Sister Clarence Marie, CSC
(Clare Leona Larson)
February 18, 1927 – September 15, 2020
Entered the Sisters of the Holy Cross from Everett, Massachusetts on August 1, 1949
Initial Profession of Vows on August 15, 1952
Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. Two photographs of Sister Clarence Marie provide an insight into her personality. In the older vintage photo, she stands erect in the traditional floor-length black and white habit of a Sister of the Holy Cross. The black veil and the large white fluted cap circling her head make her seem even taller than the two shorter candle bearers flanking her as she holds on firmly to the long staff of the processional cross. The cross is perfectly aligned, tilting neither to the left nor the right. Many years later in another photo, Sister Clarence Marie still stands tall despite her adaptation to more contemporary garb at the time of a Jubilee celebration. The two sisters who are candle bearers are wearing pastel blue suits, neither woman wearing a veil. Again, Sister Clarence Marie is the cross bearer in the middle. However, she is wearing a black business suit, white blouse, and shorter black veil trimmed with a white band. In both profiles she is a woman of resolute consistency and determination.
Clare Leona Larson was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, across the Mystic River from the city of Boston, on February 18, 1927 to Esther McCarren and Clarence Larson. Her father was a civil engineer and her mother cared for her and her three sisters and one brother. Clare attended public schools in Everett, Massachusetts and had nearly six years of secretarial or related work experience in the Boston area by the time she entered the Sisters of the Holy Cross in August 1949. Her years in ministry from 1953 were initially in secondary education, teaching either religion and/or commerce classes at Holy Cross sponsored schools in the Eastern United States. In addition, she was a great basketball coach for the girls at The Academy of the Holy Cross and St. Patrick’s Academy, both in Washington, DC, and St. Mary’s Academy, Alexandria, Virginia. Her bachelor’s degree in business was from Dunbarton College of Holy Cross, Washington, DC in 1963.
From 1963 to 1975 Sister proved invaluable as an able secretary or secretary-treasurer, first for the Eastern Province and then the College Region, offices located respectively at Saint Angela Hall in Rockville, Maryland, and in Washington DC. In 1975 Sister returned to St. Mary’s Academy, where she chaired the business department and was secretary to the principal until 1986. The positions she held at Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland, as an executive secretary (1986-1997) and then support staff coordinator (1997-2008) were good fits for Sister’s penchant for accuracy, order, efficiency, integrity, and loyalty.
Sister Clarence Marie retired in 2008, remaining in Silver Spring, Maryland and then transitioned to the Saint Angela Hall convent in Kensington, Maryland, in 2013. Sher moved to Saint Mary’s Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana, in November 2016, where she dedicated her last years faithfully to a ministry of prayer, seated near the Cross rather than leading the procession with the standard of Christian hope. She was always a woman of resolute consistency and determination despite ill health. Sister died at Saint Mary’s Convent in the first hours of the Feast of Our Mother of Sorrows, the patroness of the Congregation.
The Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated on Friday, September 18, 2020 at the Church of Our Lady of Loretto followed by internment in Our Lady of Peace Cemetery. Kaniewski Funeral Homes assisted with arrangements. We invite you to donate in Sister’s name to the Sisters of the Holy Cross Ministry with the Poor Fund at www.cscsisters.org
--Sister Catherine Osimo, CSC
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