Decades after graduation, Maryknoll alum gives back exponentially

Kupuna Life

If you’re lucky, you love your school and hold fond memories.

If the school’s lucky, it has a former student like Lucile Mistysyn, who comes back, and gives back exponentially.

The halls of Maryknoll School may be new, but the ground on which Lucile Iwalani Mistysyn walks is like home, “hallowed” ground to her, for 85 years.  

She started at Maryknoll in the 8th grade, graduated in 1937, Maryknoll’s 3rd graduating class…Even thought of being a nun until she met her husband here, in Bachelot Hall, next to Maryknoll’s Sacred Heart church, where they got married. 

“We used to give dances over here for the men in the service and that’s how I met him,” said Mistysyn, Maryknoll graduate and volunteer. “So everything is centered here so how can you not love Maryknoll.”

And for her, how could she not give back. Lucile is now 98 years old, and has been volunteering at Maryknoll for more than 40 years, on the days she’s not volunteering at church or crocheting caps for babies in the hospital.  

Among her duties here, writing mass cards, sending condolences from Maryknoll whenever an alumnus passes away, always an angel on her shoulder.

“Well I’d like to do a little bit more but it’s getting a little bit harder for me now,” said Mistysyn. 

“What is it inside of you that has you giving so much?” I asked. “I really don’t know, I think it’s the lord doing it for me or telling me to do it or whatever, I never thought about it,” she replied.

This “Our Lady of Maryknoll” statue? Donated by this lovely woman of Maryknoll, mother of 3 sons, grandmother of 6, great grandmother of 7 and hanai mom to 2.  She says she never thinks of longevity or to what she owes hers, but admits to one dark chocolate bar every day.

“Everybody’s looking forward for 100 for me and I never think about it,” she said. “I always say let me live my 98 please first.”

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