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

Sister Mary Reina

Sister Mary Reina                  ND  3881                PDF Download
Mary Ethel Arlinghaus

Immaculate Heart of Mary Province, Covington, Kentucky, USA

Date and Place of Birth:                June 26, 1917               Cincinnati, OH
Date and Place of Profession:     August 12, 1943           Covington, KY
Date and Place of Death:              May 22, 2016                Covington, KY
Date and Place of Burial:              May 26, 2016                Covington, KY

ReinaSister Mary Reina Arlinghaus was a humble mentor and beloved art teacher to many. Mary Ethel Arlinghaus grew up in a loving, hardworking, middle-class family. Mary Ethel was the oldest of the four children of Joseph and Ella Arlinghaus. She attended St. Agnes School, Bond Hill, Ohio, where she was taught and inspired by the Sisters of Notre Dame. At the age of 23 she joined the Sisters of Notre Dame and made her profession of vows on August 12, 1943.

Sister Mary Reina began her ministry in Park Hills, Kentucky, at St. Agnes School in 1942, teaching the third and fourth grades. While continuing her ministry, she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Art and Biology at Villa Madonna College in 1952 and her Master Degree in Art at Notre Dame University in 1958.

Sister was constantly honing her skills at watercolor and calligraphy, her two strengths as a practicing artist. The two for her were very much related as she used her calligraphic lines in the scenes she painted. This was a technique she taught, and if her students caught it, their work was so much the stronger. Most of her long life was spent teaching the students at Notre Dame Academy. She taught art in such a gifted way that many students adored her. Her students became her friends. Many she drew to pray a decade of the Rosary each morning in the school chapel shortly before the first bell. Other students shared their lunch period with Sister. Also appearing at Sister’s noon lunch were a number of graduates who were quite devoted to her and treasured her significance in their lives.

After her “re-tiring”, that is, getting new tires for continuing her journey, she taught informal classes to several different groups – the children at Notre Dame Urban Education Center, a small group of sisters, and a group of friends. After playing cards at recreation, Sister often turned to practicing a technique or creating a paper sculpture, etc., that she could teach one or other of these groups. Over the years Sister made dozens of greeting cards for sisters, family members, and friends. One can imagine recipients of these little gems bringing them out now to admire and show to friends.

Sister Mary Reina had an enormous gift of teaching. You could witness the power of her influence, when the notice of her death prompted close to 100,000 hits on Facebook. This very widespread influence was the reason her funeral Mass was held at a parish church rather than the convent chapel.

Sister Mary Reina would have celebrated her 99th birthday this June. We thank God for having had her among us for so many years. We will forever miss her nurturing way of teaching and her unforgettable smile. May she live in joy and peace in God’s loving embrace for all eternity.

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