A funeral Mass for Sister Carol Ann Collins, SSND, was celebrated Oct. 26 at the School Sisters of Notre Dame Theresa Center Chapel in south St. Louis County. Sister Carol Ann, 90, died Oct. 17 at Sancta Maria in Ripa.
She was born on June 13, 1929, to Edna (McMenamy) and Marvin Collins at the former St. Ann’s Hospital in St. Louis. Her parents named her June Rose. She was baptized at Holy Family Church in St. Louis.
The family moved frequently during her childhood. She attended Mark Twain School for two years and then attended St. Engelbert School, staffed by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Upon graduation from Rosati-Kain High School, she entered the candidature at Sancta Maria in Ripa on Aug. 27, 1947. As a second year candidate, she taught second grade at St. Bernadette School in St. Louis. She was received into the novitiate on July 28, 1949 and given the name of her younger sister, Carol Ann. She professed first vows on July 29, 1950, and final vows on July 29, 1956. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the former Notre Dame College in 1957 and a master’s degree in English from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio in 1962, and a doctorate in French from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1967.
Sister Carol Ann taught primary students at St. Mary of Victories in St. Louis and St. Michael in Shrewsbury, and at schools in Illinois. She also taught French at the former Notre Dame College for four years and was appointed acting president, an interim position, for two years and then became academic dean until the college closed in 1977.
With the closure of Notre Dame College, Sister Carol Ann was asked to pursue training in human communications. She became a facilitator for local communities, school faculties and parish councils. When Sister Mary Margaret Johanning was elected general superior, Sister Carol Ann completed her term as a provincial councilor. She served on the International Revision Committee for the revision of the Rule and Constitution as directed by the Second Vatican Council. She spent one year in the Department of Shared Responsibility in the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J. She was coordinator of the Pastoral Plan for the Diocese of Springfield, Ill., for five years. Sister Carol Ann was elected to the St. Louis provincial council in 1991 and served two terms.
After preparation as a spiritual director, she combined individual spiritual direction and retreat work for 12 years. She was an adjunct retreat staff member at King’s House in Belleville, Ill., and later a resident staff member at Queen of Angels Retreat House, in Saginaw, Mich. As her physical energies decreased, she transitioned into retirement. During this time, she volunteered as a weekend staff member at the Alzheimer’s Association in St. Louis for several years and tutored a mentally challenged adult.
In May 2019, she was diagnosed with cancer of the tonsils and neck. After a series of radiation treatments, she chose to be placed on hospice in early July 2019. Sister Carol Ann is a participant in the Rush Religious Orders Study.
Burial was in the Sancta Maria in Ripa Cemetery.