Sr. Mary Bonita (formerly known as Sister Mary Joellyn) was born in California, Kentucky on June 2, 1945, to Joseph and Mildred (Bezold) Schack. She grew up on her parent’s farm along with her sister Kathleen and her brothers, Alvin and William. She enjoyed attending her parish grade school, Sts. Peter and Paul, and then Bishop Brossart High School in Alexandria, Kentucky. A year after graduation, Bonita discerned that God was inviting her to follow him as a Sister of Notre Dame and she entered the community in August 1964. Sister Mary Bonita made her profession of vows on August 16, 1967.
Sister continued her education and received her BA in Education from Thomas More University, and her MA in Education from Xavier University. She enjoyed many years of teaching intermediate grades in the Covington and Lexington Dioceses. Sr. Bonita also studied at St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia for religious studies in preparation for role as Religion Teacher. Sister served as Director of Religious Education at both St. Joseph Parish, Crescent Springs, Kentucky, and St. Agnes Parish, Ft. Wright, Kentucky. She was called upon to study at the Institute of Religious Studies in Chicago, Illinois to help build her community’s formation program. She felt it widened her appreciation for all religious communities. Sister Bonita’s last and most beloved ministry was serving as a religion teacher and academic support teacher at St. Agnes School, Ft. Wright, Kentucky. Sister served there for 26 years over her teaching career. Her love of teaching children and instilling confidence in them was so special to her heart. She was truly thankful for sharing God’s gift of love with her students, her family, and her SND community. She will be forever remembered for her smile and warm-heartedness that touched all whom she met. Sister Mary Bonita went home peacefully to God, on January 22, 2022. Sister is preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Kathleen (Schack) Lauer. She is survived by her brothers, Alvin and William Schack. She also leaves behind many beloved nieces and nephews. Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, at The Church of St. Agnes, 1680 Dixie Highway, Ft. Wright Kentucky, followed by the Mass of Christian Burial. Interment in the convent cemetery at St. Joseph Heights, 1601 Dixie Highway, Covington, Kentucky will follow the 8:30 a.m. Mass on Thursday morning, January 27, 2022. Middendorf Funeral Home in Ft. Wright is handling the arrangements.
Memorials are requested to: The Sisters of Notre Dame, 1601 Dixie Highway, Covington, KY 41011. Online condolences to: www.middendorf-funeralhome.com