In Memoriam

May they experience the fullness of life in Christ. . .
Profiles of the Sisters of Notre Dame who entered into eternal life during 2012 and 2013.

Sr. Mary Helaine Ehrman

“We have come to know and have believed the love that God has in our behalf.” This refrain from one of Sister Mary Helaine’s musical compositions characterizes Sister’s life. Her confidence in God’s love expressed itself in art and music and enabled her to serve in outreach despite many physical difficulties.

On August 6, 2020, God called Sister to her heavenly home from her residence in Rosary Care Center, Sylvania, Ohio.

Born on May 17, 1944, in Fremont, Ohio, and baptized Phyllis, Sister was the youngest of three children of the late George Ehrman and Helen (Parker) Ehrman. She attended Saint Joseph School in Fremont and Notre Dame Academy Toledo. She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1962 and professed vows in 1964. She received degrees in music from Mary Manse (Toledo) and Bowling Green State University.

Sister taught at Notre Dame Academy Toledo and St. Wendelin High School Fostoria before becoming a liturgical minister at St. Rose Parish Perrysburg and then a pastoral associate at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish Toledo. Sister served as organist and liturgical minister at the Sisters of Notre Dame Provincial Center for many years. In 2010 health problems necessitated retirement from active ministry; however, Sister spent these last years in many forms of service and outreach. Her love of art and music were gifts generously shared. Sister edited and created large print editions of over 300 musical compositions copyrighted by the Sisters of Notre Dame. Sister enjoyed crocheting hats for the children in the Central City Catholic schools and collecting stuffed animals for the Mareda Center. Despite her physical limitations, her cheerful and outgoing personality contributed in many other ways, such as inviting others to concerts and starting a 55+ club.

She is preceded in death by her parents, George and Helen Ehrman, sister in law Nancy Ehrman; and nephew Gregory Ehrman. She is survived by her brother George (Gloriann) Ehrman of Arizona; sister Marianne (Thomas) Bennison, Sr. of Fremont Ohio; 6 nieces and nephews, 13 great nieces and nephews, and 17 great great nieces and nephews. She will be greatly missed by her family, religious community, and friends.

A private service will be held for the sisters and her family at Urbanski Funeral Home, A Life Celebration Home, 5055 Secor Road, Toledo. Tributes may be made to the Sisters of Notre Dame at 3912 Sunforest Court, Toledo.

Sr. Marie Bernadette Serao

Bernadette Bu was born in Tsak Pumakos in the Yangel Village in Enga Province of Papua New Guinea as the youngest of four children to Simeon and Veronica Serao. She attended St. Thomas School in Tsak Pumakos for grades K-6 and then attended Notre Dame High School in Kumdi graduating in November 1974.

Always desiring to be a Sister, Bernadette entered the Novitiate of the Sisters of Notre Dame and was invested in 1975. She attended Holy Trinity Teachers’ College in Mt. Hagen earning her teaching degree which allowed her to minister at various primary schools in the Western and Eastern Highlands for 27 years as an excellent teacher.

Her faithfulness and great love for our international congregation was evident by her participation in congregational events. Sister Marie Bernadette participated in the International Congress on the Apostolate in 1983 held in the USA where she presented a paper on Papua New Guinea. She also traveled to Rome for the Formation Course and participated as an elected delegate for PNG in the General Chapter of 1992. In 1997 she participated in the Spirituality Symposium in Brazil and then in 2009 joined the Sisters of the Toledo Province for their Provincial Chapter.

Sister ministered as Deputy Manager of Maria Kwin Vocational Center in Banz for seven years, before becoming involved in the Better World Movement in the Hagen Diocese from 2008-2014. As an Animator in the Better World Movement, she traveled to various dioceses training the leaders.

With great love and respect for the young women discerning their religious vocation, Sister was the formation directress of candidates and junior professed. In 2017 she eagerly accepted the invitation to be part of the SND Formation Team in Bataan, Philippines for the young women in the Asian territory including women from PNG, the Philippines, China, Vietnam, South Korea and Indonesia.

Returning from the Philippines in February of 2020 because of medical reasons, she was lovingly cared for by the postulants and professed sisters in PNG during these past months. She was faithful to her vocational call with joyfulness even in these times of suffering and pain. Lovingly she was called by the Almighty God to give herself into his waiting arms on July 11, 2020. She entered her eternal rest while on her way home from the hospital to be with her Sisters and family in her final hours.

