Sister Josephine Marie Godinich, O.P.
Sister Josephine Marie was born in Galveston, Texas. She spent her childhood on the island with her parents John and Josephine Godinich and her six siblings. Sister Josephine Marie has wonderful stories from when she was a child. Their family owned the Wharf Café near the waterfront. Her mother cooked all the time and Sister Josephine would often help her prepare the food. She recalls her mother being well known to the Sisters for her baked stuffed crab and the young Sister Josephine Marie was known to the sisters as the young girl who would bring them the delicious treats. She attended St. Mary’s Cathedral School and Dominican High School in Galveston. “The sisters taught us. We would work in the garden with them. I was around them all the time.” This closeness to the Dominican Sisters made it easy for her to enter Sacred Heart Convent in 1960.
Early in Sister Josephine Marie’s teaching career she taught at Queen of Peace Catholic School in Houston, Texas, St. Catherine Catholic School in Port Arthur, Texas and at St. John Catholic School in Rubidoux, California. In 1970 she came back to Houston to teach at Queen of Peace Catholic School again and in 1975 she was asked to serve as principal. During her eight years as principal, Sister Josephine Marie was able to get air conditioning in the school and start a cafeteria program through her inventive fundraising ideas.
Sister Josephine Marie went to St. Raphael Parish where she developed her gift to fundraise. While at St. Raphael she helped raise the funds to enlarge the cafeteria, add office and CCE classroom space, and eventually add a wing to the church. She accomplished this by organizing bazaars and raffles and using her gift of negotiation.
Her knack at fundraising led her to a position in the Education Development Office for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston where she did development and fundraising for inner city schools. Sister Josephine Marie has also helped with fundraising at Blessed Sacrament, Immaculate Heart of Mary and All Saints Catholic School. “I was very excited to do the fundraising at the places where I worked. One of the priests where I was said I was ‘gifted in deals’. I believe where there is a will there is a way and have been successful helping the churches and schools I have worked with get what they needed.”
One of Sister Josephine Marie’s fundraising endeavors came about through the inspiration and experiences as a young girl cooking with her mother. She began catering, making lunches for different organizations, and she is noted for the homemade dressing she puts on her po boys. The proceeds benefited the Office of Hispanic Ministries.
Sister Josephine has served as bookkeeper for St. Dominic Villa and for the Dominican Sisters of Houston Administrative Offices. Currently she organizes the distribution of the “Five Minutes of Prayer in the Home” publication that goes around to over 50 churches and organizations in the area. Sister Josephine Marie also assists with providing transportation to the retired sisters who live at the Villa. She enjoys word puzzles and going fishing when the opportunity arises.
Sister Josephine Marie has enjoyed her ministries and she feels blessed to have been able to help others. “Most of my time in ministry has been with the poor. If I can lighten the load for someone else I want to do it and sometimes the smallest gestures mean so much, just a smile may be what they need. Being a Dominican Sister is about service to others.”
Interview with Sister Josephine Godinich, O.P. June 2, 2014.