Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

December 14, 2013

Sr. Mary Peter Sterwerf, 83 Feb. 7, 1930 - Dec. 11, 2013


Greensburg Daily News

---- — Sr. Mary Peter Sterwerf, 83, of the Sisters of St. Francis, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 at the convent.

Born Feb. 7, 1930 in Hamilton, Ohio, she was the daughter of Freda (Fallert) and Joseph Sterwerf.

She entered the convent Sept. 5, 1948 and made her final vows Aug. 12, 1954.

Being an advocate for and working with battered women and children was very important to her.

She was an accomplished handcrafter, enjoyed spirited card games and had a delightful sense of humor.

A teacher for more than 36 years, she taught at St. Gabriel’s in Connersville, St. Mary’s in Evansville, St. Joseph’s in Shelbyville, Holy Family in Richmond, St. Lawrence in Indianapolis, St. Mary’s in North Vernon, Immaculate Conception in Old Monroe, Mo., St. Bernard’s in Taylor’s Creek, Ohio; St. Mary’s in Middletown, Ohio; St. Peter’s in Hamilton, Ohio, and St. Peter’s in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Strict discipline managed with a gentle hand was her approach.

In 1977, she became an elementary school principal while working at North Vernon, and in 1986 she became pastoral assistant for St. Peter’s Church in Chillicothe. She developed programs to spread God’s word to the elderly, the infirm and those hospitalized. In 2011, she returned to the Motherhouse in Oldenburg.

Sr. Mary Peter is survived by numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. In addition to her parents, she is also preceded in death by her sisters Ruth Hoelle, Janet Abbott and brothers Ralph, Russell, Harold and Rev. Walter Sterwerf.

Visitation is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Motherhouse in Oldenburg.

Funeral services follow at 1 p.m. with Rev. William Hahn and Rev. James Black officiating with burial in the convent cemetery.

Weigel Funeral Home (www.weigelfh.com), Batesville, is in charge of arrangements.

Memorials may be made to the Sisters of St. Francis, P.O. Box 100, Oldenburg, IN 47036 (www.OldenburgFranciscans.org).