Virgin Mary

Sister Mary Pius (Margaret) Schreiner, CSC

December 31, 1931 ~ November 12, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old

Sister Mary Pius (Margaret) Schreiner, CSC Obituary

Entered the Sisters of the Holy Cross from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on July 26, 1949

Initial Profession of Vows on August 15, 1952

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith… if it is teaching, then teach.” (Romans 12:6-7) Sister Mary Pius (Schreiner) was graced with the gift of teaching and a love for children. For 60 years of her life in community, she was a passionate teacher of God’s children in schools throughout the East Coast of the United States.

Margaret Isabel Schreiner was born shortly before the clock struck twelve on New Year’s Eve in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as the world prepared for 1932. Margaret and her siblings, Frank and Anna, were children of German immigrants, Pius and Margaretha (Kulle) Schreiner. She was named after her mother, as Margaret is the English form of Margaretha. As a “good, sensible girl who was not afraid of work,” Margaret was always willing to help a person in need. She attended Saint Joseph’s School as a child and Sacred Heart Academy for high school, both in Lancaster. The Holy Cross sisters who taught Margaret at the academy made a significant impression on her, as she entered the Congregation at Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame, Indiana, on July 26, 1949, only a few months after graduation. Upon reception of the holy habit on August 15, 1950, she was given her religious name, Sister Mary Pius. She was given her father’s name, just as she was given her mother’s name at birth.

Sister Mary Pius taught in parochial schools along the American east coast, starting with Holy Trinity School in Norfolk, Virginia in 1952. Her ministry in education would take her to elementary schools in Alexandria, Virginia; Greenbelt, Maryland; Washington, D.C.; and Riverdale, Maryland. Furthering her own education, she graduated from Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross in Washington, D.C., with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1966. Sister Mary Pius spent over 20 years back in her hometown of Lancaster, initially teaching second grade at St. Anthony of Padua School and as a catechist in the parish from 1997. During her 20 years she served the school and parish in a variety of ministries, even after the school merged with another to become Resurrection School. She eventually transitioned to being the parish sacristan and being a Eucharistic minister to the elderly, sick, and homebound until 2002 when she retired to the motherhouse, Saint Mary’s.

After transitioning to the motherhouse, Sister Mary Pius was the sacristan at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame until 2012. She would prepare for scheduled and private Masses at the basilica, in addition to being responsible for the upkeep of the Log Chapel and ensure the chapel had the necessary linens. Working with the Notre Dame student sacristans was a joy to her, as she developed a rapport with them and would join them at the bowling alley. In her own words, “they keep me young.”

Outside of Sister Mary Pius’ ministry at the basilica, she volunteered with her dear friend, Sister Carmel Marie (Sallows), CSC. They regularly volunteered at the Center for Hospice Care in Mishawaka, Indiana, and would take Communion to residents of the Holy Cross Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in South Bend, Indiana. In 2012, she transitioned to full-time ministry of prayer after 60 years of service in education and to her community. She continued to volunteer at the hospice and rehab centers, as well as assist in the convent wherever help was needed. Sister Mary Pius died peacefully at Saint Mary's Convent on Sunday afternoon November 12, 2023. The sisters had sat vigil with her for only a few days when this gentle woman slipped away on a crisp, sunny autumn day.

Visitation begins at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto.  Prayers in the Presence of the Body with memento begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by the Mass of the Resurrection.  Masks are required.

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