A funeral Mass was offered May 22 at Villa Assumpta in Baltimore for School Sister of Notre Dame Marie Michelle Walsh. A vowed member of the School Sisters for 71 years who spent nearly four decades as a professor and administrator at what is now Notre Dame of Maryland University, she died May 18, at age 92.
Born Mary Catherine Walsh in North Bergen, N.J., she was taught by the School Sisters at Holy Angels Academy in Fort Lee, N.J. She continued to be formed by them at what was then the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, becoming a candidate after her freshman year. Taking an accelerated course, she obtained her bachelor’s degree with a major in English and minor in French in 1947, and professed her first vows a year later.
She taught at St. John’s Literary Institute in Frederick, 1948-56, and then at St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis, 1956-65. At the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, she served as Dean of Students and teacher of English, 1965-71. At The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., she earned a master’s degree in English, and then a doctorate in English and Linguistics. She returned to Notre Dame of Maryland, as a professor of English and Communications and chairperson of the English department, 1977-2013. At her retirement, she was named Professor Emeritus of English.
Sister Marie Michelle was active in many phases of governance in the Baltimore Province of the School Sisters. She was a member of the Provincial Chapter, and a writer and editor for provincial and General Chapter newsletters and publications.
According to an obituary prepared by her order, Sister Marie Michelle was “A woman of tremendous intellect and brilliant mind, Sister was conscientious about her ministry and was known as a topnotch teacher. She took school seriously and inspired her students to do well. She reached out, challenged and nurtured them. She treated her students as women and had a wonderful rapport with them. Sister Marie Michelle leaves a great legacy as a teacher and scholar.”