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

Sister Mary Sienna

Sienna_w300Sister  Mary  Sienna               ND 3701             ⇒ PDF Download

Immaculate Heart of Mary Province, Covington, Kentucky, USA

Date and Place of Birth :  March 25,1915        Cincinnati, OH
Date and Place of Profession :  August 13, 1935      Covington, KY
Date and Place of Death :   January 20, 2014    Covington, KY
Date and Place of Funeral :  January 23, 2014    Covington, KY
Date and Place of Burial :  January 24, 2014    Convent Cemetery, Covington, KY

Mary Frances Engelbrink was born on March 25, 1915, in Cincinnati, Ohio to John and Estella Leckinger Engelbrink – the first child and only daughter in a family of four children. For several years Mary Frances attended elementary school taught by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.  From the first grade on she wanted to become a sister-teacher.  One of her favorite childhood games was playing school.  When she was in the 7th grade her family moved to Cheviot, Ohio, where she became a student at St. Martin School taught by the Notre Dame Sisters.  Here her desire to become a sister-teacher became even stronger. She became an aspirant at the age of 14.

On August 13, 1935, Sister Mary Sienna was professed.  For more than 50 years she fulfilled her dream of teaching in the elementary schools of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Diocese of Covington.  Sister was a very creative teacher and made learning fun for her students.  Her sense of humor and dry wit also came forth when she produced programs for the sisters on special community days. All looked forward to Sister’s next humorous presentation.

Sister was asked to study for a degree in art although she had no idea that she had any artistic talent.  She received her Masters of Fine Arts Degree from the Catholic University of America in 1959 and taught art at Villa Madonna/Thomas More College, as well as several local elementary schools.  During the following years, Sister Mary Sienna wrote an art text book for elementary school teachers titled Artists Are Made Not Born.  A teacher commenting on the book writes, “Sister Sienna shares many years of teaching art in this simple, clear collection of learning experiences.”  Concerning her love for art Sister stated, “I am happy when I can share the joy of experiencing beauty and/or participating in the creation of it with others.”

When asked what three words characterize her, she replied, “interest in learning.”  Indeed she was interested in many things, from a sports fan for the Reds baseball team, to interest in politics, to learning the computer.  For a person of her advanced age, it was unusual that she was always trying to learn more about the workings of the computer.  She made beautiful greeting cards by hand and finally advanced to creating them on the computer.

Sister had close family ties as was attested by the inspiring eulogies given by her nieces at the wake service and the many who attended her funeral. She loved being in the midst of her family and kept the extended family connected.  At one time she hosted a family reunion for over 125 of her relatives.

For as long as she could Sister Mary Sienna remained independent still working in her art studio and remaining in her private room. As she grew weaker it was necessary for her to move to Lourdes Hall. Gradually her strength declined and on January 20, 2014 she quietly slipped away and beheld the beauty of her God face to face.

May she always experience the joy of her good God.

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