Actions
Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Abells in:
 • Villa Maria Cemetery
 • Glen Arm
 • Baltimore County
 • Maryland
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Sponsor This Memorial!
Advertisement
Sr Mary Lea "Betty" Abell
Learn about upgrading this memorial...
Birth: Jan. 12, 1924
Washington
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Death: May 14, 2010
Woodbrook
Baltimore County
Maryland, USA

Sister Mary Lea Abell, SSND

First Profession July 31, 1945
Motherhouse
Baltimore, Maryland


Mary Elizabeth Abell was born in Washington, D.C., to Robert Clifton Abell, a native of Kentucky, and Catherine Bernadette Brahm Abell, a native of Indiana. She was the middle child in a family of three girls; Ruth was older and Susan younger than she. SSNDs taught her at St. Theresa School in the District; she graduated in 1938 "with a desire to go to the Aspiranture" in Fort Lee, N.J.

In her autobiography, Betty does not comment on her four years at Holy Angels, saying only that she graduated on June 14, 1942, and "on the night of August 28 received the bonnet at Assumption Church [where she had been baptized] and left the next morning for the motherhouse" on Aisquith Street in Baltimore. Of her two years as a candidate and student, with good health except for having her tonsils removed, she wrote:

By all the religious exercises, but especially by the nearness to the Blessed Sacrament I have felt my vocation develop. It is my earnest desire to receive the Holy Habit and to become a School Sister of Notre Dame, the Order to which I feel God has called me.

When she was received into the novitiate, in 1944, Betty became Sister Mary Lea; she made first profession on July 31, 1945, and final profession on the same date in 1951. The College of Notre Dame of Maryland awarded her a B.A. in education in 1957, and Fordham University an M.A. in education in 1968.

During her six years of temporary profession, Sister Lea taught elementary grades at St. Peter School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She continued in elementary school for three years at St. Matthew in Baltimore, and then taught junior high grades at Our Lady of Hope in Sparrows Point, Baltimore County, for nine years, during the last three of which she served as principal.

Further obediences to junior high grades took her to Mount Calvary in Forrestville, Maryland, and to St. Margaret Mary in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. At the latter, she first taught and then served as principal until 1970.

For the next six years, Sister Lea mentored student teachers as a member of the Department of Education at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. During this time, she enjoyed a brief period of sabbatical and personal renewal in the fall of 1973.

The next 31 years of Sister Lea's life were spent at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Siesta Key, Sarasota, Florida. Her roles in this faith community included director of religious education, pastoral associate, and minister to the homebound, sick, and elderly. Her legendary ministerial life at St. Michael came to a close in August 2007.

Sister Lea died peacefully at Maria Health Care Center, late on May 14. She had gone to the hospital on May 4 for congestive heart failure, and returned to the Villa on May 6 after a stroke that left her non-responsive.

May Sister Lea now rest in the peace of God.
 
 
Burial:
Villa Maria Cemetery
Glen Arm
Baltimore County
Maryland, USA
 
Created by: AnnieSings
Record added: May 15, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 52409632
Sr Mary Lea Betty Abell
Added by: AnnieSings
 
Sr Mary Lea Betty Abell
Added by: AnnieSings
 
Sr Mary Lea Betty Abell
Added by: Anonymous
 
 
There is 1 more photo not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


-
 Added: May. 14, 2015
In Your goodness, O God, raise up Your faithful people who have been buried with Your Son in baptism.
-
 Added: May. 14, 2015
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for her!
-
 Added: May. 14, 2015
There are 24 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
 
 
 Advertisement

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service