May she rest in His loving embrace.

Sr. Mary Ruth Boes

“The more we allow God alone to possess our hearts, the more we desire to be poor, free from attachment to earthly goods and ready to share them generously with others.” These words from the Constitutions of the Sisters of Notre Dame describe Sister Mary Ruth. Quite unexpectantly God called Sister home on July 3, 2020, after a very recent diagnosis of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Born in Tiffin, Ohio, Sister was the oldest of nine children of the late Bernard and Agnes (Naderer) Boes. She attended St. Mary Elementary School Kirby and Notre Dame Academy Toledo as an aspirant. She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1975 and professed vows in January 1979.

From 1980-1995 Sister enjoyed her years as an elementary teacher for students in grades 2 to 8 in the Toledo Diocese and Michigan. From 1996-2004 Sister served as receptionist at Maria Early Learning Center in Toledo, where she interacted with the young children as they developed necessary life-skills and grew in their unique personalities.

In 2005 Sister Ruth began her loved ministry of serving the disadvantaged children and adults at Sunshine Children’s Home in Maumee, where she loved the clients and the staff. She dedicated many hours to ministering to special adults in their homes through food preparation, transportation, companionship, and sharing times of prayer and spirituality. Sister Ruth gave her whole heart and soul to whatever she did, whether in prayer, yard work, or advocating for her clients.

Sister’s deep faith in God manifested itself in the contemplative reflections she composed in her writings and drawings. Praying the rosary with her family each Wednesday evening gave witness to her dedicated love for Mary.

Sister Ruth was involved in music ministry at parish liturgies, participated in an immersion experience in India, and served on various committees as needed by Sunshine INC ministry. Most recently she fulfilled the needs of the times by making hundreds of face coverings for the Sisters and many others in need.

Sister lovingly surrendered her days into the hands of her Creator and accepted this sudden change in her daily lifestyle. She was no longer in charge. May she enjoy the embrace and compassion of her loving God.

 

Sr. Pamela Marie Buganski

Sister Pamela embraced ministries that emerged from her heart, choose difficult tasks to assist those experiencing poverty and oppression, and gave herself totally in charity while working on systemic change. In the process, Sister raised the consciousness of many toward social justice. To the surprise of all, God called her to Himself on June 9, 2020, while she was on mission in Alamo, Texas.

Sister Pamela was the oldest of 12 children of Dr. Raymond and Ruth (Holmes) Buganski. She attended St. Pius elementary school and Notre Dame Academy in Toledo. She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1975 and professed vows in 1978. After attending Notre Dame Extension College, she received a Master in Education at the University of Dayton and a Master in Administration for Non-Profit Organizations at the University of Notre Dame.

Sister spent 12 years teaching junior high students, and ten years teaching computer science and math in high schools of the Toledo Diocese. She was known for her excellence, intense preparation, and friendliness toward her students and colleagues.

Sister was the Provincial Treasurer for the Sisters of Notre Dame of the Toledo Province from 2003 to 2013 when she was best known for her passion for promoting socially responsible investments. In 2012 she was named the American Project Manager of SewHope in Guatemala. Sister volunteered her time and talent by serving on the SND International Investment Committee, Interprovince Collaborative Taskforce, Peace and Justice Committee, and at Cherry Street Mission, and the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union. Sister’s missionary spirit led her to three immersion experiences, one in Papua New Guinea and two in Guatemala.

After studying Spanish, Sister began social justice and immigration work in Texas in 2014. Then began years of volunteer ministry at ARISE and Annunciation House, as well as assisting in Dallas after Hurricane Harvey. While in Texas Sister led many groups on immersion experiences at the border. Sister was recently accredited by CLINIC as an advocate for those seeking citizenship. Sister was hired as a contact tracer for COVID19. She also had an outstanding gift of networking with people who had the same passion for the marginalized.

Sister witnessed love of neighbor by her spontaneous acts by feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, comforting the sorrowing, visiting the detained, and teaching those desiring an education. The marginalized people captured her heart as she responded to the call of God to be present to God’s people. May Sister Pamela Marie rejoice in Transforming Glory in the eternal dwelling place.

