Sister Mary Lea

Sister Mary Lea                                      ND 4650             PDF Download

(formerly Sister Mary Bernadette)

Mary Lea Paolucci

Immaculate Heart of Mary Province, Covington, Kentucky, USA

Date and Place of Birth                     March 9, 1933            Covington, KY
Date and Place of Profession           August 25, 1953         Covington, KY
Date and Place of Death                   May 30, 2018             Covington, KY
Date and Place of Burial                   June 02, 2018            Covington, KY

Sister Mary Lea (formerly Sister Mary Bernadette) Paolucci was born on March 9, 1933. She was the oldest of five children born to Mary and Tony Paolucci.  Theirs was a loving family where Lea was taught to pray and show respect to all people.  Sister attended St. Stephen School and Notre Dame Academy.  She felt that her four years at Notre Dame Academy drew her closer to God.  On August 8, 1951, she entered the Sisters of Notre Dame and made her first profession on August 25, 1953.

Sister Mary Lea enjoyed a long teaching career at Bishop Brossart High School, Notre Dame Academy, and Thomas More College. After earning a degree in science and math, she received a Master’s in Theology from Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island.  In 1983 Sister was called to her next ministry at Lexington Catholic High School as a teacher and principal.

Sister returned to Northern Kentucky in 1995 to teach adults and work at Thomas More College in the Continuing Education Department, but she was quickly summoned back to Lexington, Kentucky, to become Pastoral Associate at St. Peter Claver Church. Most recently, she served as the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation coordinator for the Covington Province of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

Sister Mary Lea had many good friends because she never knew a stranger. She understood well the words of Jesus, “Come to me all you who are weary and in need….” There are so many in today’s world – the refugee, the immigrant, the trafficked, the marginalized – and Sister Lea had a heart for them all. She took the lead in organizing cohesive nationwide initiatives that continue in our provinces to date. This was the foundation and cornerstone of her life.

Sister Mary Lea would have celebrated her 65th jubilee on Sunday, June 3. Throughout these sixty-five years, she felt she had been richly blessed and supported by her family, fellow sisters, co-workers, and the many students she taught. God’s goodness was so evident to her. May she continue to walk with her beloved and lead the way for all of us. May she rest in Peace.