"The greater the work the more
important it is to establish it on
a solid foundation. Thus it will
not only be more perfect; it
will also be more lasting.”

St. Louise de Marillac

“Be diligent in serving
the poor. Love the poor,
honor them, my children,
as you would honor
Christ Himself.”

St. Louise de Marillac


Celebrating Our Jubilarians – S. Mary Caroline Marchal

“As I look back over nearly 60 years, the first thing that strikes me is the incredible

Growing up in Sidney, Ohio, Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Mary Caroline Marchal was taught by the Sisters of Charity while attending Holy Angels grade and high schools. She said those teachers were some of the most influential people in her life, and “their joy, commitment to education and their students, and to humanity made the lifestyle very attractive.”

Sister Mary Caroline entered the Sisters of Charity on Sept. 8, 1960, and this year celebrates 60 years of religious life.

In reflecting on her past 60 years, Sister Mary Carolyn says the most outstanding part of the adventure are the friends and acquaintances with whom she shared many diverse ministries. With a bachelor’s degree in education from the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati), Sister was first missioned to St. Sebastian in Chicago, Illinois, to teach junior high school students.

After three years in Chicago, Sister Mary Caroline returned to Ohio to spend the next 10 years teaching at the following schools: St. Rita School for the Deaf, Cincinnati; Little Flower, Cincinnati; and Gressle School, Norwood. She received her master’s degree in religious education in 1977 from St. Meinrad School of Theology (St. Meinrad, Indiana) while also serving as principal at St. Brigid in Xenia, Ohio, that year. Sister became the assistant associate dean of St. Meinrad School from 1978 until 1985 before returning to Cincinnati in 1986 to minister as principal at St. Vivian School from 1986 until 1994.

She was the ministry coordinator at the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse for two years before spending the next 19 years (1996-2015) as the director of religious education at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Louisville, Kentucky. In 2015 she was elected to the Leadership Council for the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, a position she held for four years. She said the opportunity was wonderful in that it gave her the opportunity to get to know the Sisters in a new way.

“Many of my ministry experiences took me to places I would never have expected to go,” Sister Mary Caroline said. “Travel has always excited me so the opportunity to be of service and to travel led to many interesting experiences. Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Armenia are more than places on a map. 

“My life has been made full and rich by the ministry opportunities offered to me,” she concluded. “It is a blessing to have been able to respond to the call. I cherish the friendships and all the opportunities life as a Sister of Charity has given me.” 

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