Sister Anne Marie McCarrick

Sister Anne Marie McCarrick

May 1, 1930 – February 6, 2018

“Come, my dear daughters, we must have courage in the century we live in.  Great souls are needed, souls having the interests of the greater glory of God at heart.” (Letter 35, Saint Julie Billiart)

The second of four children, Anne McCarrick grew up in a solidly Catholic family on the northeast side of Columbus, Ohio. When asked about her vocation, Anne replied, “I heard the call in the lives of the Sisters who taught me – Dominicans and Franciscans in grade school and Sisters of Notre Dame in high school.” The service, commitment, dedication and especially the sense of their relationship with God appealed strongly to Anne. “In my heart, I just felt drawn to live that life of dedication and called to that close relationship with God.” When it came to the choice of which religious order to enter, Anne later said there was just something about “the beautiful religious spirit of my high school teachers” that made the choice easy. Anne entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur less than a month after graduation.  She received the name Sister Monica Marie when she entered the novitiate and was known by that name until 1968 when she returned to her baptismal name.

Anne’s years in ministry had two distinct phases: formal education and serving in various roles for the Diocese of Columbus.  It was with 1st graders that Anne started her teaching ministry. She spent seven years with the little ones, tried 3rd and 6th grade for a very short time, and went back to teaching the little ones. Anne had a knack for understanding young children and helping them explore their world. She was always looking for new ways to teach the children, and it was her own willingness to learn new approaches that transformed her outlook on education. While attending a conference for teachers of primary aged children in the early 1960’s, Anne discovered two books on Montessori education in the college library.  Reading those two books gave birth to her life-long commitment to Montessori education.

Anne received permission to train in Montessori methods, and after receiving her Pre-Primary diploma she was assigned to the Montessori department of the Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati. Her peers quickly discovered that not only was she an excellent Montessori teacher, Anne was also a good trainer of other teachers. She was named Director of the SND Montessori Teacher Education Program at the Summit. Anne also served as editor of the 1st edition of Montessori Matters.  Many Sisters contributed to this resource that was prepared as a guide for Montessori early childhood teacher education for the Sisters of Notre Dame.

In 1968, Anne returned to St. Joseph Academy in Columbus. There she worked with the parents and staff to transform the elementary department into a Montessori school for ages 3 thru 12. In 1973, Anne continued her own studies in Montessori methods in Bergamo, Italy. She returned to St. Joseph Academy and continued to serve as the Director of the Pre-primary and Elementary department through 1979 while completing the development of a solid pre-K through 12 year-old Montessori program. 

During that time Anne founded the Columbus Montessori Center (COMET), an elementary teacher education program affiliated with the American Montessori Society. By 1981, COMET was graduating American Montessori Society Elementary I and Elementary II teachers. Anne served as Director and then Executive Director of COMET. She also served in leadership capacities for numerous American Montessori Society teacher education programs, as an AMS consultant and as an on-site visitor for the accreditation of Montessori programs. Anne’s service to the American Montessori Society also included memberships on the Board of Directors, the Teacher Education Committee and the Elementary Curriculum committee. She received the Living the Legacy award from the American Montessori Society in 2003. 

While it became clear the high school department of St. Joseph Academy would close due to declining enrollment, the elementary program continued to flourish.  Anne worked with the community and the parents to transition the elementary program into St. Joseph Montessori School, a private Pre-K through 8 diocesan school under the direction of a Board of Trustees. 

By the time the transition was completed, Anne was feeling called to move into another kind of service. She earned a certificate in Theological Studies and returned to Columbus to serve as a consultant for the Religious Education Department of the Diocesan Education Office. She was asked to serve as Co-Administrator of Pope John XXIII School where she was responsible for the Religion curriculum for grades K – 4 students. Then she was asked to serve as Pastoral Associate at St. Anthony Parish. There she developed and conducted liturgical and spiritual renewal programs for adults, adult retreat programs and helped with the religious education programs. 

Anne had already been recognized for her work as a pioneer in the field of Montessori when, in 1987, the Bishop called on her to serve as Vice-Chancellor of the Diocese of Columbus. She was the first woman in the diocesan history to hold such an administrative position. In response to questions about her role, Anne replied, “I like pioneer things.  I like creative new horizons.  I also think it’s a risk for both sides.  Appointing a woman to the post is a risk on the part of the bishop.  But it’s also very complimentary and an honor.” She did an excellent job, and in 1992 Bishop James Griffin nominated her for the papal honor Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (For Church and Pope). It is the highest honor that can be conferred on the laity, and Anne received it in recognition of her outstanding service to the local Church in Columbus. 

