In Memoriam: Sister Audrey Marie Mittelholtz

Sister Audrey Marie Mittelholtz, SSND (formerly Sister Anthony Marie)
March 5, 1929 – January 21, 2019

Sister Audrey Marie Mittelholtz, SSND died at Hamilton General Hospital on January 21, 2019 at age 89, in her 71st  year as a School Sister of Notre Dame.

Audrey Marie was born on March 5, 1929 in Kitchener, Ontario, the second of three girls. Her parents were Anthony and Beatrice (Lang) Mittelholtz. 

Audrey Marie attended Sacred Heart School, Kitchener and went to St. Mary’s High School for grades 9 and 10. She planned to begin a commercial course. However, two of her SSND teachers questioned why she did not want to follow her older sister, Dorothy, to the candidature in Waterdown. They invited Audrey Marie to make a weekend retreat in Waterdown. She returned more determined than ever not to become a sister. During the summer vacation, she stated that “God’s grace worked a great change in her soul.”

In September 1945 she entered the candidature and was received in 1947 into the Novitiate as Novice Anthony Marie. The following year she professed her vows.

After attending Hamilton Teachers’ College, Sister Audrey Marie taught at St. Clement School and St. Michael School, Cambridge, Christ the King School, Hamilton and St. Mary’s School, Owen Sound. While teaching at the latter two schools, she also directed a girls’ choir. 

Sister Audrey Marie had taken courses in Vocal Music from the Ontario Department of Education, as well as a Supervisors course in Primary Education and a course on Primary Methods. She was well prepared for her next appointment as Primary Consultant for the Hamilton Separate School Board and Wentworth County Separate School Board from 1961 – 1970.  

In 1970 Sister Audrey Marie was appointed as local leader for the community at the Motherhouse in Waterdown. After her term of leadership ended in 1974, she taught at Sacred Heart School, Walkerton. In 1975 she moved to Ladner, British Columbia to teach at Sacred Heart School. Sister Audrey Marie was next appointed as local leader for the community in Lingfield, England, where the sisters administered a private day and boarding school for children ages 6 to 18 years old.  Beginning in 1983, she attended Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington, where she attained her Spirituality. Prior to that degree, she had received her B.A. from McMaster University, Hamilton in 1972. 

On her return to Canada, she was involved in Parish Family Catechetics for the Diocese of Hamilton. From 1987-1994, Sister Audrey Marie taught at St. Margaret Mary School, Hamilton. Continuing in Hamilton, she volunteered in the speech therapy department until 1999. She then moved to Notre Dame Convent, where she assisted with the catechetical correspondence program for the Diocese of Hamilton and tutored individuals with English as a Second Language.

Sister Audrey Marie was especially attentive to the needs of others. She readily assisted sisters who were not on email in contacting their relatives and friends. Also, when a sister was too ill to email, she would keep in touch with the sister’s relatives.  She was concerned that each person was treated fairly.

She was a person of deep faith. When faced with a difficult situation, Sister Audrey Marie stated, “I get great strength by just saying the name of Jesus.”

Mass of Christian Burial was concelebrated by Rev. Pablito Labado, chaplain and Rev. Michael Downey on January 25, 2019. Her funeral was attended by many nieces and nephews and friends.  Sister Audrey Marie was predeceased by her parents, Anthony and Beatrice (Lang) Mittelholtz and her two sisters. Her sister, Sister Dorothy, also a SSND, died in August 2002.
-    S. Joan Helm 

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