Sisters of Notre Dame…Missioned to Incarnate the Love of our good and provident God

Sister Arlene Marie 

Sister Arlene Marie                     ND 5015                        PDF Download

formerly Sister Mary Bernerd

Arlene Lucille Hoffman

Immaculate Conception Province, Chardon, USA

Date and Place of Birth:              December 17, 1934       Toledo, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession:    August 11, 1959             Toledo, Ohio
Date and Place of Death:            July 16, 2022                 Whitehouse, Ohio

I am the Handmaid of the Lord…

If we gathered the threads of Sister Arlene Marie’s life, we would see beneath the tapestry the very life of God as Sister lived it until her death on July 16, 2022, at 87 years old and in her 62nd year of religious profession. Arlene grew up in Toledo, Ohio, as the eldest daughter of Bernard and Evelyn Hoffman. She and her two sisters attended St. Charles School under the direction of the Ursuline Sisters. In 1948 she began her high school education at Notre Dame Academy, where she first met the Sisters of Notre Dame. Respecting her parents wish that she wait to enter the convent until she was older, Arlene entered the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1957 at the age of 22. That year she was invested and received the name of Sister Mary Bernerd, later changed to Sister Arlene Marie.

In 1961 Sister began ministry in the sewing room at the Provincial Center in Toledo. For 35 years she meticulously fashioned and adjusted the religious habit of many sisters of the Toledo province. She also used her seamstress abilities to create fun and beautiful items to be sold at the festivals and to give as gifts. Whatever the task, the outcome was perfection done in humble self-giving. Her sewing was not routine or mechanical; her heart went into the fabric, and it became prayer. Beneath the seeming ordinariness of her life were treasures of holiness manifested in commitment to community and mission. It was in the sewing room where the sisters gathered to share the stories of the day and rejuvenate themselves for ministry.

Throughout the years Sister taught primary grades in Toledo and volunteered in schools in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and Erie, Michigan. Her creative service was much appreciated for the eight years of hospitality and homemaking at Lial Renewal Center and her assistance with food service at the Provincial Center for several years.

Over the past few years Sister experienced health problems, but she never complained. She maintained her smile and ever-present interest in others, especially enjoying gatherings with family and classmates from Notre Dame Academy. The week before her death found her visiting family and friends and enjoying eating out with great delight. Quite unexpectedly and without fanfare, Sister quietly entered into her eternal home on July 16. May she forever find joy in her Beloved.

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