By John Anderson 10/11/2021
If you graduated from Immaculate Conception School 30 years ago and you haven’t seen Sister Alice since, no worries … she still looks the same.
On Sunday at the Wellsville American Legion, friends and her now church-family gathered for a surprise party for the iconic nun who was on her feet and running around meeting people and telling stories.
When she cut her cake she had one wish, “90 more years!”
Sister Alice Roach also talked about how the Wellsville community embraced her when she came here, and she said she came here with literally nothing and not much family. But as a principal and community leader, she earned a family of thousands.
Of course she also had to belt out the funniest line of the day as well. When asked how she looks so young, Sister Alice looked into the camera and said, “I stopped aging at 60 because I really discovered Coors Light, I have to be honest!’
Though “retired” as principal at Immaculate Conception, she is still the face of the church and school. As school officials, church leaders and students come and go, Sister Alice is still there. Her foundation of hard-work, discipline when needed coupled with heavy doses of encouragement and praise have sent ICS students into public school armed with the visions of finishing at the top of their classes and key figures in plays, clubs and sports teams.
“I am overwhelmed … I never expected this, but of course I never expected to be 90, either. I am so happy to be here and with all of these people who have become my family,” Sister Alice said. “I never had a real family because of different circumstances, but I am so much at home and I love and cherish every one of you. There are people I have not seen in a few years but I still love them and appreciate them being here. It was nothing but pleasure. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Sister Alice said what makes ICS special is not just the students but the support of parents.
“Immaculate Conception Church and School are a great part of my life. Because when I came here, I didn’t know how long I would be here,” she said. “But after I got associated with the parents and students, I wanted to stay here. Being principal was not a hard thing because all I had to say was, ‘Do I have to call your mom or dad?’ and my problem was solved!”