Eileen was the first of five children born to Roger and Mary (Halloran) Reardon. In her early years, and throughout life, she was interested in sports, reading, and her favorite, walking. She attended St. Jerome Parish Elementary School in Cleveland and then entered St. Peter High School where she first met the Sisters of Notre Dame. At the end of her sophomore year Eileen began thinking about entering religious life. These thoughts became a reality when, after graduation, she entered Notre Dame as a postulant on September 8, 1956. At investment she received the name Sister Mary Noraterice.
As a postulant, Sister Eileen Marie began her long career and ministry of service to her sisters in community. For more than forty-five years her culinary skills were practiced and enhanced as she provided delicious meals and tasty treats for the sisters in convents in Ohio and Virginia. Sixteen of those years were at Notre Dame College in South Euclid where she served as kitchen assistant. Sister Eileen Marie found the food service ministry challenging but rewarding. She recognized the value of good food and carefully prepared meals.
Sister enjoyed walking through the neighborhoods around the College and visiting with people on their porches along the way. She cared about and was interested in their health and families; sometimes she brought freshly baked muffins. One of her favorite outlets was shopping to acquire a bargain purchase.
Sister Eileen Marie’s continual decrease in vision, to almost total blindness, has been attributed to a summertime biking accident when she was a young sister. This resulted in painful headaches and double vision for many years. She was determined to live through the rough times counting on God’s presence and help each day. While accepting her frailty, Sister Eileen Marie remained feisty and honest, yet had a playful, simple spirit.
As a resident of the Health Care Center, Sister enjoyed the resident rabbit and the therapy dog. Her love and respect for nature, her interest in daily events and people, whether near or far, kept her connected to God’s world. Throughout life, visits and gatherings with her family members were treasured times.
Sister Eileen Marie was deeply grateful for any kindness shown her. She was uniquely aware of how God was present to her through others and how she might reflect that presence in return. Toward the end of her life she stated, “My body is giving out—God is taking it and I give it to him.” We are grateful for the life and ministry of Sister Eileen Marie among us. May she delight in God’s presence.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, August 19, 2022, at the Sisters of Notre Dame Center, 13000 Auburn Road, Chardon, OH. Visitation will be from 10:00-10:45. Mass will be live-streamed. Go to www.sndusa.org. Click on the Chardon Regional Center.