As the oldest of ten children born to Frank George and Rosemary (Schmitz) Mach, Carol learned to love small children and helped to keep the household running smoothly. Home was a lively place where family was treasured. The challenges that came were met with faith and trust in each other. Goodness, service to others and humor were nurtured and characterized their growing up years. Carol’s high school days at Nazareth Academy brought thoughts of becoming a religious. Sister Mary Priscilla Freidel, her great aunt, encouraged and guided Carol to pursue her dream with the Sisters of Notre Dame. She entered as a postulant on August 16, 1964, and was welcomed by her cousin, Sister Melannie Svoboda, a second year novice. At investment Carol received the name Sister Mary Ellenann.
Sister Mary Ellenann’s ministry stayed constant. She took great joy in exploring and mastering all aspects of food service. Her expertise in preparing healthy meals, feeding the soul by feeding the body, was part of her spiritual life. “This is one way I can show my love for God and for my sisters.” She loved to cook, and brought a practical and calm approach to her work. Sister enjoyed being creative as she expanded her culinary skills. In the large provincial house kitchen she was in a position to do a bit of teaching to the lay staff. She was proud to pass on the skills and the spirit of the sisters from whom she had learned.
For over fifty years Sister Mary Ellenann served in a variety of larger convent kitchens in Chardon, Cleveland and Virginia. At Notre Dame Academy in Middleburg, Virginia, she was in charge of preparing the noon meal for the day students, boarders, sisters and staff. Sister always felt comfortable and at home in the kitchen. She noted, “Meals bring people together. We gather at the table for meals just as we gather in church for Liturgy.”
In 1994 Sister Mary Ellenann returned to the Chardon provincial center as co-director of food service. She transitioned from active meal preparation when the Aladdin Food Management Services assumed that responsibility in 2006. As administrative assistant for Aladdin and then for the SND Food Services, Sister generated reports, assisted with bookkeeping and took care of the many hidden details that go into an efficient, well-organized kitchen.
Sister loved large family gatherings, scrapbooking, traveling and writing poetry that expressed her experience of the beauty and wonder of creation. For the past five years Sister Mary Ellenann faced the diagnosis of a degenerative muscle disease, for which there was no cure, with courage and quiet gracefulness. She was always grateful for loving support and continued prayer. Her steady, gentle presence and her absolute trust in God were gifts to family, friends and colleagues. May she rest in the presence of our good and loving God.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 7, 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.