Sister Ann Huffstetter, O.P.
Sister Ann Huffstetter was born in Kearney, Nebraska. She was the oldest of seven. Sister Ann was educated by the Dominican Sisters of Houston, attending Assumption Catholic School and St. Pius X High School.
She entered the convent in September 1963. “During the summer between my junior and senior years I decided God was asking me to enter the Dominican Sisters of Houston. It was nothing dramatic, just a sense that God was calling. The sisters at school said they had known for a couple of years and were waiting for me to figure it out.”
In 1968 Sister Ann started teaching biology at St. Pius X High School. She was there for eleven years. Her next assignment was at Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School in Beaumont where she taught biology for one year. From 1980-1982 she worked in the community as the driver for the sisters who lived at St. Dominic Villa and was the media librarian for the Diocese of Galveston-Houston.
In 1982 Sister Ann became a physical therapist assistant at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Houston and did this work until 1991. From 1991 to 1993 she attended Houston Community College studying physical therapy.
Sister Ann took a physical therapy assistant position in Palestine, Texas. After 21 years she continues to work in Palestine, providing service to all of the public schools of Anderson County and to some home health companies in the area. She also volunteers with the choir at Sacred Heart in Palestine, the Anderson County Community Chorus in Palestine, and is honored to cantor the psalm when she is present for community celebrations. “I was gifted with the ability to sing and was given two semesters of voice training during the novitiate, which has been most helpful to me. It is a great joy to hear the assembly sing during Mass, and the Dominican sisters are one of the best assemblies.”
Sister Ann enjoys gardening, bird watching and cooking. She, too makes orange marmalade from the oranges at the motherhouse. She also enjoys bicycling. This is something that she has loved for many years.
“We grew up hearing this story about when my father was seventeen he rode his bicycle (he was a bicycle messenger) from his hometown of Dallas to Houston. He told me he slept in a field near Centerville, got tired around Huntsville and hitched a ride on into Houston with a trucker. After he rested up a bit, he rode his bicycle to Galveston and back.”
When the national Multiple Sclerosis Society began the MS 150 Sister Ann joined. “As far as I know I am the only religious sister to make the ride for the past 25 years.” The MS150 ride involves a Sunday morning each year where she can be found carrying the psalm with her. “We sing it at Mass, usually at 5:30am, in our bicycle clothes and sunburn. The psalms were meant to be sung, and people are so wonderfully responsive.” She has completed the ride from Houston to Austin, from San Antonio to Corpus Christi and San Antonio to New Braunfels and back.
From notes submitted by Sister Ann Huffstetter, O.P.2014.