Sister Mary Quintin Brickner, a teacher in northwest Ohio who volunteered for the Sisters of Notre Dame mission in Papua New Guinea — and stayed for 38 years — died Monday at Rosary Care Center, Sylvania. She was 84.
She had kidney failure, Sister Rita Schroeder said.
Sister Mary Quintin returned to the United States in 2002 and lived at the Notre Dame Sisters’ Provincial Center. There, in the sewing room, she mended sisters’ clothing. She looked at sewing and cooking as ministries and as hobbies, Sister Rita said.
Elizabeth Ann Brickner was born May 17, 1933, the ninth of what would be Rose and Lawrence Brickner’s 10 children. Betty, as she was known, started school at St. Wendelin in Fostoria when the family lived on a farm nearby. When the family moved to Seneca County, she went to a one-room school through eighth grade and then to public high school.
“She was a vibrant young woman,” her sister Theresa Streacker said. “She could drive a tractor. She could bake bread just like my mother. She was a wonderful seamstress.”
The family recited the Rosary and prayed together daily. She entered the Notre Dame sisters’ aspirant school, went to Notre Dame Academy, and became Sister Mary Quintin upon entering the convent in 1951.
For 16 years, she taught in primary grades across the Toledo Diocese — from Norwalk to Delphos to Defiance to Toledo.
She volunteered when given the chance to work in her community’s Papua New Guinea mission. Before she left for the remote island in the South Pacific, she asked her siblings whether they objected. Their reply, her sister Theresa recalled: “’This is your life.’
“I had aerogrammes. I had a telephone and could call,” her sister said. “The years have gone by so fast, and I think it was wonderful all the things she got into over there. She was a gutsy gal. I think our Lord just primed her for that and gave her the grace to love it and continue.”
Sister Mary Quintin, who returned home every few years, taught young women sewing and cooking and trained catechists, Sister Rita said.
“She had a very caring heart and was someone who saw beyond the difference and saw the heart of the people, kind of what we need in our world today,” she said.
Surviving are her sisters, Theresa Streacker and Mary Agatha Hassanein, and brothers, Albert and John Brickner.
Funeral services will be at 7 p.m. Thursday in the chapel at the Sisters of Notre Dame Center in Whitehouse, with visitation after 2 p.m. at the center and a sharing of memories at 5 p.m. Arrangements are by the Urbanski Funeral Home.
Tributes are suggested to the Sisters of Notre Dame.
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