Sister Jane Edward Schilling 1930-2017


October 8, 1930 – September 13, 2017

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Sister Jane Edward Schilling, CSJ who passed away on Sept. 13 at Nazareth Living Center in St. Louis, Missouri. She was 87 years of age.

Sister Jane Edward, baptized Nancy Mary, was born on October 8, 1930, in Minoqua, Wisconsin, to parents Dr. Lyle Franklin and Rosalie Julia (Wolk) Schilling. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on September 15, 1948, and made her final profession on August 15, 1956. She received a bachelor’s degree in history/social studies from Fontbonne College in 1961 and a master’s degree in ancient history from Loyola University of Chicago in 1966.

In 1951, Sister Jane began teaching on the elementary level at St. Rita Grade School in St. Louis. She went on to St. Matthew the Apostle Grade School, also in St. Louis, in 1958 where she was teacher and principal. Six years later, Sister Jane moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, and was teacher and principal at Holy Angels Grade School until 1970.

That same year, Sister Jane teamed up with Fr. Boniface Hardin, O.S.B. and created the Martin Center, an opportunity for ordinary and disenfranchised persons to change their destinies through education, serving low-income, minority and adult learners. The school was founded in honor of two Martins—the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and St. Martin de Porres, who served the poor in Peru in the 16th and 17th centuries and became the first bi-racial Catholic saint. It was a special place for learning—a revolutionary concept for its time.

The Center evolved into Martin College in 1977 and then Martin University in 1990. Throughout the school’s transitions, Sister Jane served in many important roles: associate director (1970-1979), evaluator (1979-1983), executive director (1981-1989), academic dean and associate director (1983-1990), vice president of academic affairs (1990-2008), and vice president emeritus and historian (2008-2012).

Sister Jane lived out the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph by serving the dear neighbor, as Martin University’s mission is and always has been to serve people in need. “Martin’s philosophy states that higher education must be made available to all who can benefit.” Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Martin University is Indiana’s only predominantly black institution of higher education. It is steeped in a history of service and open to a diverse population of students.

During her early years at Martin, Sister Jane also served for 10 years as the executive director for the Sickle Cell Center in Indianapolis.

In 2012, Sister Jane retired and moved to Nazareth Living Center where she remained and carried out her ministry of prayer and presence until her passing.

A Memorial Mass will be held Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 3:30 p.m. at Nazareth Living Center, 2 Nazareth Lane, St. Louis, MO 63129. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis Province, 6400 Minnesota Ave., St. Louis, MO 63111-2899. Donate online.

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