Sister Mary Stefanie

StefanieSister  Mary  Stefanie          ND 4653             ⇒ PDF Download
Formerly Sister Mary Steven

Mary Cleo FRITZ

Natural sister of Sister Mary Kathelyn Fritz and Sister Mary Ann Adele Fritz (deceased)

Immaculate Heart of Mary Province, Covington, Kentucky, USA

Date and Place of Birth                June 18, 1933          Covington, KY
Date and Place of Profession       August 25, 1953       Covington, KY
Date and Place of Death            August 28, 2013       Covington, KY
Date and Place of Funeral        August 31, 2013       Covington, KY
Date and Place of Burial         August 31, 2013       Convent Cemetery, Covington, KY

Sister Mary Stefanie had three recent goals: to live to be 80 years old, to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, and to go to Heaven.  In the summer of 2013 she accomplished all of them.

Sister Mary Stefanie was born on June 18, 1933, in Covington, Kentucky.  She was the middle child of eleven children born to Stephen and Anna Fritz.  The family lived in Covington, Kentucky, where Mary Cleo attended St. John Elementary School.  After the eighth grade, she went to Notre Dame Academy in Covington.  She entered the convent of the Sisters of Notre Dame in her senior year of high school. There she joined two of her natural sisters who had preceded her into the community: Sister Mary Kathelyn and Sister Mary Ann Adele.  She professed her vows on August 25, 1953.

Sister Mary Stefanie ministered for many years in health care.  She held a degree in Licensed Practical Nursing and Pharmacology from St. Francis Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio.  She received her training in Clinical Pastoral Education and her Certified Chaplaincy License both from Good Samaritan Hospital also in Cincinnati.

Sister Mary Stefanie was naturally drawn to being a caregiver and was very compassionate with the sick and elderly.  As a Licensed Practical Nurse she served for many years at the Provincial Center and at St. Claire Medical Center, Morehead, KY.  She also was the Director of Pastoral Care at these same two places for seventeen years.  After receiving her chaplaincy license Sister served as a chaplain at St. Elizabeth Medical Center for ten years.  At St. Elizabeth she was considered a positive and highly effective member of the department.  Sister expressed how much pastoral ministry meant to her: “probably because I am by nature a very sensitive person, spiritually oriented, and attracted to being a caregiver.”  It was in this ministry that she seemed to “blossom.”

In addition to health care, Sister Mary Stefanie was at times involved in community service, especially as an excellent cook for the sisters.  Besides the regular convent fare, she liked to do “extras” such as making delicious candy and cookies for holidays. Her sense of humor added to the community spirit of the house.  At times she would assist in the parish school by helping in the library and other responsibilities.

As her strength declined, Sister M. Stefanie continued to assist in Lourdes Hall Care Center in pastoral care and finally in apostolic prayer.  Sister was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and decided not to return to the hospital.  Family and sisters waited patiently with her during the last weeks before the Bridegroom called her home.

May she rest in God’s loving embrace.