Sr. Mary Paulissa Klausing

On Sunday, April 19, 2020, Sister Mary Paulissa, age 93 and in her 74th year of religious profession, entered into eternal life dying as she had lived—quietly and simply—at the Ursuline Center where she resided during these last two years.

Born to Hubert and Luella (Clement) Klausing, Dorothy Jane was the oldest of six children, four girls and two boys in a strong Catholic family in Delphos, Ohio. She attended St. John Elementary School before becoming an Aspirant at Notre Dame Academy in Toledo. She began her novitiate with the Sisters of Notre Dame in Toledo in 1944. After attending Mary Manse College, Sister received a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Sister taught every grade from first through twelfth in her 50 year teaching career. Sister taught elementary school for 22 years in the Toledo Diocese from 1945-1968. In 1968 Sister began teaching high school English and religion. She is well known as the English teacher at Notre Dame Academy, Toledo—her alma mater— for 22 years. Hundreds of students grew in their appreciation of the beauty of the English language through Sister’s precise instruction and the reciprocal enthusiasm between teacher and student. Her days at Notre Dame Academy left a lasting impression on staff, parents, and students. Her love for literature and English language was evident in her teaching skill which could capture the imagination of even the most reluctant student. She was a master of the pun and engaged in this form of humor with a mischievous grin.

Her dedication to education equaled her enthusiasm for other acts of kindness; physical work, visiting the nursing homes as the Red Cross moderator, collecting money for the Missions, playing a game of Bingo, or sitting quietly by the bedside of a sick Sister. In community she was aware of the needs at the time and showed up with her apron.

One could find Sister prayerfully present before the Blessed Sacrament lifting up the intentions of her students and their parents, and the needs of the congregation, her family, and the world.

During these days as spring bursts forth beauty in the flowers and trees, we recall Sister Mary Paulissa’s love for nature and respect for the planet Earth. On this Earth Day we give our Sister back to the Creator God to cherish her in his loving embrace. She loved her flowers indoors and outdoors and willing shared them with others.

Like our foundress Sister Maria Aloysia, who died during a heat wave and was buried with little fan-faire, because of the coronavirus Sister Mary Paulissa died with just a few sisters present reminding us of her quiet and humble demeanor. May Sister Maria Aloysia companion Sister Mary Paulissa to our good and provident God. May she rest in peace.

Sr. Virginia Marie Myers

Sister Virginia Marie, age 70, entered into her eternal rest unexpectedly after being taken to St. Anne Hospital in Toledo. Adopted by Paul and Virginia Myers as a young child, Cynthia was raised as one of three children in Toledo attending Sacred Heart School and Christ the King Elementary School. She attended four years of high school at Notre Dame Academy and entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame in August of 1968.

Sister loved working with her hands and of performing the ordinary tasks in an extraordinary way. Baking was her specialty and she was well known for her delicious pecan rolls and delightful trays of breads and other baked goods. As a cook she served the sisters of the Provincial Center, Lial convent, and the Health Care Diet Kitchen and various smaller convents in the Toledo Diocese for 34 years. She also greatly appreciated her few months in Rome cooking for the sisters during the General Chapter in 1998.

From 1989 to 2001, Sister ministered in the maintenance of Lial Campus in Whitehouse, Ohio, where she discovered her love of taking care of the property. She made mowing the lawn a contemplative experience, as she enjoyed God’s creation.

Sister enjoyed making each holiday special by decorating the house and providing holiday treats for sisters, friends, and family. During the warm months she enjoyed taking the Sisters to her family cottage for fun on the lake. Thus many sisters were well known by her family and in turn her family welcomed each sister into their family.

Sister Virginia Marie had a deep love for Mary, especially under the title of Our Lady of Divine Grace. She took Mary under this title for her special patron and often called on Mary for the graces she needed during her life. She had a growing appreciation for the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. In immersing herself in them she came to deepen her relationship with God and was so grateful, not only for what she came to learn about God, but for what she came to learn about herself as well.

She was already eagerly anticipating the celebration of her Golden Jubilee in 2021. The community was shocked to wake up on Saturday morning to the news of the unexpected death of our dear Sister during the early hours. Now in God’s embrace, may she feast at the heavenly table lovingly prepared for her.

