A funeral Mass for School Sister of Notre Dame Madeleine Chaffers was offered Aug. 28 at Villa Assumpta in Baltimore. Sister Madeleine died Aug. 19. She was 94 and a vowed member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame for 68 years.
Sister Madeleine taught for 29 years throughout Maryland, including St. Mary High School in Annapolis, the Institute of Notre Dame and Notre Dame Prep in Baltimore and Bishop Walsh High School in Cumberland.
Sister Madeleine was born April 27, 1923 in Lewiston, Maine. She attended Rivier College in Nashua, N.H. where she studied music. After earning a degree in music, she went to Eastman School of Music at Rochester University, Rochester, N.Y. to earn a master’s degree in music.
Sister Madeleine received the bonnet of the School Sisters of Notre Dame at St. Joseph’s Convent, Rochester, and entered the candidature in Baltimore on October 15, 1947. She taught music at the Institute of Notre Dame during that year. At her reception into the novitiate on July 16, 1948, she was given the name, Madeleine Marie. Sister Madeleine Marie professed her first vows on Aug. 3, 1949.
Sister Madeline spent her first year as a professed sister teaching music to the novices. Her next assignment was to Notre Dame Preparatory School where she taught music and French at the elementary and secondary levels (1950-67). Sister Madeline was missioned to Bishop Walsh High School, Cumberland for music and French (1967-74). She then taught French at St. Mary’s High School, Annapolis (1974-76).
In addition to classroom duties, Sister Madeleine served as organist, gave private piano and French lessons, moderated choral and glee clubs and presented volunteer programs at hospitals and nursing homes. She cared for her aging mother at her home in Lewiston, Maine. (1976-86). Sister Madeleine attended the renewal program in Chatawa, Miss. (1987). On her return to Baltimore, she made her home at the Notre Dame Prep School Convent and became an instructor in French at Berlitz Language School (1987-90). She was then employed as secretary/receptionist at the Timonium United Methodist Church (1990-02). Sister Madeleine retired to prayer and presence in 2002, remaining at the Notre Dame Convent until moving to Villa Assumpta in 2013.