A memorial Mass for Sister Marian Niemann, CSJ, was celebrated Jan. 11 at Nazareth Living Center in south St. Louis County. Sister Marian, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, died Jan. 1 at Nazareth Living Center at the age of 92.
Marian Jane was born to parents Edward and Elizabeth (Habiger) Niemann during the Great Depression on April 4, 1930, in the southeast Kansas town of Piqua. After finishing elementary school, they moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where she graduated from Redemptorist High School.
In 1952, she earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of St. Teresa in Kansas City, which is now Avila University. That fall, she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. On March 19, 1953, she was received into the novitiate as Sister St. Bernard.
In March 1955, Sister Marian began her mission work as a CSJ, teaching at the intermediate level at St. Viator Grade School in Chicago. On Aug. 15, she pronounced final vows. Then, she began working toward a master’s degree in English at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which she completed in 1973.
During those 18 years while maintaining her studies, she also taught at the intermediate level at Our Lady of Lourdes School in University City (1956-57) and St. Edward School in St. Louis (1957-58). She moved to the secondary level and taught in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Florissant.
Sister Marian spent the next five years in Denver, Colorado. She taught at St. Francis de Sales High School (1967-70) and Marycrest High School (1970-71). She then became a nurse’s aide at Galazy Nursing Home for a year.
In 1972, she returned to Missouri and the classroom to teach at Valle High School in Ste. Genevieve (1972-79) and St. Louis Prep Seminary North in St. Louis (1979-87).
From 1987-2018, Sister Marian served in the Kansas City area. She was a freelance writer for Agnes House (1987-90), a staff member at Redemptorist Center (1990-91), a receptionist at the Center for Business Innovation (1991-93), and an office manager for Donohoe and Associates in Shawnee Mission, Kansas (1993-94). Sister Marian spent the next four years caring for her family. In 1998, she served as a home service provider for CSJ Care. She retired in 2004. Yet, she spent the next 14 years serving at Journey to New Life, a collaborative, nonprofit organization that facilitates the empowerment of people reentering society from prison or other involvement with the criminal legal system.
In 2018, Sister Marian moved back to St. Louis to Nazareth Living Center. From then until her passing, she carried out her mission of prayer and presence. Sister Marian’s cremains were buried at Resurrection Cemetery.