September 12, 2014
By Gary Loncki, Communications Director, New York, Pennsylvania, Pacific West Community
The Stearman biplane came to a halt, its single wooden propeller stopped spinning and Sister Matthew B. took off a pair of headphones. The diminutive Sister of Mercy, who turned 91 on September 11, peered over the open cockpit and remarked excitedly to a friend, “It was beautiful!”
Sister Matthew had just completed a half-hour flight over Erie, Pennsylvania, on August 28 as a front-seat passenger in a plane very much like the old Waco biplane she learned to fly in the early 1940s.
“It was so smooth; no problem at all,” said Sister Matthew, who is celebrating her 70th jubilee this year.
Wearing her favorite Mercyhurst College sweatshirt emblazoned with a large “M” on the front, Sister Matthew arrived at Tom Ridge International Airport about an hour before takeoff from North Coast Air on a clear, blue-sky day.