Word has been received of the death of Sister M. Rose Bernard (Tarleton), CSC, who died on July 7, 2017, in Saint Mary’s Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana.
When Catharine Loretta Tarleton entered the Sisters of the Holy Cross after graduating high school in 1943, she had been the president of her class every year as well as president of the student council at St. Cecilia’s Academy, Washington, D.C. The letter endorsing her application to Holy Cross stated, “Not only is she well equipped mentally but also spiritually; and she carries all honors which may come to her with humility.” Sister Rose Bernard, as a woman religious, would carry more honors as a result of studies for ministry: B.S. in Nursing, Saint Mary’s College, and R.N. in Practical Nursing, Mount Carmel Hospital School of Nursing, Columbus, OH, both in 1949; M.A. in Social Sciences, University of Notre Dame, 1958; and Ph. D. in Sociology/Anthropology, The Catholic University of America, 1968. Though a trained nurse, she never fully used those skills in Dhaka, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) where she was first missioned in 1950. Sister spent her first years in midwifery and at the dispensary, while learning a new language from kindergarteners! She later left the country to do graduate study and then taught at Dunbarton College, Washington, D.C. 1968-73 and at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN 1973-79. Some may recall that Sister was a board member for Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, MD 1968-1973. Sister Rose Bernard gladly returned to Dhaka in 1979 where she is still remembered fondly as a professor and administrator at Holy Cross College. She also served on the staff at the National Major Seminary for the Dhaka Archdiocese 1981-2008, coming to Saint Mary’s Convent. Despite poor health, she helped the novices in the International Novitiate improve their English comprehension and reading skills. Her U.S. passports bear 40 years of visa stamps from Sister’s service abroad. Her life and death witness to over 90 years living as a woman of faith.
Funeral ceremonies are on Thursday, July 13, with the reception of the body and wake at 10:30 a.m. and the Mass of the Resurrection at 1:30 p.m. in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto, Saint Mary's, Notre Dame, Indiana.