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Sister Marilyn Rose Ginder

GindMa02“Jesus summoned his Apostles and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.'”

The Word of God

—– A reading from the Gospel of Matthew

This is the gospel for today, and it seemed a good reading to reflect on as we gather to remember our Sister Marilyn Rose Ginder. Several sisters I have spoken with recalled how dedicated she was to her ministry, especially with her work as a clinical psychologist, working with her patients, as Jesus admonished, not wishing to be served, but to serve, said Sister Margaret Quinlan in her commentary for Sister Marilyn Rose Ginder, who died Sunday, Feb. 21. Shew was 86 years old and had been a Sister of Providence for 67 years.

Sister Marilyn Rose was born Sept. 25, 1929, in Montgomery, Indiana, to Paul and Helena Doyle Ginder. She was baptized Margaret Mary, also known as Margie. She had one sister, Marilyn, also known as “the real Marilyn.” She is with us today. Our Sister Marilyn Rose attended St. John Elementary School in Loogootee, and St. Roch School in Indianapolis, and graduated from St. John Academy in Indianapolis in 1947. She entered the Sisters of Providence in 1949, and was given the name Sister Marilyn Rose. She took her first vows on Aug. 15, 1951, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1956.

Marilyn earned her bachelor’s degree in Latin from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, and taught for several years in elementary schools and high schools in Indiana and Illinois. One of those schools was Ladywood in Indianapolis. Her good friend, Sister Laurette Bellamy, recalls the ministry they shared there, especially taking care of the boarders. She recalls how Marilyn was several times in charge of big events, and though she did not have plans until the last minute, that things still came together. Laurette said that she was wonderful to work with a pleasant to be with.

Marilyn got her Master’s degree in educational administration from Notre Dame, and her doctorate in Counseling, also from Notre Dame.

Sister Marilyn Rose GinderAs part of her work at Notre Dame, she interned at Midtown Comprehensive Mental Health Center in Indianapolis, and then she returned to the center and worked there from 1973 to 2002, except for four years when she served in Provincial Administration for the Indiana Province of the Sisters of Providence. Sister Joann Quinkert recalls the support Marilyn gave, as Provincial, to the missions in the South at that time, where our sisters were dealing with issues around civil rights.

After those four years as Provincial, Marilyn returned to ministry at Midtown Comprehensive Mental Health Center. She served as head of the clinic, and also took patients, especially poor patients, often with those dealing with mental illness and with addiction, with whom she worked with great kindness and care. She could deal with people who were difficult to deal with. And she worked hard! Sister Charles Van Hoy, a band member who lived with her at the time, said, ‘She went the whole nine yards, plus!'” Charles recalls how Marilyn would come home so tired from her work at the clinic. She also recalled that Marilyn was well liked by the people who worked with her. Sister Sue Buthod, also a band member, described her as generous and inclusive, with strong opinions, which she stuck to, but never in a hurtful way. She was described as having traits that anyone would like in a friend.

And her friends have described her as enjoying life, loving her family, loving to spend time with them. Marilyn took the famous ‘wilderness trip,’ though she is remembered by her fellow travelers as particularly enjoying being in the hammock under the trees.

On a more serious side, she and Sister Patty Fillenwarth were the co-leaders of the community’s original Anti-Racism Team.

Marilyn returned to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 2004 and volunteered in the Ministry of Care. Since 2006, her ministry has been listed as Prayer for the Anti-Racism Team.

It has been difficult to see this smart, dedicated, hard-working woman as she has been these past several years. But she is now with God, and at peace.

Marilyn, may God be generous with you now, as you were with God’s people.

Funeral services for Sister Marilyn Rose took place on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 24-25.

A wake took place on Wednesday, Feb. 24, with Vespers at 4:30 p.m.

Mass of Christian Burial took place at 11 a.m., on Thursday, Feb. 25.

We welcome you to share your memories of Sister Marilyn Rose in the comment section below.

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  1. Avatar Karen Oddi on February 22, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Sister/Doctor Marilyn Ginder was a fantastic mental health counselor whom I remember with great admiration and gratitude. May she finally rest in peace….

  2. Avatar Kathy Lyons on March 1, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Sister Marilyn was a very accepting, loving, gifted and compassionate person. She was an invaluable teacher, therapist and mentor. She always strived to be as honest with others as she was with herself. She touched my life in a profound way, redirecting negativity into hope and promise. I am so grateful that God put her in my life. Not a day goes by, that I don’t draw on the many life-lessons she taught me. She referred to herself as “the eternal optimist” and that she truly was. She met people where they were and walked beside them through their journey. The world is a better place because of Sr. Marilyn Ginder.

  3. Avatar Darlene R. Hensley, Ph.D. on March 3, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    I am a better person for having had the opportunity to share part life’s journey with Marilyn. I am pleased to say I am part of her legacy as I am a person she not only helped but also befriended. She was a Woman of Providence.

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