Notre Dame Prep headmistress who ushered school into 21st Century dies at 87

March 01, 2017
 
By Erik Zygmont

ezymont@CatholicReview.org

Sister Christine Marie Mulcahy of the School Sisters of Notre Dame was remembered for both her leadership of Notre Dame Preparatory School and of her congregation.

Sister Christine, who died Feb. 17 at 87, served as headmistress of the Towson all-girls high school from 1997 to 2005.

Sister Patricia McCarron, current NDP headmistress and Sister Christine’s successor.

called Sister Christine’s impact on the all-girls high school “tremendous” and noted that the Knott Performing Arts wing, the Kirby Educational Center, new playing fields, computer and language labs and the school’s sports and fitness centers were among the enhancements that the school saw under Sister Christine’s leadership.

Her contributions were much more than material.

“She absolutely loved the girls,” Sister Patricia said. “She was a very strong woman, in a gentle way, with a kind heart and a humble spirit.”



School Sister of Notre Dame Christine Marie Mulcahy is shown with students at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Towson in this undated photo. (Courtesy NDP)

Born in Malden, Mass., Sister Christine was the fifth of seven siblings and attended a Catholic parish school and high school. 

Sister Christine majored in business education at what is now Salem (Mass.) State University, earning a bachelor’s degree, and taught business subjects at a Massachusetts high school for one year. She entered the candidature of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1952 in Baltimore and taught at the former St. Ann’s Business School, also in Baltimore.

Sister Christine professed her first vows in 1954 and ministered for more than 50 years in education. She earned a master’s degree from Villanova University in Pennsylvania and served in that state as well as New Jersey and, while she cared for her ailing father, in Massachusetts.

Sister Christine ministered at Bishop Walsh School in Cumberland, teaching and serving as vice principal, from 1977 to 1979, and she was principal of St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis from 1983 to 1988.

She was elected provincial leader of the Baltimore Province of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1988 and served in that role until 1996.

“When I professed my vows as a School Sister of Notre Dame, she was the person who accepted them on behalf of the congregation and the Catholic Church,” Sister Patricia remembered. “I admired her leadership ability, and she always saw potential in me and encouraged me to be all I could be for Notre Dame Prep and the School Sisters of Notre Dame.”

While provincial leader, Sister Christine served concurrently as chairwoman of the NDP board of trustees.

After Sister Christine retired as NDP headmistress, she volunteered as a GED tutor at Caroline Center, a Baltimore jobs-training program, according to an obituary provided by the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

Her funeral Mass was offered Feb. 24 at Villa Assumpta in Baltimore.

 
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