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Sister Mary Rosellyn Theisen, SND

Born on April 2, 1945, in Norwalk, Ohio, to Donald and Irene (Fisher) Theisen, she was baptized Elizabeth Jean. She was the oldest daughter among three other daughters and two sons. Having attended St. Paul School in Norwalk, Ohio, she graduated from Notre Dame Academy in Toledo in 1963, the year she entered the Sisters of Notre Dame and received the name Sister Mary Rosellyn. She began her teaching career of junior high students in Ohio at St. Joseph, Fremont and Immaculate Conception, Bellevue, but soon moved into schools in Carmel, Muncie and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In 1980 her ministry became specialized in religious education, and she became the director of religious education in Fremont, Ohio; Carmel, Indiana; and Gesu Parish, Toledo Having earned a master’s degree in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University in 2000, she became the director of Adult Spiritual Renewal in St. Mary Assumption Parish in Decatur, Indiana for six years before returning to Ohio in pastoral ministry at St. Martin de Porres, Toledo. While coordinating the RCIA program in the Teresa of Calcutta Deanery, she directed the Associate Program for the Sisters of Notre Dame, as well as assisting in a leadership role for the Toledo Province of the Sisters. In 2019 Sister began volunteer ministries on the margins, particularly supervising visitations for the Children’s Rights Collaborative.

Sister Mary Rosellyn expressed herself artistically in many ways, ever creating from her inner well of deep spirituality. Throughout her life her artistry was evident not only in writing beautiful prayer services and providing artistic meals, but also in her welcoming spirit, compassionate and careful listening, openness to diversity, honest feedback, determination, loyal friendships, and peaceful, self-effacing ways.

Sister is survived by her brother James Theisen and sisters Donna Bowers and Margaret Ann Thomas. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother John Theisen and sister Marilyn Houghtlen. She will be greatly missed by relatives, friends, and the Sisters and Associates of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

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