Sister Mary Eileen, 95, high school teacher

November 08, 2003

Sister Mary Eileen Cawley, an educator who later was assistant to the treasurer at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, died of pneumonia Monday at the Maria Health Care Center at Villa Assumpta, the School Sisters of Notre Dame motherhouse in Baltimore County. She was 95.

Born Helen Josephine Cawley in Baltimore, she was raised in Highlandtown and graduated from the Institute of Notre Dame. She worked as a stenographer for two years before entering the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1926. At the reception of her habit in 1928, she took the name of her deceased sister, Eileen Cawley. She professed her vows in 1930.

She had studied at Canisius College and Mount St. Joseph, both in Buffalo, N.Y., and earned her bachelor's degree in education and secretarial science in 1945 from Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. She earned a certificate in theology in 1955 from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and a master's degree in 1963 in business education, counseling and guidance from Catholic University of America in Washington.

She began teaching pupils during the mid-1920s at St. Joseph Passionate Monastery Church in Baltimore and later taught at St. Mary's Parochial School in Hagerstown and in Buffalo, N.Y.

In 1948, she joined the faculty of the Institute of Notre Dame in Baltimore, where she taught business classes for 20 years.

"She was very particular about everything she did and she trained the girls the same way. Downtown businesses would call up and ask her for her best students, and by the time they graduated, they had jobs," said Sister Caroleen Baummer, a longtime friend and member of the order.

In 1968, she went to work at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, where she was assistant to the college's treasurer and also was an assistant in the print shop and supervisor of student loans. She retired in 1986.

"Sister was well-known for her conscientiousness in everything she did. All her secretarial work was accomplished to perfection. No one every had to proofread any document which she produced," Sister Caroleen said. "Even in her late years in retirement, she still gave service by typing letters, folding programs and helping anyway she could."

Sister Eileen was also an avid letter writer and maintained a voluminous correspondence with friends and members of her order who were working in overseas missions. She often used either a fountain pen or typewriter.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered Wednesday.

She is survived by several cousins.

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