Sister Mary John Dillard, CSJ 1924-2016

January 25, 1924 - February 26, 2016

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Sister Mary John Dillard, CSJ who passed away on Feb. 26 at Nazareth Living Center in St. Louis. She was 92 years of age.

Sister Mary John was born on January 25, 1924, in Atlanta to parents John H. and Bellemere (Hayes) Dillard. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on September 15, 1943, and made her final profession on August 15, 1949.

In 1954 she received her bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Fontbonne College in St. Louis and a master's in secondary education from the College of ST. Rose in Albany in 1963.

Sister Mary John served as an educator for the first 30 of her 71 years as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. She began in 1946 as a music teacher in Georgia at Sacred Heart Grade School in Savannah. She also taught at St. Joseph Grade School in Brunswick as well as Mt. St. Joseph and  St. Anthony Grade Schools in Atlanta. 

In Augusta, she taught French and Latin at Mt. St. Joseph (1953-58) and at Aquinas High School until 1962.

She headed north in 1962 to teach French, Latin and religion at Sacred Heart Central High School in Indianapolis and taught music and religion at Bishop Baraga High School in Marquette (1967).

Heading back to Georgia in 1968, Sister Mary John again taught French, and Latin, as well as English at Aquinas High School in Atlanta.  French and English at St. Joseph High School in Atlanta (1969-71 and 1973-74).

Around her time at St. Joseph's, she taught Roncalli High School in Indianapolis (1971-73). In Selma, Alabama, Sister Mary John served as principal and teacher at Queen of Peace Grade School from 1974 to 1976.

For the next two years she served in pastoral ministry at Prince of Peach Parish in Mobile, St. Joseph Hospital Center For Life in Augusta and at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Brunswick.

From 1979 to 1981, she was a reading specialist at St. Joseph Grade School in Marietta, Georgia. She served briefly as the religious education coordinator at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Atlanta (1989-90).

For the next three years, she served in St. Louis. She was secretary at the Central Catholic Community, a staff member at the St. Joseph Provincial House and a librarian at St. Margaret of Scotland.

From 1993-94, Sister Mary John served in Conway, South Carolina, as a pastoral minister at Catholic Church of St. James, and then as a tutor at Horry Georgetown Technical College. 

In 1994, Sister Mary John was the receptionist at Nazareth Living Center in St. Louis. In Kansas City, she was the assistant manager at the Redemptorist Retirement Home from 1996 to 1998.

After 1998, Sister Mary John remained in St. Louis. She served her CSJ community, as a driver for the Senior Ministry Office, as receptionist for the Provincialate and in-home service for the CSJ Care Home Service. She moved to Nazareth Living Center in 2001.

A memorial service is was held on March 1 at Nazareth Living Center.Sister Mary John Dillard donated her body to science.

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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