Sister Marie Andree Chorzempa died at Rosary Care Center in Sylvania, Ohio on February 8, 2023. The daughter of Andrew and Louise Chorzempa came from Holy Cross Parish in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1939 to become a Sister of St. Francis in Sylvania, Ohio. She made her first profession of religious vows in 1945 and her final profession in 1948.
Sister Marie Andree was well prepared for the many ministries she readily assumed over her 77 plus years of service in the Church. She had a B.S. degree in chemistry, math and philosophy; a M.S. degree in Chemistry; a Ph.D. in Physical Science; and a Certificate in Theology. With her keen intellect and gentle spirit, she was involved in education from elementary school to high school to college. She held several positions at Lourdes College as teacher, Planetarium Director, Registrar and Academic Dean. She was the President of Lourdes College from 1981-1983.
Sister also served in roles among the Sisters. She was involved in the formation of new members, served as Councilor on the Leadership Team for two terms and as Minister General for two terms. After leaving leadership she worked in parishes in pastoral care and faith formation. Moving on she became Vice-President of Mission Integration in one of the Community’s medical centers and then was able to realize a lifelong dream of working with disadvantaged children on an Indian Reservation in New Mexico.
In 2004 Sister Marie Andree was asked to write the history of the Congregation for its upcoming 90th Anniversary in 2006. Her research and lived experience resulted in Witness to Life in the Spirit, A Theological Reflection on the History of the Sisters. She called upon many of the Sisters to share their feedback and gifts which enhanced her writing with art work, a poem and computer skills.
In 2006, along with Sisters Thomas More and Ricarda, Sister Marie Andree worked at re-organizing the Archives of the Sisters of St. Francis. It was a ten-year project that brought the collection of the history of the Sylvania Franciscans into the 20th Century via technology and archival disciplines.
To know Sister Marie Andree was to know a woman of integrity, authenticity, open to new ideas and aware of the potential for the future.
In 2020, her 75th Jubilee year, she was asked what she sees as her legacy to the Community and she said that she never thinks of herself as influencing anyone or anything. Those who knew her would disagree with that as she has influenced many of the Sisters and people she has come in contact with over her 96 years on this earth. The Sisters especially will remember her for something she expressed in her life and wrote in her book, “Those with inner authority draw life from within because there is a life within—not just laws, duties, or fears, but life, an evangelical life.” Rest in Peace, dear Sister! (Written by Sister Mary Thill, OSF)
Visitation for Sister Marie Andree will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, February 13, 2023 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel where the funeral Mass will follow at 4 p.m. Live streaming can be found at https://video.ibm.com/channel/RvdadQRjbGk
Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Francis, Sylvania, Ohio. Arrangement made by Thomas I. Wisniewski Funeral Home, Toledo, Ohio.