Sister Mary Therese Esswein 1934-2017


April 3, 1934 - September 26, 2017

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Sister Mary Therese Esswein, who passed away on September 26 at Nazareth Living Center in St. Louis, Missouri. She was 83 years of age.

Sister Mary Therese was born on April 3, 1934, in Kansas City, Missouri, to parents Theodore Anthony Esswein and Margaret A. (Franke) Kuenneken. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on September 15, 1953, was received as Sister Alice Marie and made her final profession on August 15, 1961.

She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Fontbonne College in 1970.

Sister Mary Therese taught elementary education for the first 20 years of her ministry. She began in St. Louis at Holy Name Grade School (1956-1962, 1967-1969), St. Jude Grade School (1962-1963), St. Roch Grade School (1963-1967), and St. Margaret of Scotland Grade School (1969-1970). She then taught in Green Bay, Wisconsin at St. John Grade School (1970-1972) and then Muskogee, Oklahoma at St. Joseph Grade School (1972-1976).

For the next 40 years, Sister Mary Therese served in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. She was a bookkeeper at Nazareth Convent until 1982. The following two years, she was a staff member for the St. Louis Provincial Treasury Office. In 1984, she served as the bookkeeper for St. Joseph’s Academy. She returned to Nazareth Convent in 1987 where she was a ward clerk. Then, in 1989, she served at Cardinal Ritter Institute as bookkeeper.

Seven years later, Sister Mary Therese transitioned to the role of receptionist. She held this position for the next several years at Cardinal Ritter Senior Services’ Mary Queen and Mother Center (1996-1997), Cardinal Carberry Senior Living Center (1997 -2001) and at Regina Cleri (2002-2005).

Sister Mary Therese retired in 2005 and became a volunteer. Since 2009, Sister Mary Therese had been living at Nazareth Living Center, carrying out her ministry of prayer and presence.

The funeral Mass will be held Saturday, September 30 at 11 a.m., with the viewing at 10 a.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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