Sister Margaret Mary

Sister Margaret Mary                      ND 4641                        PDF Download

(formerly Sister Mary Valerie Jean)

Margaret Mary PER

Immaculate Conception Province, USA

Date and Place of Birth:            May 22, 1935           Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession:  August 16, 1955       Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Death:          October 12, 2023     Health Care Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Burial:          October 20, 2023    Resurrection Cemetery, Chardon, OH

Margaret was the fifth child born to John and Mary (Biaggio) Per. A baby girl died in infancy and a boy at age five. She was very close to her two older sisters and enjoyed the simple evening family gatherings they shared. Margaret was a loving child at home and in school. The family lived in the Slovenian parish of St. Vitus where the girls attended elementary school and religious activities. She was always proud and appreciative of her Slovenian heritage. Margaret’s eighth grade teacher, Sister Mary Agna Barthel, encouraged her to attend Notre Dame Academy as an aspirant and to look toward entering the community. Her high school years flew by and on February 2, 1953 she entered the Sisters of Notre Dame as a postulant. At investment she received the name Sister Mary Valerie Jean, the names of her two sisters.

Sister Margaret Mary received a bachelor’s degree from St. John College in Cleveland and a master’s degree in education from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She ministered as an intermediate and junior high teacher for more than twenty years. Sister loved the children; she took time to get to know them so that she could best help them to grow and develop intellectually and spiritually. Her love of music and talent for art made them favorite subjects that were never omitted from the schedule!

She continued her own education with summer studies at the Notre Dame Institute in Middleburg, Virginia, where she earned an Advanced Catechetical Diploma and a Master of Arts degree in Religious Education in 1983. After serving as a pastoral minister at Sacred Heart Parish in Winchester, Virginia, Sister returned to the Provincial House in Chardon.

Service to her sisters in community was a special outreach of love as she ministered as an infirmary aide and nursing assistant in the Chardon Health Care Center. Using her artistic and creative talents, Sister Margaret Mary crafted many items for the annual Barbecue / Boutique. She learned the art of stained glass and woodworking. Her thoughts were captured in the many poems she wrote and shared by computerizing them for framing or to be made into cards.

As she experienced a decline in health, Sister devoted her time and energy to prayer. Dedication to the Sacred Heart and Our Lady of the Rosary were dear to her heart. Family and friends, the sisters and health care staff, all in need were held with loving faithfulness. For many years, Sister Margaret Mary met the challenge of inner struggles with her mental health with grace and dignity – and an ever-present smile. Through it all, she was determined and feisty, yet kind and loving.

May Sister Margaret Mary know the joy of eternal life in the presence of our good and gracious God.