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

Sister Mary Josellen

Sister  Mary  Josellen                     ND  4391                     PDF Download
Isabel Josephine DAJER

Christ the King Province, Chardon, Ohio, USA

Date and Place of Birth:              May 4, 1928                 Leon, Nicaragua, Central America
Date and Place of Profession:   August 16, 1950          Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Death:            February 15, 2017       Health Care Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Funeral:          February 24, 2017       Provincial Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Burial:            February 24, 2017       Resurrection Cemetery, Chardon, Ohio

“I pray that I live life to the full.”

Throughout life, Isabel held a special place in her heart for her family, her heritage and the country of her birth. One of nine children born to Jose and Sofia (Abohasen) Dajer, Isabel’s childhood was a happy one where love for God, for family and for learning were modeled and nurtured. After one year of high school, Isabel’s parents decided to send her to the United States to complete her education. She joined her older sister living in Cleveland, Ohio, and enrolled at Notre Dame Academy. Isabel graduated in 1946, traveled back home for one year and then, with her parents’ permission, returned to Cleveland to enter the Sisters of Notre Dame on September 8, 1947. At investment she received the name Sister Mary Josellen.

Sister earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John College, Cleveland, and a master’s degree in education from Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois. She ministered as an elementary school teacher for fifteen years before being missioned to participate in the Apostolate of Prayer at the Motherhouse, Rome. For the next twenty-five years Sister Mary Josellen immersed herself in prayer for the Church, our international community and the needs of the world. In her duty as portress, she welcomed sisters and guests, making them feel at home and a part of the community. Because of her wide and diverse network of contacts in Rome, Sister was able to direct visitors to find the help they needed. She was a woman of deep prayer and a woman with a warm, welcoming heart.

In 1991 Sister Mary Josellen returned to the United States to minister as Coordinator of Guides and Events at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC. With fluency in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese and a working knowledge of other languages, Sister welcomed and guided pilgrims from all over the world. Part of her work was to recruit, train and schedule volunteer guides and to schedule events at the Shrine. Sister would impress upon the guides their role of hospitality and the honor it was for them to share the Shrine. She wanted every visitor to grow in love for God and devotion to Mary. Sister wrote, “This is indeed a holy place where Liturgy is being celebrated almost all day. I know that in some way I am a part of each one. It is a prayerful atmosphere and as I pass the various Marian altars, I keep reminding Mary of each of you and implore her blessings.”

Sister Mary Josellen came to Chardon in 2002 and continued her ministry of prayer, especially for our mission in Nicaragua. She loved her family, friends and former collaborators and treasured every email, card, photo and visit. When able, she assisted with needlework and crafts for the Boutique. The slow deterioration of her spine caused her to become very bent over. Even as her physical condition declined, Sister was always grateful for assistance. She remained the essence of hospitality, ever mindful of her dignity as a woman and as a religious. May she now be welcomed by our good God into the fulness of life!

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