Sister Marilyn Schiller (Formerly Sister Mary Loraine), SND; October 24, 1942 – April 18, 2023

Marilyn Joyce was born in Cleveland, the only child of Lawrence and Louise (Turk) Schiller. Their home on Ansel Road, close to the provincial center, gave Marilyn an early acquaintance with the novices and postulants as she watched them play ball or walk around the enclosed courtyard. After completing grades 1-6 at Hough School and St. Thomas Aquinas School, Marilyn finally met some Notre Dame sisters in person at St. Margaret Mary School, South Euclid.  At Regina High School, Marilyn says she learned to love her classmates, the sisters, and the school, but “fought off the idea of a religious vocation” though she always wanted to be a teacher. In junior year, at peace with God’s calling, she met with the provincial superior despite her father’s objection. Right before graduation, her parents gave Marilyn permission to enter the community, which she attributes to the prayers of the sisters, friends, and the intercession of Our Lady and St. Therese of Lisieux. She became a postulant on July 2, 1960, and at investment was given the name Sister Mary Loraine.

With a bachelor’s degree in education from St. John College and a master’s from John Carroll University (both in Cleveland) Sister Marilyn taught junior high at parish schools in the Cleveland area as well as in Elyria, Austintown, and North Ridgeville. She also served as principal at St. Jude School, Elyria and St. Francis of Assisi, Gates Mills. For three years she was Director of Religious Education at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Aurora and St. Joan of Arc in Chagrin Falls, both in Ohio.

A new ministry in the field of counseling provided a way of serving people over the next 16 years.  After earning a master’s degree in Counseling and Human Services from JCU and Youngstown State, and completing certification requirements, Sister Marilyn was a counselor and therapist at various centers and hospitals. She worked in Solon, Parma, Chesterland, Willoughby, Wooster, and Medina. From 2000-2001 she was also a caregiver for her parents, who died within a year of each other. When she entered the convent, Sister Marilyn said she realized that what she was leaving behind was “something great, that would be the beginning of something greater” that God had planned for her.

 Although a number of serious health issues limited her activities these last years, determination and perseverance characterized every effort. Her words on the chapel tile she designed ring true: Stand like Mountain, Flow like Water. God’s strength sustained her; God’s love was made known in her. We have been blessed by her life.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 25, at the Sisters of Notre Dame Center, 13000 Auburn Road, Chardon. Visitation will be from 9:30-10:15. Mass will be live-streamed. Go to Click on the Chardon Regional Center.  

To make a gift in memory of Sr. Marilyn Schiller, please click here.

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