Sister Mary Niño

Sister  Mary  Niño                   ND  6468                 PDF Download
Nenita G. RANES

Christ the King Province, Chardon, Ohio, USA

Date and Place of Birth:    August 18, 1943       Manila, Philippines
Date and Place of Profession: August 15, 1973   Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Death:    March 2, 2017      Health Care Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Funeral:   March 9, 2017    Provincial Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Burial:   March 9, 2017    Resurrection Cemetery, Chardon, Ohio

“When life is done, I would like to leave an afterglow of smiles.” 

Nenita’s life on earth was truly a journey. As the oldest of ten children born to Modesto and Maria (Girasol) Ranes, Nenita assumed the responsibility of helping her family at a very young age. Her childhood was happy. Prayer and love for God and others were modeled and nurtured. Although the home and surroundings were materially poor, Nenita still recognized the importance of  helping others who were even less fortunate. After high school, she attended Philippine Normal College and earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. In 1968 Nenita emigrated to the United States hoping to secure a good teaching position. With a portion of the money earned, she was able to help finance a new house for her family and a vehicle for her father’s work.

While living with a cousin in Chicago, Illinois, Nenita taught elementary school for two years and began to recognize her call to religious life. Through a priest-friend she made contact with the Sisters of Notre Dame and asked for entrance into the community as soon as the school year ended. Nenita became a postulant on August 22, 1970, and at investment chose the name Sister Mary Niño, with the Infant Jesus as her patron. Her child-like trust in God remained through life.

Sister Mary Niño became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1977. She received a master’s degree in education from the University of Dayton in Ohio. For almost thirty years, Sister Mary Niño taught the primary grades, preparing hundreds of children for the reception of the Eucharist. Her favorite activity was having children bake bread to celebrate their First Communion. A former student wrote, “We knew we were loved by Sister. We knew we were loved by Jesus. She taught us to pray in our “Heart House.” Sister would say, “When you want to pray, just touch your heart and talk to Jesus.”  Sister was a creative teacher, using unique ways to engage and keep the students’ attention.

In 2000, Sister Mary Niño, along with three sisters from Indonesia, was missioned as a member of  the pioneer team of Sisters of Notre Dame, to the island of Guimaras, Philippines. In her native land, Sister witnessed to God’s goodness and provident care especially by reaching out to the poorest and the remotest people of the island. Her main endeavor, although she never saw it through to completion, was to direct the construction of a convent, school and formation house. Sister’s deep faith and love for her Filipino family made a lasting impression.

When Sister returned to Chardon in 2004, she assisted in the sacristy and with art activities in the Health Care Center. With the onset and progression of Parkinson’s Disease, Sister Mary Niño’s mobility became limited and her speech labored, but her ready smile, bubbly—sometimes strong willed—personality, and interest in all that was happening remained untouched. Her room was always decorated with colorful flowers and many photos of loved ones. She took to heart and was faithful to daily prayer for the Philippines, for her family so far away, and for her sisters and many friends. We are grateful for Sister Mary Niño’s life and journey with us. May she be welcomed into eternal life by her beloved Jesus.