Sister Marie Fihn

Sister Marie                    ND 5294                      PDF Download

(formerly Sister Mary Mercy)

Anna Marie FIHN

Christ the King Province, Chardon, Ohio, USA

Date and Place of Birth:              October 21, 1928        Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession:    August 16, 1960          Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Death:            October 29, 2019        Health Care Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Funeral:         November 6, 2019      Provincial Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Burial:            November 7, 2019      Resurrection Cemetery, Chardon

Anna Marie was the oldest of the four children born to John and Anna (Frey) Fihn. Called Marie at home, to distinguish her from her mother with the same name, she had a quiet childhood until it was time for kindergarten. “My parents sent me off to kindergarten, despite a considerable amount of protest, mostly vocal. After the initial shock wore off, school became quite bearable and often enjoyable in the years that followed.” Anna completed elementary grades at St. Ignatius School in Cleveland, and received a scholarship to attend Notre Dame Academy in Cleveland, a considerable distance from their home. She was a good student and appreciated her newly formed friendships, wonderful classes and teachers.

After graduation in 1946, Anna entered the work world, securing employment at a department store, library, and the telephone company. Although she liked these varied occupations, the idea of hospital work intrigued her. She began summer studies to complete requirements as a lab technician. The exertion proved to be too great, both financially and personally, and so she re-entered the work world. During this time, Anna realized that God was calling her to religious life. She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame on October 27, 1957. At investment, she received the name Sister Mary Mercy. Later she returned to her baptismal name and became Sister Marie.

Sister received a bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame College in South Euclid, and for twenty-three years, taught intermediate grades in schools in Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina. After retiring from the classroom, Sister Marie volunteered at Project Learn, an adult literacy based program in Cleveland. For the next twelve years, she tutored adults, helping them to acquire basic reading and writing skills, enabling them to be more successful in daily living. Sister valued this ministry and was greatly respected.

In 2000, Sister Marie moved to Chardon to assist with the prayer phone line and as driver for the sisters. She was a gifted artist. Her many paintings, in watercolor and pastels, reflect her gentle, simple spirit and her great love for the serenity found in nature. Being mostly self-taught, she was never quite satisfied with her art work, but all who were privileged to view it recognized her gift to bring to life the creative energy of God. Her portrait of St. Julie and picture of Hilligonde and Elisabeth with a young girl depict the beginnings of our Congregation. Arthritis, the onset of dementia and diminishing health affected her ability to paint and draw but not her interest in art and color.

Sister Marie was a deeply prayerful woman: unassuming, thoughtful and always grateful for those whose lives touched her own. We are grateful for her presence and witness. May she enjoy forever the vision of her Beloved Jesus.