Sister Mary Elise Stutzenberger, P.V.M.I.


Sister Mary Elise Stutzenberger, P.V.M.I., who was born the year her community—the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate—was founded, died Oct. 9 at Marycrest motherhouse in Monroe. She was 100.

Sister Elise gave catechist formation classes in the archdiocese and taught religious education in Monroe and Harriman.

She also served on a catechetical team in the Archdiocese of Hartford, training catechists and evaluating parish catechetical programs. Later, she would organize a catechetical program for the former Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, N.Y.

Born in Union City, N.J.,she entered the Parish Visitors at age 18 and lived to be their senior-most sister. As a postulant she did missionary visitation to families in Brooklyn. After her final vows in 1945 she was assigned to the community’s newly opened mission in West Haven, Conn.

She attended The Catholic University of America and Dunbarton College of Holy Cross, both in Washington, D.C.

She was local superior at Marycrest Convent, Monroe, 1955-1961, and taught religion to junior high and high school students at Sacred Heart, Monroe, and St. Anastasia, Harriman. She was assistant novice mistress and sacristan at the convent, 1965-1969. She was PVMI representative to the archdiocesan Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, a consultant to the archdiocesan CCD office, and served on the area CCD advisory board. She also gave teacher training courses at Sacred Heart.

She was local superior, 1977-1980, head of house and grounds maintenance, and procurator, 1981-1983; and assistant local superior, 1993-1999. After retiring in 2000, she cared for the sisters in the Marycrest infirmary until age 94.

She also taught religion in New Jersey, Connecticut and Rome, N.Y.

Auxiliary Bishop Gerardo Colacicco celebrated her Funeral Mass Oct. 12 in Immaculate Concepcion Chapel, Monroe. Burial was in Our Lady of the Assumption Cemetery, Monroe.