Sr. Mary Vernon Bick

On January 27, 2020, Sister Mary Vernon Bick, age 93, entered into her eternal home while a resident at the Ursuline Center in Toledo. Born to John Bick and Nellie (Hassen) Bick, Sister was the second of six children. She attended Gesu School and Notre Dame Academy in Toledo. She was an Aspirant for two years before entering the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1944.

Sister had a genuine love for little children and an understanding of them. A teacher of children in the primary grades for 48 years and a principal for two years in elementary schools of the Toledo Diocese, Sister Vernon embodied the highest qualities of outstanding teaching. The motto “For God Alone and the Child” characterizes Sister Mary Vernon’s life. Treasuring the uniqueness of each child, she helped form children’s strengths and encourage their creativity, abilities she also shared by mentoring other teachers. Teaching at Lial Catholic School in Whitehouse, Ohio, Sister brought the love of nature into her classroom during her 26 years in active ministry as a teacher and aide there. Her beautiful smile, gentle manner, and listening heart drew sisters and family, students, faculty and parents to love and cherish her dearly.

Another of her loves was the Lial campus. She loved Sisters Maria Aloysia and Maria Ignatia for whom Lial was named. She loved the nature enveloping her surroundings at Lial and rejoiced with the Creator of such explosive beauty. She could name trees, ferns and flowers, and Sister Mary Vernon knew most of the birds that populated Lial by sight and bird-song. With the help of a naturalist, she discovered yellow Trillium on Lial property, not found growing naturally in any other place in Ohio. Her heart was saddened when the Lial convent was destroyed in 2007, and it was with great joy that she returned as a resident to the newly built SND Center in December 2015.

Sister Mary Vernon had a great love of the Eucharist as she prepared many children for their First Holy Communion. She also loved to pray. She said once that prayer books were fine, but she had a hard time looking into a book with so much beauty surrounding her.

Even though she loved traveling each year to visit her family in Florida, ministry was a priority. In 2011, when our sisters in New Orleans, Louisiana, needed assistance during the school renovation after Katrina, Sister Mary Vernon, at age 85, volunteered to help for two and a half years.

If Sister Mary Vernon found Lial so beautiful, how enthralled she must be now in the Beatific Vision and in all that heaven holds. May she enjoy her new eternal life and may she smile many blessings upon each of us and upon the Notre Dame Congregation.

Sr. Mary Rebeca Moser

Times of suffering prepare us for eternal life. Throughout her life Sister Mary Rebeca experienced pain from injury and illness, yet exhibited gentleness and generosity. On October 4, 2019, Sister Mary Rebeca completed her earthly journey at the Sisters of Notre Dame Center in Whitehouse, Ohio.

Born in Defiance, Ohio, Barbara was the oldest of ten children of Louis and Rosemary (Singer) Moser. Throughout her life she strove to keep the family connected, initiating gatherings and remembering every birthday. She attended school at St. Michael’s Ridge where she was taught by the Sisters of Notre Dame. She became an Aspirant, attending Notre Dame Academy and entering the Sisters of Notre Dame in Toledo in February 1960 following in the footsteps of her two aunts Sister Mary Carmel and Sister Rose Maria. Likewise, her younger sister Mary Rose followed in her footsteps by entering Notre Dame in 1967.

Reading the Prologue of the Constitutions of the Sisters of Notre Dame a sister reflected, “This article sums up the life of Sister Rebeca.” Inserting Sister’s name it reads, “Centered in Jesus Christ, united as community in his love and in the spirit of Mary, Sister Rebeca shared a life of faith and joyful simplicity ready to take up her cross daily in love.” (Prologue, art. 3)  In essence, this was Sister Rebeca.

Her philosophy was to “take each day as it comes.” And so she did. She loved being a school aide and as such she helped Sister Mary Corneille in Lial’s cottage, which was the first Lial Montessori School in 1972. And then she was cook, which she also enjoyed and would readily share her tips and recipes with others. When she ministered as Director of Housekeeping, she was meticulous in cleaning, in ordering, and in working with lay employees who loved her. As a seamstress she was a perfectionist and produced masterpieces. In later years she liked working with quilted materials and made such things as table placemats, wall hangings, bags, purses, and baby blankets. Her work was marked by attention to details and gentle kindness toward others.

Her missionary heart encouraged her to frequently pray for our Sisters in Papua New Guinea and write them letters. Photos found in her room of the underprivileged and disadvantaged reminded her to pray for those experiencing poverty each daily. Sister’s tender love was appreciated by all.

