Sister Christina was baptized Ann Marie after her birth in Manhattan, New York. She grew up in the Bronx, one of eight Children born to Patrick Bradley and Margaret O’Callaghan Bradley. At age 14 she followed her great aunt and an older cousin in their vocations as Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. She entered the Corpus Christi community and went through formation with her older sister, Sister Margaret Patrice, and professed their first vows in 1948.
“It was during my formation years that God’s plan for me began to unfold,” Sister Christina said. “I began to appreciate the importance of a deep prayer life, of what it meant to live in community and how a commitment to ongoing conversion sometimes involves growing pains.”
Eventually, the two Bradley sisters were joined by another sibling, Sister Marian Bradley, in the Incarnate Word community.
Sister Christina earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, and the Montessori International Diploma from the Montessori Institute in Washington, D.C. She began teaching in parish schools in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, served as principal of Cathedral School, and for many years was Director of the Incarnate Word Montessori School.
In the early 1960s, several parents asked the Incarnate Word Sisters to begin a Montessori school, so Sister Christina traveled to Washington, D.C. for the specialized training in the Montessori method of education. In 1965, she was one of the founders of the first Montessori school at Incarnate Word in Corpus Christi. In addition to directing and teaching the IWA Montessori classes, she also trained many Montessori teachers in the South Texas area and welcomed other Montessori schools to observe classes at IWA.
In 2015 Sister Christina was honored at the 50th anniversary of the Montessori school for her 37 years of dedicated service. Today the Montessori School is thriving, with classes extending from three-year-olds to fifth-grade students. A new building for Montessori classes will open this year on the IWA campus.
Sister Christina has said that one of her greatest pleasures was working with the youngest Montessori students, who “were a source of joy and kept me young at heart. No wonder Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
In her ministry within the congregation, sister has served on various committees, has been the Director of Formation and has served as Sister-in-Charge of the Motherhouse. Throughout the years, she has served as an elected delegate to General Chapters of the Congregation. In every assignment, she is gentle and encouraging and full of good humor. In her retirement, she is still active, whether it be with art projects, prayer or helping out with community projects and activities.
On April 14, 2018 Sister Christina, along with seven others, were honored at the congregation’s Jubilee Celebration at St. Patrick Church in Corpus Christi.