Sister Mary Ann Nestel was born in Kansas City, Missouri, entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1958, and was received into the novitiate as Sister Robert Catherine in 1959. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Fontbonne College in 1963 and a master’s degree in education from the University of Missouri, Kansas City in 1973.
Sister Mary Ann began teaching primary grades in Denver, Colorado, at St. James Grade School from 1963 to 1966. She served the next 13 years in education in the St. Louis Archdiocese. She taught at Holy Guardian Angels School (1966-1970) and Saints Mary and Joseph (1970-1972). At Bishop Healy School from 1972 to 1976, Sister Mary Ann served as a reading specialist and as a primary grade coordinator. Her final years in the classroom was at St. Margaret of Scotland School (1976-1979).
At the Arthritis Foundation, she served for four years as the director of field operations. After a year in family care, Sister Mary Ann served one year at Missouri Project Energy Care as the director of development and public relations. From 1985 to 1988, she was the administrative assistant at Ecumenical House Production Corporation (now known as Beyond Housing). She was the executive director of development for the Sisters of St. Joseph from 1989 to 2006, and she was the executive director of the Carondelet Community Betterment Federation from 2007 to 2014.
After a brief retirement, she co-chaired in the city of St. Louis, Proposition S on the 2018 Presidential Election. Mayor Slay appointed her to serve on the Senior Services Fund while allocating the collected revenue.
She is Board Chair of St. Joseph Housing Initiative, established in 2018.
She is committed to Fontbonne University where she serves on the Board of Regents as well as St. Joseph’s Academy’s Capital Campaign Committee.
Her dedication to education continues as she is a founding board member of Books for Newborns and serves on the development committee of HealthWorks, a children’s museum dedicated to health.
Sister Mary Ann loves to travel. Hosting dinner parties is her joy. Hard work, bright colors and a happy laugh are her hallmark.