May Sister Mary Rebeca be embraced by her loving and gentle God.

Sr. Marcia Marie Destatte

After a long illness Sister Marcia Marie Destatte (78) entered into eternal life on the afternoon of June 27, 2019, in the 58th year of her religious profession, having spent the last months of her life at the Ursuline Center on Indian Road. Born on July 29, 1940, Marcia Ann was the second child and oldest girl of sixteen children born to John Robert Destatte and Gladys Mary (Eckel) Destatte. She attended St. Joseph School, Maumee and became an Aspirant attending Notre Dame Academy.

Sister Marcia Marie began religious life in August 1959, receiving the name Sister Mary Thadius. She received her undergraduate degree at Mary Manse College in Education and History, a Master of Arts in English from Bowling Green State University, a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from St. Charles Borromeo Major Seminary, and a Licentiate in Canon Law at St. Paul University in Ontario, Canada.

Sister spent six years teaching elementary school in Toledo, Fremont, Sandusky, and Delphos before teaching secondary students at St. John, Delphos; St. Mary, Sandusky; St. Joseph, Fremont; and Notre Dame Academy, Toledo. Sister was passionate about sharing her knowledge of theology and became the Director of Religious Education for 14 years at St Joseph, Fremont; St. Joseph, Maumee; St. John, Delphos; and St. Wendelin, Fostoria. After studying Canon Law, Sister worked 14 years for the Diocese of Toledo as the Director of the Marriage Tribunal Office. Since 2007 Sister has used her pastoral skills with many sisters at Rosary Care Center, Ursuline Center, and the Provincial Center of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

Sister was preceded in death by her parents and five siblings, Mary Destatte, Richard, Thomas, Joseph, and Timothy. She is survived by her brothers, Robert, Eugene, David, Theodore, Romain, and John and her sisters, Terry Gfell, Linda Andrews, Judy Coulianos, and Sandra Hanna, along with many nieces and nephews.

Sr. Mary Robert Clare Groth

On May 23, 2019, Sister Mary Robert Clare gave back to God her life of 82 years in her 62nd year of religious profession. Born Roberta Jane, she was the youngest of five children born to Frederick Groth and Clara Rose (Osterrieder) Groth. Her childhood was spent in Toledo where she attended St. Ann School. Roberta attended Notre Dame Academy graduating in 1955, the same year that she was invested with the habit of the Sisters of Notre Dame and received the name Sister Mary Robert Clare.

Receiving an undergraduate degree in education at Mary Manse College and a Masters Degree in Education from St. Francis College, Fort Wayne, Sister began her 52 years of teaching in the elementary school. Sister taught the primary grades at St. John Elementary School, Delphos, OH 14 years, working an additional four years as an aide. Sister also taught second grade at St. Michael, Wheaton, Illinois 13 years and Holy Rosary, Jacksonville, Florida two years. In addition, Sister taught at Immaculate Conception, Marygrove; St. Wendelin, Fostoria; St. Augustine, Napoleon; St. Paul, Norwalk; St. Joseph, Fremont; St. Michael, Defiance; and St. James, Holy Rosary, St. Mary, and Gesu in Toledo. Wherever she ministered the students and parishioners loved her. Everyone became her friend, and no one could turn her down when she sold raffle tickets for good causes, especially the annual FamilyFest of the Sisters of Notre Dame, even after Sister had left that town years before. Sister involved herself in many aspects of the schools and parishes, even assisting with weekly bingo and cheering on former students throughout their high school athletic careers.

After leaving the schools, she was often visited by former co-teachers and parishioners wanting to express their gratitude and friendship. Sister could always be seen at the front door of the SND Center to welcome people for Mass. No matter where she lived, Sister generously and humbly put her whole self into ministry and community living visiting nursing homes, attending to the lonely, and helping colleagues.

Preceding her in death were her parents and her brothers Carl and Robert. Surviving are her sisters Sister Mary Rose Bernard, SND, and Mary Ann (Cletus) Ekert.

 

Sr. Mary Antoni Nadolny

On May 20, 2019, Sister Mary Antoni Nadolny gave back to God her life of 83 years in her 62nd year of religious profession. Born Carol Lois, she was the older of two children born to Robert and Clara (Gozdowski) Nadolny. Born in Toledo, Carol was raised a block from St. Anthony Catholic Church in a highly Polish population, giving her frequent use of the Polish language.

