Sr. Mary Bertrand Austin, OP, a member of the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Caldwell for 70 years, entered into eternal life on September 9, 2021 at the age of 89 at Saint Catherine of Siena Healthcare Center in Caldwell.
On Tuesday, September 14th , a wake and Mass will be held at Saint Aloysius Church, 219 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell. The wake will be from 9:15 to 10 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Facial masks are required. Graveside services will follow the mass at Gethsemane Cemetery on the Motherhouse grounds.
Sister Bertrand was a woman of compassion, determination and understanding, one who was a hard worker and very generous with her time. She had a quiet strength and enjoyed the beauty of contemplative silence. She was well respected among her Sisters of Saint Dominic, peers in her various ministries and former students and their parents. She had kept up many relationships through the years including childhood friends. She welcomed everyone she met. This she learned from her parents, Christopher and Anna (Pierce) Austin. Sister Bertrand entered the Sisters of Saint Dominic on February 2, 1951, received the habit on September 10, 1951, made first profession on September 13, 1952 and final profession on September 13, 1958. The Sisters of Saint Dominic greatly mourn her loss.
Sister earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies and English from Caldwell University and a master’s degree in education from Catholic University of America.
Sister Bertrand taught for 16 years at Our Lady of the Lake School in Verona before becoming the school’s principal. She also taught at St. Aloysius School and was an instructor at Caldwell University, both in Caldwell. Sister Bertrand served on the congregation’s Leadership Team from 1969 to 1979 before joining the development office at the Project Link Education Center in Newark. She then ministered as superior at St. Catherine of Siena Convent and Healthcare Center and as novice director and common novitiate representative for the congregation. Before becoming an assistant to the treasurer for the Sisters of Saint Francis of Peace in Haverstraw, N.Y., Sister Bertrand was assistant principal at Saint Dominic Academy in Jersey City. She also served on the board of trustees for Lacordaire Academy in Upper Montclair for many years and in her last ministry before retiring, she volunteered as a business office assistant at Lacordaire Academy.
Sister Bertrand was predeceased by her parents, Christopher and Anna Austin; her brothers, William, Christopher and Robert Austin; and her sister-in-law, Ellen (William) Austin.
She is survived by her aunt, Eleanor Bez; sisters-in-law, Phyllis (Christopher) Austin and Diana (Robert) Austin; several nieces and nephews; grand-nieces and grand-nephews; cousins; and her loving Sisters of Saint Dominic.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Sisters of St. Dominic, One Ryerson Avenue, Caldwell, NJ 07006 would be appreciated.
Condolences may be left at www.proutfuneralhome.com.
My first grade teacher, who I had the privilege of meeting again as an adult. Thank you, Sister. Many prayers. Give my reward to my parents and relatives. I know you’re all there together 🙏