Margaret Ann (Peggy) was born into the loving family of John and Norma McCormack on November 3, 1944. She was the third child in a family of seven children. The children were very close and labeled themselves “The Seven from Heaven.” Peggy received her elementary education at St. Agnes School, Ft. Wright, Kentucky, and graduated from Notre Dame Academy, Covington, Kentucky. During high school Peggy enjoyed life. She wanted to be certain religious life was what God wanted for her. After God’s constant reminders, she answered the call and entered the Sisters of Notre Dame community in August 1963. Sister Mary Norene made her profession of vows on August 16, 1966.
Sister Norene received her Bachelor of Arts at Thomas More University, and her Master of Education at Xavier University. Her first assignment was teaching first grade at Sacred Heart School, Bellevue, Kentucky. Later, while stationed at St. Columban School, Loveland, OH, she was instrumental in the construction of a nature trail in the wooded area behind the school. Besides teaching primary grades in both the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, her fifty-year career as an educator included serving as principal at St. Michael School, Bellevue, and St. Edward School, Cynthiana, KY. Her final ministry was fourteen years at Prince of Peace Montessori School in Covington.
When Sister Norene was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, she moved to St. Joseph Heights in 2016. Even though some days were harder than others, she would often be found at the computer looking for images of birds or butterflies. She created books for children about nature and butterflies. She delighted in making science come to life. With the help of the employees, she would produce syrup by collecting sap from maple trees, or construct house cocoons of netting where larvae could emerge as butterflies a few weeks later.
Sister Norene’s deepest passion was her calling to serve God and the children. Her love for science and nature touched many, both young and old. She will be forever remembered for her perseverance and for never surrendering to her diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Her strength inspired us all.
Sister Mary Norene went home to God peacefully on March 31, 2022. She was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her brothers Mike and Dan McCormack, and her sisters Sue Shumate, Eileen Callis, Sally Rodau, and Becky Carrol. Sister also leaves behind many beloved nieces and nephews, great-nieces, and nephews.
Visitation will begin at 4:00 PM on Friday, April 8, 2022, at St. Joseph Heights. The wake service will be held at 5:00 PM, followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 7:00 PM in the convent chapel. Interment in the convent cemetery will follow the 8:30 AM Mass on Saturday, April 9, 2022.