Carol attended Notre Dame Academy where she first met the Sisters of Notre Dame. Graduating in 1954, she entered the Sisters of Notre Dame that same year. In 1955 she was invested with the habit of the Sisters of Notre Dame and received the name Sister Mary Antoni.

Receiving a degree from Mary Manse College in Education and History, Sister spent 13 years teaching on the elementary level in Sandusky, Toledo, Maumee, Bellevue, and Fostoria, and 11 years teaching in Religion and Social Studies in high schools of St. Paul, Norwalk; St. Joseph, Fremont; and Notre Dame Academy, Toledo. Her greatest delight was to teach at her alma mater.

Having earned a Master in Educational Administration at Bowling Green State University in 1974, Sister ministered as a principal or assistant principal at St. Wendelin Elementary School, Fostoria and St. Mary High School, Sandusky. Sister was also a college instructor at Notre Dame College of Ohio Extension.

After 37 years in education, Sister became the Materials Management Coordinator at Aurora (House) Project in 1993, a position she cherished until 2007. Sister found great pleasure in working with the women, even fulfilling the role of “resident godmother.” Active ministry continued another seven years as a clerical aide in Toledo Hospital and St. Anne Hospital. Her final years were spent at the Sisters of Notre Dame Center in Whitehouse and the Ursuline Center in Toledo.

Preceding her in death were her parents and her sister Brenda Bowen. 

Sr. Mary Madelena Pohlman

Born on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1938, Sister Mary Madelena Pohlman was known for the character of her heart and gentle disposition expressed in her love of nature, care of the poor, and dedication to the community. Sister died on February 7, 2019, at 80 years of age in her 61st year of religious profession.

The oldest of seven children born to Raymond and Alice (Lammers) Pohlman, Mary Lou was raised in Delphos, Ohio, where she attended St. John the Evangelist elementary school before becoming an aspirant at Notre Dame Academy, Toledo, and entering the Sisters of Notre Dame in February 1956. After her entrance she received the name Sister Mary Madelena. Sister received her education in biology and theology at Notre Dame College of Ohio, University of Dayton, and Xavier University. Sister was an excellent teacher, teaching 36 years on both the elementary and secondary level: St. Joseph, Fremont; and St. Mary, Christ the King, Holy Rosary, Notre Dame Academy in Toledo.

Sister served in Pastoral Ministry at the parishes in East Toledo: Holy Rosary, Sacred Heart, St. Stephen and Epiphany from 1995-2016.Throughout her life Sister kept abreast of social justice issues and gave her heart for social justice causes and ministered to those in need.

Sister is survived by her brothers David (Lucy) Pohlman, Delphos, Ohio; and Robert (Denise) Pohlman, North Carolina; sisters Elizabeth Spanton of California, Joan Roby of Florida, Sharon (Michael) Hohne of Kentucky; and Terrie (James) Huster, Maumee, Ohio and many nieces and nephews and the Sisters of Notre Dame in the Toledo Province. She was preceded in death by her parents.

Sr. Mary Joan Furlong

July 22, 2018

Sister Mary Joan Furlong, 84, formerly known as Sister Mary Joan Frances, died on July 22, 2018, at the Ursuline Center, Toledo. Sister Joan entered the Sisters of Notre Dame in February, 1952, following her older sisters Sister Mary Leo and Sister Mary Beatrice Ann, who entered the community earlier.

Born Eleanor Frances on May 25, 1934, in Bellevue, Ohio, she was the fifth child of the six children of Leo Patrick and Catherine Beatrice (O’Donnell) Furlong. Sister became an Aspirant with the Sisters of Notre Dame while a student at Notre Dame Academy. She received two degrees in education from Mary Manse College and principal certification from Ball State University and the University of Dayton.

Sister began her highly effective teaching career as a first-grade teacher in diocesan elementary schools: Fremont, St. Joseph; Fostoria, St. Wendelin; Monroeville, St. Joseph; Napoleon, St. Augustine; Toledo, Christ the King and St. Michael. For 28 years she was principal at St. Joseph, Maumee; St. Mary, Muncie, IN; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Carmel, IN; St. John Elementary School, Delphos, OH; and St. Anthony, Temperance, MI. Sister Joan also spent one year in the Catholic Youth and School Services office of the Toledo Diocese. Retiring from education, Sister used her gift of accuracy as finance assistant for the Sisters of Notre Dame from 2003-2010 and other community service for six years before becoming a resident of the Ursuline Center in September 2016.

