Sister Mary Lea Paolucci 1933-2018

Posted on: May 31, 2018 2:00 pm
Tags: Obituary,

Sister Mary Lea Paolucci 1933-2018

Sister Mary Lea (formerly Sister Berndette) Paolucci was born on March 9, 1933. She was the oldest of five children born to Mary and Tony Paolucci. Theirs was a loving family where Lea was taught to pray and show respect to all people.  Sister Lea attended St. Stephen School and Notre Dame Academy. She felt that her four years at Notre Dame Academy drew her closer to God. On August 8, 1951, she entered the Sisters of Notre Dame and made her first profession on August 25, 1953.

Sister Lea enjoyed a long teaching career at Bishop Brossart High School, Notre Dame Academy, and Thomas More College. After earning a degree in science and math, she received a master's degree in theology from Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island. In 1983 she was called to her next ministry at Lexington Catholic High School (KY) as a teacher and principal.

Sister Lea returned to Northern Kentucky in 1995 to teach adults and work at Thomas More College in the Continuing Education Department, but she was quickly summoned back to Lexington, Kentucky, to become Pastoral Associate at St. Peter Claver Church. Most recently, she served as the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation coordinator for the Covington Province of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

Sister Lea would have celebrated her 65th jubilee on Sunday, June 3, 2018. Throughout these sixty-five years, she felt she had been richly blessed and supported by her family, fellow sisters, co-workers, and the many students she taught.  God’s goodness was so evident to her.

Sister Lea was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Betty Froelicher. She is survived by her brothers, Bernard and Anthony Paolucci, and her sister, Joan Ensminger. She also leaves behind many beloved nieces and nephews.

Sister Mary Lea's ministry timeline

St. Mary, Alexandria, KY 1953-1960
Bishop Brossart High School 1961-1962, 1990-1992
Notre Dame Academy 1962-1983
Lexington Catholic High School 1983-1990
Thomas More College 1990-1997, 2006-2011
St. Peter Claver Parish, Lexington, KY 1997-2005
Holy Trinity, Harlan, KY 2005-2006
Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation Coordinator 2011-2018
Lourdes Hall Care Center 2015-2018


Services for Sister Mary Lea

Friday, June 1, 2018 at the SND Provincial Center, 1601 Dixie Highway, Covington, KY 41011
4:00 p.m. Visitation
5:00 p.m. Wake Service
7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial

Interment will be held after the 8:10 a.m. Mass on Saturday, June 2, 2018, in the convent cemetery.

Herman Seibert
Date: on November 23, 2018

One of my favorite teachers at St. Mary High School in Alexandria, KY.

Sisters of Notre Dame
Date: on June 1, 2018

Thank you for your love and kind words for Sr. Lea, Mary Lee. It is beautiful to see God's love flowing through relationships like yours and Sr. Lea's (Sr. Bernadette's). Thank you for being open to the Notre Dame charism as a student and keeping it in your heart all these years. (The dates have now been updated.)

Mary Lee Carney Thomas
Date: on May 31, 2018

This woman was the most incredible teacher I’ve ever had! I truly loved her. She guided me through four years, and was such an inspiration! I was truly blessed to have her as part of my upbringing!So happy that I got to see her at our 50th reunion and chat for a while. She will always hold a special place in my heart rest in peace sister Mary Bernadette! As a sidenote, I believe the dates for her tenure at Notre Dame Academy are wrong since I was there from 63 to 66 and I had her as a freshman and a senior.

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