The Bishop asked Anne to step into another pioneering role in 1995 when he appointed her to serve as Pastoral Administrator of St. Stephen the Martyr Parish. In that role, the Bishop designated Anne to implement a three-year plan designed as a pilot program that was part of a diocesan pastoral response to the growing dilemma of a shortage of priests. When asked to describe her role, Anne responded, “My responsibility is to see that the sacramental ministry is carried out.” She made sure there were priests to preside at Mass and administer other sacrament sand she oversaw other aspects of parish life, including encouraging the development of lay leadership. Anne said, “Nine-tenths of leadership is bringing out the potential of people. I think talents and skills blossom in an atmosphere of interest, encouragement and praise…. The response of the community has been positive.  It’s been a collaboration of all the people of the church to keep the church alive.”  Anne served at St. Stephen’s until her retirement. Shortly after that health concerns brought her to Cincinnati.

As she did with the people she served, Anne took a genuine interest in and was attentive to her Sisters in community. She was known as a good listener, for her kindness, her energetic approach to life, her humor and her sense of fun. Anne’s talent for cooking came in handy in small community settings, and her lovely voice added to community worship and prayer. She participated faithfully in community meetings at all levels. Anne enjoyed good books and good television programs, poetry, listening to music, attending movies and just being with people. She saw her religious vocation as central to her identity: “Success in being a good religious means more to me than any work I do. Without the letters SND after my name, I would never have been able to do the things I have done, be the person I am, or know my God with such clarity.”

Anne was also attentive to her family and its growing generations. Serving so many years in her home town made connecting a little easier. She was so grateful for their attentiveness to her when she could no longer travel to see them. Now as her Sisters, family and friends gather to celebrate Anne’s life, we thank God for this true daughter of Saint Julie who had the courage to accept the role of pioneer in the times she lived in. We thank God for the many ways she made God’s goodness known to each of us, and to so many others whose lives she touched.  Our good God is indeed so very good!

Bio Data
Born May 1, 1930 in Columbus, Ohio
Parents: Charles F. McCarrick (born in Dennison, Ohio) and Harriet Bandy (born in Columbus, Ohio)
Siblings: Charles William McCarrick, Kathleen McCarrick Kellison, Patrick McCarrick

Baptized on June 8, 1930 at St. Augustine Church, Columbus, Ohio
Confirmed on May 24, 1938 at St. Augustine, Columbus, Ohio

Entered June 26, 1948 at Mt. Notre Dame
First Profession: January 27, 1951
Final Profession:  August 13, 1956

St. Joseph Academy, Columbus, Ohio, 1948
Bachelor of Science in Education, Ohio Dominican, Columbus Ohio, 1960
Pre-Primary Diploma, the American Montessori Society, New York, New York, 1965
Montessori Diploma – Elementary, Associates Montessori Internationale, Bergamo, Italy, June 1974
Master of Arts in Education Administration, the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1977
Certificate of Theological Studies, Institute for Spirituality and Worship, Berkley, California, 1981

Assignments Included:
1951-1952 St. Victor School, Calumet City, Chicago, Illinois
1952-1958 St. Augustine School, Columbus, Ohio
1958-1961 Holy Angels School, Dayton, Ohio
1961-1963 St. Robert Bellarmine School, Chicago, Illinois
1963-1965 Immaculate Conception School, Dayton, Ohio
1965-1968 Summit Country Day School, Cincinnati, Ohio
1968-1973 Montessori Director, St. Joseph Academy, Columbus, Ohio
1973-1974 Student, Bergamo, Italy
1974-1979 Montessori Department, Pre-primary & Elementary, St. Joseph Academy, Columbus, Ohio
1976-1979 Columbus Montessori Center, Columbus, Ohio
1980-1981 Student, Jesuit School of Theology, Berkley, California
1981-1982 Religious Education, Diocesan Education Office, Columbus, Ohio
1982-1983 Pope John XXIII School, Columbus, Ohio
1983-1987 St. Anthony Parish, Columbus, Ohio
1987-1995 Vice-chancellor, Diocese of Columbus, Columbus, Ohio
1995-2006 St. Stephen the Martyr Parish, Columbus, Ohio
2006-2007 Retired, Columbus, Ohio
2007-2012 Community Service, Julie Community, Mt. Notre Dame, Reading, Ohio
2012-2018: Ministry of Prayer, Mt. Notre Dame Health Center, Reading, Ohio

Died: February 6, 2018 at Mt. Notre Dame health Center, Reading, Ohio

Sr. Kim Dalgarn SNDdeN
February 7, 2018