Preceding her in death are her sisters Sister Mary Leo and Ann Marie Friend and her brother James. Surviving are her sister Sister Mary Beatrice Ann and brother Lawrence Patrick, who is an associate of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

 

 

Sr. Mary Bernarda Sullivan

February 11, 2018

On the morning of February 11 at the Ursuline Center on Indian Road, Sister Mary Bernarda Sullivan gave back to God her life of 97 years. Born Rita Ann, she was the youngest of nine children born to Charles and Mary Ann (Schoen) Sullivan. Preceding her in death were her parents and all her siblings: Bernard, Reverend Charles Sullivan, S.J., Arthur, Jerome, Donald, Roger, Joseph, and her sister Sister Mary Theophane, S.N.D.

Rita grew up in Toledo, Ohio, where she attended St. Ann School and Notre Dame Grade School and Notre Dame Academy. She began her formal training as a Sister of Notre Dame in September 1938. The following year she was invested in the habit of the Sisters of Notre Dame and received the name of Sister Mary Bernarda.

With degrees in Education and English from Mary Manse, Toledo, and the University of Detroit, Sister Bernarda was a highly effective educator whether as a teacher or principal in the elementary schools of St. Joseph, Fremont; St. Mary, Leipsic; St. Joseph, Maumee; St. Paul and St. Mary, Norwalk; St. Mary, Sandusky; Sacred Heart, Holy Rosary, and Christ the King, Toledo; and as a secondary teacher at Central Catholic, Toledo; St. John, Delphos; and Notre Dame Academy, Toledo. Through her 51 years of teaching and eight years as a librarian, Sister was well liked by her students, especially the boys whose football and basketball games she faithfully attended.

The oldest Sister of Notre Dame in the Toledo Province, Sister was in her 77th year of religious profession. Retiring from active ministry in 2006 Sister helped at the finance office at NDA. An avid reader interested in events, Sister was a good conversationalist throughout much of her retirement. She is survived by many nieces and nephews and the Sisters of Notre Dame in the Toledo Province.

 

Sr. Mary Michel Schmitt

On April 12, 2018, Sister Mary Michel Schmitt gave back to God her life of 93 years. Born Rita Jean, she was the youngest of eleven children born to Joseph and Beatrice (Schoen) Schmitt.

Born in Sandusky, Rita grew up in Toledo and attended Blessed Sacrament School and Notre Dame Academy. She began her formal training as a Sister of Notre Dame in January 1943. Later that year she was invested in the habit of the Sisters of Notre Dame and received the name Sister Mary Michel.

With degrees in Education and Special Education from Mary Manse College and St. Louis University, Sister was a highly effective educator for 60 years as teacher and principal at St. Mary, Gesu, Ladyfield, and Mary Immaculate schools in Toledo; Sacred Heart, Fremont; St. Mary, Leipsic; St. Paul, Norwalk; St. Wendelin, Fostoria; and St. John, Delphos. In 1960 Sister Michel was the first principal and the only teacher when Mary Immaculate School began to teach children with exceptional learning styles. As principal eleven years and teacher for seven more years, Sister helped many children feel comfortable and positive about their abilities. Sister’s latest teaching assignment was her teaching and tutoring at St. John School, Delphos from 1984-2007.

Preceding her in death were her parents and her siblings, Reginald, John, Dorothy Gedert, Marjorie Kerste, Veronica Stemple, Beatrice Antener, Elizabeth King, Michael, and Robert. She is survived by one sister Mary Heferle and many nieces and nephews and the Sisters of Notre Dame in the Toledo Province.

Visitation will be at the Sisters of Notre Dame Center at 5900 Davis Road, Whitehouse, Ohio on Monday, April 16 from 3-5:00. The sharing of memories will be at 5:00, with the funeral Mass following at 7:00 p.m. Burial will be Tuesday at 9:30 in Resurrection Cemetery.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Urbanski Funeral Home, A Life Celebration Home, 5055 Secor Rd, Toledo, OH. Any tributes may be made to the Sisters of Notre Dame at 3912 Sunforest Court, Toledo, OH 43623.

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