November 4, 1939 - January 26, 2020
Mass of Christian Burial: 10:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 3, 2020 at St. Andrew Catholic Church. Burial: Mt. Olivet Cemetery
Visitation: 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020 with a Vigil service at 3:30 p.m. at Thompson’s Harveson Cole.
Memorials: The Sisters of St. Mary, 909 W. Shaw St., Fort Worth, Texas 76110-4057.
Sister Mary Merdian (Mary Adelia Merdian ), a Sister of St. Mary of Namur, was a native of Houston, Texas. She said she was nurtured by her family, her Catholic faith, and her parish life as well as her early education with the Sisters of St. Mary at Resurrection School.
“Service” was a prominent word in Mary’s life. She entered the Sisters of St. Mary in 1957 and took the religious name of Sister Matthew Anne. At the University of Dallas, she prepared to become a teacher, with Math her favorite subject.
Sister Mary’s first assignments were in the elementary schools in the Sisters of St. Mary network. She taught or was principal at St. James in Dallas, St. Anne School in Beaumont, Sacred Heart School in Hollister, California, John XXIII School in Dallas, St. Mary of the Assumption School in Fort Worth, and St. Cecilia School in Dallas.
Sister Mary was appointed Provincial Superior of the Western Province, which included convents and schools in both Texas and California, in 1978 and served two terms.
In 1984 she returned to education work at St. Andrew School in Fort Worth, where she served as Assistant Principal under Oblate Clarice Peninger, who was Principal.
Community life was a vital part of Sister Mary’s life–sharing in community life as an assistant on the Provincial Council and growing in the Holy Spirit.
Leadership was one of her great gifts both as the Provincial Superior of the Western Province and as a member of the General Council on the international level. It was there that she met and influenced many of the Sisters in the other countries.
As she said in one of her articles, “…our life is an endeavor to live in the simplicity and joy of the God we serve. It was that simplicity and joy that I encountered as a child, and since have seen in so many of our sisters.”
Sister is survived by her sister Frances and her brother John and his wife Linda, and several nephews and nieces, as well as all the Sisters of our congregation who knew her and loved her.