Sister Michaelinda died on August 31, 2015 at Rosary Care Center in Sylvania, Ohio. Sister Michaelinda, the daughter of Michael and Helen Szwast, came to the convent from Hamtramck, Michigan in 1946. She made her first profession of religious vows in 1949, her final vows in 1952 and earned her B.S.E. and M.A. degrees from the University of Detroit. For almost 42 years, Sister Michaelinda taught in elementary schools in Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan and New Mexico. She spent 21 years in her later life tutoring students from elementary school to college at the Teacher Center on the campus of the Sisters and eventually became the director of the center. In 1977, Sister Michaelinda received the Outstanding Science Teacher Award in Columbus, Ohio and the Miriam Joseph Farrell Award in Chicago, Illinois. She was a member of the Catholic War Vets Auxiliary 630 in Toledo.
To know Sister Michaelinda was to know someone who had boundless energy, someone who was full of ideas for new ways to do things, someone who loved to help children and adults learn basic reading and math skills. Though physically very thin herself, Sister enjoyed sharing lots of Brieschke’s Bakery pastries with the residents of Rosary Care Center, Our Lady of Lourdes Soup Kitchen and local Vets. Sister Michaelinda also worked as a lab assistant at Lourdes College, helped out in the finance office of the Sisters and served as a sacristan at St. Joseph Church in Sylvania. She was always on the go until health issues confined her to a wheelchair from which she still managed to attend the liturgy, participate in a variety of activities at Rosary Care Center and on the campus of the Sisters and at Lourdes University. Sister volunteered for All Good Things stuffing prayer pillows, praying for the future recipient of each one. Sister Michaelinda will be dearly missed by her Sisters in Community and the many family members, students and friends she has touched during her long life of service.
There was a Welcoming Home liturgy for Sister Michaelinda in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel on September 10 and her funeral was September 11. Interment was in Porta Coeli Cemetery on the Motherhouse grounds.