Sr. Lynne Marie Knapp knew for a long time that she wanted to be a Sister. Quite by accident, she met the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in Covina in 1967 and entered the novitiate a year later. Ever since making her first vows, Lynne has been a dedicated teacher. She has committed 39 years of her life to teaching Junior High in Salinas. Madonna del Sasso School benefitted from her presence for 17 years, then Sacred Heart School welcomed her. Twenty-two years later, Sr. Lynne still brings her love of the students and her passion for teaching to Sacred Heart.
Excellent Junior High teachers are hard to find; exceptional ones are rare. Lynne is definitely one of those rare ones. She is energized by the students, describing them as “bright, intelligent and precious.” Knowing they need challenges, she encourages them to work hard to meet their potential. She helps them to sort out life’s lessons and brings gospel values into their lives.
Sr. Lynne knows they can excel in achieving the goals they set. In the words of some students she has taught: “You have taught me to appreciate my life and the people around me.” “Thank you so much for not judging me during my hardships but letting me learn to make better decisions.” “Thank you for always being so kind and patient.” “You really changed my life.”
Parents, too, expressed their appreciation of Sr. Lynne: “…please continue to give yourself to your students. Your gift is beyond measure.” “My daughter’s self-esteem has grown by leaps and bounds. You deserve a large share of the credit.”
In 2011, Sr. Lynne received the Crystal Apple Award from the local Salinas TV station. Her 8th grade class nominated her, citing many reasons why she should be chosen. Students, parents, and friends all rejoiced as they watched her receive the award on TV, with her students all around.
At the time of her 50th Jubilee as a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, Lynne expressed gratitude for God’s faithful love throughout her life. She cherishes God as the center and core of her life and rejoices in her opportunities for being of service to others. She also celebrates the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame that they carry out all over the world.
Lynne reflects often on the Scripture event of Martha and Mary with Jesus. Jesus’ words to Martha that Mary has chosen the better part emphasizes Lynne’s own appreciation for the balance she finds in her life as a Sister.
A mother of one of her students once wrote to Sr. Lynne, saying: “…if you ask yourself if you are doing what God wants you to do, I can judge by my experience of you that the answer is YES.”
by Virginia Unger, SNDdeN
St. John Elementary School, Folsom; Madonna Elementary, Salinas; St. Isidore School, Yuba City (Librarian); Sacred Heart Elementary School, Salinas (Teacher).
“The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.”