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

Sister Mary Jane 

Sister Mary Jane                     ND 4031                      PDF Download

(formerly Sister Mary Joanette)

Mary Jane OLATTA

Christ the King Province, Chardon, Ohio, USA

Date and Place of Birth:              January 31, 1925        Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession:   August 17, 1944          Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Death:            November 3, 2019      Health Care Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Funeral:          November 11, 2019    Provincial Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Burial:            November 12, 2019    Resurrection Cemetery, Chardon

Mary Jane was the middle child of the seven children born to John and Anna (Noga) Olatta. They grew up during the Great Depression, but there were many happy days in their home where strong faith and lasting family bonds were nurtured. As a devoted wife and mother during very difficult economic times, Mary Jane’s mother had a great influence on her life. Trust in God, love for learning, kindness and thoughtfulness toward others became the measure of her character.

After completing elementary grades at St. Jerome parish school, Mary Jane attended Notre Dame Academy in Cleveland, working after school to help pay the tuition. “It is hard to articulate the number and ways the Sisters at Notre Dame Academy impacted my life by their cheerfulness, prayerfulness, guidance and direction.” On February 2, 1942, in her senior year, Mary Jane became a postulant. At investment she received the name, Sister Mary Joanette. Later she returned to her baptismal name and became Sister Mary Jane.

Sister earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education from St. John College in Cleveland and later, a master’s degree in history from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Sister Mary Jane’s entire life was devoted to some form of education. She ministered in elementary schools for twenty-eight years, teaching every grade, except first grade, often serving as teacher, principal and superior concurrently. Sister was a teacher at Regina High School in South Euclid, Ohio, where she became a mentor to many lay teachers. She was positive and encouraging and, over the years, maintained the friendships that were formed.

Sister Mary Jane loved assisting in school libraries and for one year, in the Generalate library. A voracious reader, she always had a stack of books at hand, especially histories and mysteries – it was her greatest hobby! She served the Diocese of Cleveland as Director of Curriculum for six years and, for seventeen years, was an invaluable assistant in the province archives, always exact and detailed in recording and verifying community information.

A life-long learner, Sister traveled extensively, having received a Fulbright Award for study in India and fifteen grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She also traveled each summer with sisters in her “vacation group.” For the past thirty-seven years these special friends shared life, laughter and the beauty and wonder of creation.

“One of my greatest joys and privileges is being a member of this wonderful community which has enabled me to consecrate my entire life to God. It has provided me with so many opportunities to enrich my spiritual life and enabled me as an educator to touch and be touched by the many students I have encountered.” Sister celebrated her Jubilee of Joy this past summer. May she know eternal joy as she beholds her Beloved face-to-face.

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