Sister Mary Theresa

Sister Mary Theresa             ND  4515                  PDF Download
(formerly, Sister Mary Donell)
Theresa Grace SULLIVAN

Christ the King Province, Chardon, Ohio, USA

Date and Place of Birth:              March 10, 1931            Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession:   August 16, 1952          Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Death:            August 8, 2016            Health Care Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Funeral:           August 11, 2016       Provincial Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Burial:            August 11, 2016          Resurrection Cemetery, Chardon 

TheresaWhen Donald and Helen (Hertel) Sullivan were told they would not be able to have children, they prayed earnestly to St. Therese, the Little Flower, with a promise to name their child in her honor and be ready to give this child back to God at any time. Theresa was God’s gift and answer to her parents’ prayer. To complete the family circle, three years later her beloved brother Tim was born. Upon completing elementary school, Theresa chose to attend Notre Dame Academy, Cleveland. It was here that her vocation was realized and strengthened. She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame on September 8, 1949, from St. Jerome Parish, Cleveland. At investment, she received the name Sister Mary Donell. Later she returned to her baptismal name, Theresa.

Sister Mary Theresa received a bachelor’s degree from St. John College, Cleveland, and a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. She was dedicated to excellence in Catholic education in her ministry as teacher, principal and/or director of religious education in elementary schools in Ohio and Virginia for 49 years. Sister’s infectious enthusiasm and willingness to participate in the school and parish community endeared her to all. She had a unique talent for involving even the most reluctant student or parent. Education was about faith and family and fostering values that enabled children to grow into compassionate, Christ-like adults.

In 2001 Sister Mary Theresa moved to the Provincial Center where she continued to share her administrative and writing skills in the Provincial Secretarial Office. Researching and gathering data for the sisters’ personal files were of special interest to her and an invaluable help in the Secretarial Office. She interviewed sisters and then wrote a short biography to be posted outside the bedroom door of those living in the Health Care Center. Her kindness and concern for others were evident in the smile that lit up her whole face. Sister was always proud of her Irish heritage. Her lilting laughter and sense of humor were an integral part of her life – its spirit enlivened all with whom she ministered and whom she touched each day!

For the last few years, Sister Mary Theresa was challenged with physical decline but never lost the ability to smile with her eyes and make others feel welcome. Even in illness, she was the essence of kindness, ever mindful of her dignity as a woman and as a religious. During a recent retreat Sister wrote, “From now until death, I ask Jesus to let me look through His eyes.” She entered very quietly into the peace and light of God’s presence. May Sister Mary Theresa rejoice in eternal life!