Sister Merry Marcotte
“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice. …” (Psalm 96:11)
“On Thursday before Sister Merry died, the chaplain at Marian Home came for a brief visit. He stood at the foot of the bed and said, ‘Sister, when I saw you last Sunday you thought things would progress rapidly.’ Sister Merry raised both arms and said, ‘Providence prevails. Everything is falling into place,’” shared Sister Ellen Kehoe from the commentary written by Sister Joan Zlogar for Sister Merry Marcotte, who died Feb. 17 at Marian Home, a health-care facility on the motherhouse grounds of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, Ky. Sister Merry had ministered several years with the Ursulines.
Merry Elizabeth Marcotte, born Oct. 10, 1942, in Detroit, was the youngest daughter of Charles and Corrine “Connie” (Krentler) Marcotte. She attended Park Road Grade School and Myers Park High School, both in Charlotte, N.C. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a master’s degree in educational counseling at Duke University. Prior to entering the Congregation, she served with the American Red Cross for six years, including two years in Vietnam as a caseworker in military hospitals.
Sister Merry entered the Congregation Aug. 23, 1974. She professed first and perpetual vows Aug. 15, 1976, and 1984, respectively.
Sister Merry began her Sisters of Providence ministries in 1976 at Immaculata College, Washington, D.C., as a counselor and foreign student advisor. Her ministries in Indiana were many and varied. She served as the director of adult education at United Southside Community Organization, Indianapolis. In Terre Haute, she was a pastoral associate at St. Ann Parish and later served as a coordinator of volunteers at the Council on Domestic Abuse. In the late 1990s, Sister Merry ministered in New Albany at Providence Self Sufficiency Ministries and later as the director of alternative sentencing in the Floyd County Prosecutor’s Office. Her ministries also took her to Chicago as a parish minister at St. Ferdinand Parish and to Boone, N.C., as a pastoral associate at St. Elizabeth Church.
In 2000, Sister Merry moved to Louisville, Ky. She briefly ministered as the director of volunteers at Louisville Diversified Services. She then served for three years as the director of vocation ministry with the Ursuline Sisters. In 2004, she ministered as a teaching assistant at Sacred Heart Model School.
“Sister Merry shared her gifts and talents in countless ways,” said Sister Ellen. “She was involved in many musical and theatrical events, often playing guitar, piano, organ or singing. She was an avid reader, and she enjoyed hiking, mountain climbing, bird watching and travel. Her interests included the environment, gardening, listening to National Public Radio and watching North Carolina basketball games.
“Wherever Sister Merry served, people loved her. She had a compassionate, loving heart and cared deeply about others. And she loved being a Sister of Providence. Her passion for justice issues drove her to seek a better world for others wherever she was involved in ministry,” continued Sister Ellen.
“Sister Merry loved and was loved by the Ursuline Sisters, and one of her joys was the garden she kept on their campus. She so appreciated all the care the Ursulines gave her in her sickness,” said Sister Ellen.
“On Saturday, Jan. 12, Sister Merry wrote in her journal: ‘Lord, I can see you at the bridge again. I want to be able to run across with joy and anticipation. Tears well up with relief, not sadness. I am ready,’” shared Sister Ellen.
“When Sister Merry delivered the words of remembrance at her mother’s memorial service, she said, ‘When Connie could no longer direct the play, it was time to close the show.’ Those of us who have been with Sister Merry since she entered Marian Home have joked about her giving directions each time we visited. We knew that when she was finished directing her own play, it was time ‘to cross the bridge.’
“Sister Merry, we will miss you, but we look forward to your waiting for us when it is time for us to cross the bridge,” concluded Sister Ellen.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Merry was celebrated Feb. 22, with the Rev. Daniel Hopcus presiding. She was preceded in death by her sister, Sally Carey. She is survived by her brother, Charles, of Houston.
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