Sister Benignus Galiano, O.P.
Mary Rose Galiano
Sister BenignusGaliano was born in Beaumont, Texas where she lived with her parents Rose Capo Galiano and Charles Galiano and her two siblings. She attended St. Anthony’s Catholic School until she graduated from St. Anthony High School in 1939. She entered the convent in June 1940. “I never really thought seriously about doing anything else,” recalled Sister Benignus.
Her first teaching assignment was at St. Mary’s in Port Arthur where she taught first and sedond grade. She later came back to St. Mary Catholic School and served as principal. Sister Benignus has taught at Sacred Heart Catholic School inGalveston, Assumption Catholic School in Houston and served as principal at St. Joseph Catholic School in Port Arthur. Sister Benignus taught one year in San Bernardino, California and then went to Riverside, California, and taught three years at St. Francis de Sales Catholic High School.
In the summer of 1967 she attended Wisconsin State University and studied theater. She later went to teach at Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School in Beaumont and during this time she attended Texas Woman’s University receiving a Masters of Arts degree. “I was always interested in plays and theater.”
From 1970-1974 she taught English, speech and drama. The first musical production was Oliver. “We did wonderful things. The students were talented. It wasn’t easy producing in a gym/auditorium.”
In 1974 Sister Benignus went back to St. Mary Catholic School in Port Arthur, this time as the Director of Children’s Religious Education. Over the next fifteen years she served as Director of Religious Education for several parishes, including St. Mary Catholic School in Orange, Texas, St. Vincent PallottiCatholic School in Abilene, Texas, Immaculate Conception Catholic School in Groves, Texas and St. James Catholic School in Port Arthur, Texas.
During the 1990’s she spent time working at Our Lady of Guadalupe Social Services here in Houston, assisting individuals to find employment.
Sister Benignus reflects on her time as a teacher and Dominican Sister. “ I think that prayer, study, community and action of Dominican life continues to provide for me the challenge to become the human being God intended me to be.” She enjoyed teaching, particularly encouraging creativity in children, which is why she enjoyed working with students in drama and theater. “The experience of performing on stage is something they never forget.”
Sister Benignus now lives at St. Dominic Villa with companion sisters. She enjoys oil painting, reading and doing crossword puzzles. She helps out as a receptionist and ministering to other sisters at the Villa. She also spends a few days a week tutoring the Vietnamese Sisters who live at the Villa. "I really enjoy working with them on their writing and speech. They are a delight and such a help to our community."
Interview with Sister Benignus Galiano, O.P. on December 16, 2013. Updated March 20, 2017.