Sister Marie Clarice

Sister Marie Clarice             ND  4379                     PDF Download
(formerly, Sister Mary Nathaniel)
Clarice Helen BATES

Christ the King Province, Chardon, Ohio, USA

Date and Place of Birth:    October 23, 1928    Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession:  August 16, 1949   Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Death:  December 4, 2016    Health Care Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Funeral: December 9, 2016  Provincial Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Burial:  December 9, 2016  Resurrection Cemetery, Chardon, Ohio

I will hold your people in my heart.”

Clarice Helen Bates was the fourth of six children born to Wilbert and Mary Margaret (Ebenschweller) Bates. The family moved from Cleveland to the then wide open spaces of Parma, Ohio, where the children attended St. Charles School. Clarice’s family was a blessing and a source of great joy during her growing up days of leisure, work, and play. Care for anyone in need was fostered by her loving parents. Clarice chose to attend Notre Dame Academy on Ansel Road in spite of the long streetcar ride. After graduation in 1946, Clarice entered the Sisters of Notre Dame on September 8 and at investment received the name Sister Mary Nathaniel. Later, she returned to her baptismal name, Sister Marie Clarice.

Sister received a bachelor’s degree from St. John College in Cleveland and a Master in Theological Studies from Washington Theological Union. For ten years Sister taught in parish elementary schools in Ohio and California before being missioned to India in 1960. In Jamalpur she taught at Notre Dame Academy and was principal at St. Joseph Parish School. Sister Marie Clarice loved the people of India, especially the very poor. She stated, “Our job is not yet one of converting but of educating. Then the people can uplift and raise themselves up. One of the biggest aims of the Notre Dame community is to have their Indian Sisters well educated.” Sister was aware of the Liturgy and how it affected the people; she took a course on Hindi liturgical music in order to help adapt to the Indian culture.

In 1968 Sister Marie Clarice was asked to return to Chardon to assume the position of  Notre Dame India Mission Procurator. She described her position as “public relations –to tell those who will listen about the achievement of the Notre Dame Sisters to date and describe the tasks that remain to be done.” Sister formed close bonds with the many benefactors who looked upon the sisters and the people they served as family. Sister traveled to India every three years to “ascertain present and projected future needs of the Assumption Province as well as of the individual houses.”  Her energy, dedication and love for the people of India were a source of encouragement and support to the Indian Sisters.

After twenty-eight years as Mission Procurator, Sister Marie Clarice made the bitter-sweet transition into the ministry of pastoral minister. She received certification from the Diocese of Cleveland and ministered for five years at parishes in Ohio and North Carolina. In 2001 she once again returned to Chardon where, as an accomplished quilter, she designed and executed beautiful and intricate quilts for the boutique and for display. As her health began to fail, Sister dedicated herself to the ministry of prayer with the Scriptures as her guide each day. Her interest in the missionary and educational efforts in India never waned and she delighted in the visits of our Indian Sisters. May she know peace and joy in the vision of her beloved Jesus forever.