Sr. Mary Bellarmine - CSJ

July 8, 1929 - May 10, 2016
Nazareth, MI



Monday, May 16, 2016
4:00 PM EDT
Holy Family Chapel
3427 Gull Road
Nazareth, MI 49074
(269) 381-6290

7:00 PM Vigil Service


Tuesday, May 17, 2016
11:00 AM EDT
Holy Family Chapel
3427 Gull Road
Nazareth, MI 49074
(269) 381-6290


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Sisters of St. Joseph
P.O. Box 29
Nazareth, MI 49074
(269) 381-6290


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Geraldine Barnes was born in Detroit, Michigan on July 8, 1929, the daughter of Edward and Lillian (Siwicki) Barnes. She was a member of St. Rita’s Parish in Detroit, Michigan at the time of her entrance into the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth on July 1, 1946. She received the name Sister Mary Bellarmine at her reception on January 3, 1947. She pronounced first vows on January 3, 1949 and final vows on January 3, 1952.

Sister Mary earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Nazareth College with a minor in Social Science. She began her teaching ministry at St. Margaret Mary in Detroit and continued at several other schools including St. Henry’s in Lincoln Park, St. Michael’s in Pontiac, St. Francis Xavier in Ecorse, and Villa St. Anthony, Comstock until 1967.

During the early 1970’s Sister Mary provided healthcare to the sisters at Fontbonne Manor, Nazareth, while she attended Western Michigan University where she received her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. She continued to work at Fontbonne Manor as an Occupational Therapist for the sisters until 1984. She also worked at St. Luke’s Art Studio, Nazareth Center, creating greeting cards with Sister Pierre and was a substitute teacher and worked in jail ministry programs through Kalamazoo/Plainwell Public Schools. In 1994 she returned to the healthcare field and worked as an occupational therapist at the Veteran’s Medical Center in Battle Creek, MI before retiring.

Sister Mary Bellarmine, like her God, found her joy creating: she was an expert at the sewing machine, silk screening, knitting, crocheting, all manner of crafts. She even commented that she mastered the art of making cottage cheese! Sister Mary shared that her life was governed by the verse in Jeremiah: “Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter so are you in my hand…” She referred to a favorite hymn at the time of her Diamond Jubilee: God is very patient; it took Him but a week to make the earth and the stars, Jupiter and Mars, BUT He is still working on me…” The Potter’s work is completed, O good and faithful servant, enter into the joys of the Potter’s House!