In Memoriam

Help us remember our sisters.

In death we say our ultimate human yes to God. Trusting in God’s power to bring us to the fullness of life, we conclude our earthly life with an act of worship: in the action of death we proclaim God as God, and ourselves as God’s creatures. We are called by God and sent by the community; we go in joy!


- You Are Sent, Constitution of the School Sisters of Notre Dame


In Memoriam: Sister Mary Serafine Della Croce

Sister Seraphine

Sister Mary Serafine Della Croce was born on August 24, 1932. In her biography she wrote: “My parents, Serafina Alvano and Louis Della Croce, were of Italian descent. I was the first of five children and was baptized Antoinette. Two years later, my brother, Louis, was born, and he was followed by Salvadore, Anthony, and Michael. Both my parents were from large families, so I had plenty of playmates.

In Memoriam: Sister Joan Maier

Siser Joan Maier

Joan Irene, youngest of the four children of Clara Rappl and Thomas Maier, was born in Rochester, N.Y. on Sept. 30, 1932.  Joan was baptized at Holy Family Church, Rochester and attended grammar school at Holy Family School. The school was staffed by the School Sisters of Notre Dame and Joan said in her autobiography, “I greatly admired the Sisters and even during these early years, I felt attracted to Notre Dame.”

As a second grader, Joan received her first Holy Communion at Holy Family Church and was confirmed there in 1944 by Rev. James E. Kearney, the Bishop of Rochester.  

In Memoriam: Sister Caroleen Baummer

Marie Regina Baummer, only daughter of Sigmund and Eleanor Roth Baummer, was born in Baltimore on October 6, 1923, and was baptized at St. Michael’s Church on Oct. 7. Jean, as she was called, had an older brother, Charles. Sister Caroleen later described her early days in “a beautiful Catholic home” where she “learned to love music.” Her mother played the piano and her father sang in the St. Michael’s choir. They had a good collection of records, and Jean and her father listened together to the opera on radio every Saturday afternoon.

In Memoriam: Sister Julie Maria Wiegard

Sister Julie Weigard

Jutta Maria Wiegard was born on September 2, 1925, in Leignitz, Germany, the second child and first daughter of Carl Wiegard and Maria Kowalski.  Her parents ran a grocery store there, until, at the request of relatives, the family moved to Chicago. There the relatives called the 9-month-old baby Julie, and that became her name thereafter.

In Memoriam: Sister Marion Agnes Jerzak

Sister Marion Agnes Jerzak

"On a cold winter morning, January 21, 1929, in the little mining town of Blossburg, PA., God gave life to a little girl of Catholic parents.” That little girl, youngest of the nine children of Stanley Peter and Helen Marchinack Jerzak, was named Marion Agnes. After 25 years in the coal mines, Stanley Jerzak took a maintenance job in the public parks of Rochester, NY. From the age of six months, Marion Agnes lived with her family in Rochester.

In Memoriam: Sister Mary Corda Mullenix

Sister Mary Corda Mullenix

The first and only daughter of Charles and Helen Gossard Mullenix was born on November 19, 1926 in Hagerstown, MD. Her baptismal name was Margaret Louise, but she was known as Peggy. Two boys, Edward and James, soon “joined this happy family circle,” Peggy wrote in her autobiography.

Peggy’s early life was centered in St. Mary’s parish in Hagerstown. She was baptized there, made her first Holy Communion there, and was confirmed there by Archbishop Michael Curley.  

In Memoriam: Sister Earl Mary Moores

Sister Earl Mary Moores

Sister Earl Mary Moores died peacefully on November 17, 2017, at Lourdes Health Care Center in Wilton, Conn. She was 80 years old and had been a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame for 60 years.

Born on April 9, 1937, in Glen Cove, New York, Merle Louise was baptized a few months later at St. Patrick Church in Glen Cove. Eventually Merle would be the oldest of eight children, seven girls and one boy.

In Memoriam: Sister Ursula Kelly

Sister Ursula Kelly

On March 7, 1935 John William and Elizabeth O’Toole Kelly lovingly welcomed their sixth child, a daughter, whom they named Ursula Elizabeth, to their family. As long as she could remember Ursula desired to be a School Sister of Notre Dame. She remarked in her autobiography that she was influenced by the “beautiful example given by the sisters who instructed” her and her family and their “deep religious attitude.”  Before her graduation from St. Philomena School in June 1949, Ursula wrote to Mother M. Myles and received acceptance to the SSND aspiranture.