A funeral Mass for Sister M. Madeleine Sophie Witt, was celebrated Nov. 8 at the School Sisters of Notre Dame Theresa Center Chapel in south St. Louis County. Sister Madeleine Sophie, 95, died Nov. 2 at The Sarah Community in Bridgeton.
The second child of Marie Teresa (Ullman) and Carl Witt, she was born in Quincy, Ill., on Nov. 7, 1923. Four days later, she was baptized at St. Mary’s Church and named Mary Carlene.
She began her formal education when she was enrolled in the public school kindergarten at the age of four. She completed her elementary education at St. Peter’s School in Quincy, staffed by the Sisters of the Precious Blood from O’Fallon. At the reception of her first Holy Communion, she promised Jesus that she would become a religious sister. During her high school years at Notre Dame High School in Quincy, she became acquainted with the School Sisters of Notre Dame and grew to know and love this congregation.
She entered the candidature at Sancta Maria in Ripa on Aug. 27, 1941. After two years in the candidature, she was received into the novitiate on July 27, 1943 and given the name M. Madeleine Sophie. Profession of first vows was on July 28, 1944 and final vows on July 28, 1950.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology for the former LeClerc College in Belleville, Illinois, in 1949; a master’s degree in theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1963; and a master’s degree in spirituality from the University of San Francisco in 1980.
Sister Madeleine Sophie taught for five years in elementary schools, including St. John Nepomuk and St. Alphonsus (Rock) in St. Louis, and St. Charles Borromeo in St. Charles. She taught secondary students at Loose Creek Public High School in Loose Creek, Mo.; St. Joseph in Conway, Ark.; Notre Dame High School in St. Louis; St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs, Calif.; and Helias High School in Jefferson City, Mo.
She was directress of the aspirants from 1955-64, and directress of the junior sisters from 1964-68. After a sabbatical in the early 1990s, she began 10 years of pastoral ministry at St. George in Linn, Mo., and St. Thomas in St. Thomas, Mo.
In 2002, she retired for several months at Mary, Queen of the Universe convent in St. Louis. When the convent closed in 2003, she was missioned to the motherhouse, where she became involved in a variety of volunteer ministries. As her health failed, she was transferred to Veronica House in 2006 and to Anna House in 2010.
Burial was in Sancta Maria in Ripa Cemetery.