Sister Ann Lucille Mortell
“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
“This reading seems especially appropriate for one whose love of God was so transparent to those of us who knew her,” said Sister Mary Roger Madden, referring to Sister Ann Lucille Mortell, who died March 12.
Lucille Helen Mortell was born Oct. 21, 1912, in Chicago to Stanley and Eva (Vitkus) Mortell, who both came to the United States from Lithuania. Lucille was one of four children. She attended St. Agnes Grade School and Providence High School, both in Chicago. She graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Academy. Entering the Congregation Feb. 13, 1929, Sister Ann Lucille professed first and perpetual vows Aug. 15, 1931, and Jan. 23, 1937, respectively. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.
Sister Ann Lucille began teaching elementary school in 1931 at St. Patrick, Stoneham, Mass. In Massachusetts, she also ministered at Sacred Heart, Malden. In Indiana, her classrooms were at St. Charles, Peru; St. John the Baptist, Fort Wayne; Sacred Heart, Whiting; and St. Mary, Richmond. Sister Ann Lucille spent most of her years in Chicago, starting at St. Mel-Holy Ghost and then St. Leo. From 1963 until she retired from teaching in 1993, she ministered at St. Angela.
“It’s hardly surprising that she had a devotion to the city of Chicago and its citizens and that leaving to return to the motherhouse in 2002 was a decision that required the exercise of several transcending-of-self precepts. Only the call of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel eased this separation. More than once she said to me, ‘It is for this that I came home. This is my ministry.’ Besides her regularly scheduled 2 o’clock hour seven days a week, she went every morning after breakfast to begin her day with an hour of adoration. Over and above these two hours, she was the most dependable substitute for those who became ill or who had appointments that conflicted with their hour. When she went on a family visit, she assured me that she took her prayer books with her and without fail kept her hour of prayer even though from a distance,” said Sister Mary Roger.
“Sister Ann Lucille was a being-in-love. And we more commonsense souls do not always understand those who are in love. They tend to have, as we say, a one-track mind. Truth to tell, their priorities are not always our priorities. Those who understand are the poets and the saints,” continued Sister Mary Roger.
“We truly rejoice with you, Sister Ann Lucille, for now you live beyond all limitations where neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any creature will ever be able to separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus,” concluded Sister Mary Roger.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Ann Lucille was celebrated March 16, with the Rev. Daniel Hopcus presiding. She was preceded in death by all of her siblings.
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