for the infants. We had our hands full teaching Bible study back then, and taking care of little babies,” Glass said, admitting it was quite a challenge back in the day. “The parents would come downstairs from time to time to check up on their children.”

When she first offered to be a volunteer 20 years ago, she never thought she would end up teaching for two decades. “I wanted to volunteer, like an elder helper,” she said. “After two weeks, they felt I was qualified to be a teacher and that lasted 20 years. I have taught children’s children,” Glass said, chuckling. “I told them I would stay as long as I could, and I did.”

Born in Natchitoches, Louisiana, to a family of 14 children, Glass is used to taking care of babies; she was the third of 14 children.

When her mother had another child, all born at home, she said when the doctor delivered one of the children, he asked her how old she was. When Glass told him she was eight years old, he handed her a newborn little girl and said, ‘You’re old enough to take care of this baby. Here is your baby.’

“From that day on, I was busy taking care of the children,” she said, including her own four children and now her great-grandchildren.

“I used to visit my cousin, Sister Janvier Williams, who was the first Black principal hired at St. Sabina Academy,” she recalled.

Married 62 years to her husband, Joseph, they began attending St. Sabina in 1992, becoming fixtures in the popular Black Catholic church led by activist Father Michael Pfleger, whom some call “the radical priest.”

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