Catholic Schools associate superintendent retiring after 60 years of teaching ‘truths of Jesus Christ’

April 25, 2016

HOUSTON — Following more than six decades of educating Catholic school students — as well as teachers and administrators — Sister Charles Anne Solomon, O.P., is retiring at the end of the current academic year. The associate superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese has served in the Catholic Schools Office (CSO) for the past 7 years.

“Sister Charles Anne has dedicated more than 65 years to educating children. She has spent 48 of those years in leadership roles,” Dr. Julie Vogel, superintendent of Catholic Schools, said. “Sister Charles Anne is someone I aspire to be … She is mission-driven, believes in the power of a Catholic education and has the heart and soul of a saint.”

Dr. Vogel said Sister Charles Anne “quietly influences everyone, a rare gift in a leader.”

“She is a mentor to all of us in the CSO, always knows exactly what to say to keep everyone moving forward, and brings out the best in everyone,” Dr. Vogel said.

Sister Solomon was the honoree at a retirement reception at St. Vincent de Paul School in Houston, April 10. Numerous friends, colleagues and associates from her many years of service were in attendance, including Auxiliary Bishop George A. Sheltz.

According to Sister Solomon, one of the most rewarding aspects of being a Catholic school educator and administrator is working with principals and teachers.

“I see the growth of teachers in their faith and their dedication as well as the sacrifices they make in order to teach in a Catholic school,” she said. “I remind them that teaching is a vital ministry in the Church. Whenever I speak to principals and teachers, I also remind them that they are responsible for the continuation of Catholic schools and are evangelizers of the Church. The future of Catholic education is in their hands.”

As for retirement plans, Sister Solomon looks forward to working in the motherhouse rose garden, visiting with friends and naturally, volunteering as a teacher’s aide in one of the Inner City Catholic Schools.

“I would like to remain active in the education scene for as long I am able,” she said.

In 1953, Sister Solomon joined the Sacred Heart Congregation of the Dominican Sisters. The Newark, N.J., native began teaching in 1954 in a rural school in Nederland, Texas, which was part of the Diocese of Galveston-Houston at that time. 

In 2010, Sister Solomon received the Spirit Award for her service and dedication to Catholic education in the Diocese of Brownsville, where she had served as associate superintendent for 9 years.

During an interview with the Herald after receiving the recognition, Sister Solomon said she never considered being a Catholic school educator a job.

“It is a ministry where academics are important, but more important is the modeling of Gospel values and living the virtues exemplified by Jesus Christ,” Sister Solomon said. “The truths of Jesus Christ must be taught and the love of God must be seen in their actions.”