BALTIMORE — Sister M. Pierre Newman, a School Sister of Notre Dame who worked in the Diocese of Charleston, S.C., died Oct. 13 at the age of 89.
Sister Pierre donated her body to science, according to a press release, and a memorial Mass was celebrated on Oct. 17 at Villa Assumpta motherhouse.
Sister Pierre was born Maryalma Catherine in Baltimore on Feb. 8, 1919. She was the oldest of eight children born to William Clifford and Mabel Catherine Evans Newman. She attended high school at the Institute of Notre Dame in Baltimore. She worked at the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company for three years after graduating to help support her family.
Sister Pierre entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame on Aug. 28, 1940. After a two-year candidature and one-year novitiate, she pronounced her first vows on Aug. 12, 1943, and her final vows on the same day in 1949.
In 1953, the College of Notre Dame of Maryland awarded her a bachelor of science degree in education; and in 1969 she received a master’s degree in elementary administration with a minor in education and English from Villanova University.
Sister Pierre’s years of classroom teaching lasted from 1943 to 1967. She taught in Saratoga Springs, Rochester and Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; North Charles ton, S.C.; Hartsville, N.C.; and Frostburg, Md. She used her diverse gifts with kindergarten and primary children up to junior high students and also taught music both part- and full-time.
In Hartsville and Frostburg, she was a junior high administrator and teacher. She was later principal of the elementary school in Frostburg.
From 1967 to 1970, Sister Pierre was the diocesan supervisor of schools, and from 1970 to 1972 served as an educational consultant, both for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. From these roles she branched out into parish pastoral ministry at St. Patrick in Havre de Grace, Md.; St. Francis in Keyser, Md.; St. Michael in Poplar Springs, Md.; and St. Ursula in Baltimore.
For eight years, Sister Pierre served as pastoral minister at Our Lady of Angels, the church connected with the Charlestown Retirement Community in Baltimore. The Catholic Review quoted her as saying, “It’s a beautiful thing to bring the Lord to people. I love it, and, of course, I have a good product to sell.”
Sister Pierre worked with the 1,900 resident Catholics, Protestants, Jews and “those of no faith” at Charles town. She began each day with praise at 10 a.m. and then spent her time knocking on residents’ doors and asking if their needs were being met.
During three years at the Western Maryland Total Christian Education Center, Sister Pierre’s efforts showed the diversity of her talents and interests. They included a teacher learning program which certified over 90 religious educators; “Teen Time,” a four-hour weekend mini-retreat that reached about 96 teenagers; a marriage encounter program that took a year-and-a-half to get off the ground; and a variety of workshops given by speakers from the area and the archdiocese. The topics ranged from prayer to self-actualization and the Christian way.
Memorials may be sent to
School Sisters of Notre Dame
Department of Mission Advancement
345 Belden Hill Road
Wilton, CT 06897.