Sister Mary Carmelita

CarmelitaSister Mary Carmelita        ND 3765          ⇒ PDF Download
Edna Christina WAGNER

Christ the King Province, Chardon, Ohio, USA

Date and Place of Birth:        September 4, 1922   Massillon, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession:   August 17, 1942     Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Death:        April 25, 2015      Health Care Center, Chardon
Date and Place of Funeral:      May 1, 2015         Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Burial:       May 1, 2015         Resurrection Cemetery, Chardon, Ohio

Edna and her twin brother Ralph were born to William and Martha (Hoffman) Wagner. They and their three other siblings grew up on a farm outside Navarre, Ohio. Each contributed energy and hard work, being together in good times and in challenging times. Throughout life, Edna enjoyed and cherished family visits, activities and celebrations. She loved to travel with her family and her friends in community.

During a trip to Cleveland for the Eucharistic Congress in 1935, and a visit to her great aunt Sister Mary Agneta, Edna first encountered the Sisters of Notre Dame. In her junior year, she came to Notre Dame Academy, Cleveland, as an aspirant and entered as a postulant on February 2, 1940. At investment, she received the name Sister Mary Carmelita.

As a novice Sister worked in the kitchen, and after profession her first assignment was to cook and care for the convent at North Ridgeville, Ohio. Sister was sent to minister at other parish schools as a cook and often as sacristan. Strength of body and spirit was needed, along with the skills in domestic arts that she learned at home.

Soon she found herself in the classroom, substituting as needed and then teaching full-time in addition to her other duties. Sister Mary Carmelita received her bachelor’s degree from St. John College, Cleveland, and ministered to children in the primary grades for forty-four years in Ohio and Virginia. She treasured preparing children for First Communion as a unique privilege.

In 1993, Sister Mary Carmelita retired from teaching and began the ministry of sacristan at the Provincial Center. Prayerfulness and attention to detail went hand in hand as she made sure that all was taken care of for daily liturgy and special occasions. Another ministry, which she carried out until her death, was making craft items for the sisters’ boutique held every September. Exquisite crochet and needlework, quilted placemats and whimsical stuffed animals showcased her talent and creativity. She won many prize ribbons at the Geauga County Fair.

During a visit to friends in Missouri in November 2014, Sister became ill. Because of her weakened condition, she was not able to return home until March. Sister became a resident of the Health Care Center and, although able to resume card playing, she never regained full strength. Sister Mary Carmelita experienced life as a beloved family member, a faithful community member and religious, and a woman who served God’s people in many ways and in many places. She showed us how to live by giving herself freely in loving service. May she rest now, peacefully, in God’s loving embrace.