Sister Mary Paulla Hanneken (Alma Ann) was born into the loving family of Harry and Alma Hanneken on October 17, 1934, in Covington, Kentucky. Alma Ann was the youngest of five children. She attended St. John grade school and Notre Dame Academy. The example of her sister, Sr. Paul Ann, and her close cousins inspired Alma Ann to enter religious life. Like them, she felt drawn to the Sisters of Notre Dame and their good works. Sister entered the congregation in 1953 and made her first vows in 1955.
After attending Villa Madonna College (now Thomas More University), Sister Mary Paulla taught in the primary grades in several local schools. In 1966, she started the Guardian Angel School, run by the Diocesan Catholic Children’s Home. The program aimed to help children who struggled academically and behaviorally so that they could transition into a regular academic setting. In 1979 Sister continued her ministry at the Diocesan Catholic Children’s Home for six years as the executive director. She then held the same position at St. Aloysius Orphanage in Cincinnati, Ohio, for three years.
Next, Sister Mary Paulla ministered for eight years in community relations at St. Claire Regional Medical Center (now St. Claire HealthCare) in Morehead, Kentucky. In her final ministry, she returned to her greatest passion, teaching and working with children and their families. She did this as assistant director of Julie Learning Center and, later, tutoring children at Holy Trinity School in Harlan, Kentucky.
In 2006, Sister came back to St. Joseph Heights where she became an inspiration to her sisters and the many health personnel who cared for her. Sister Mary Paulla will be remembered for her captivating smile, her genuine heart, and her passion to help children. May the love with which Sister Mary Paulla served her God give her eternal happiness with him forever!
Sister was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers, Arthur and Paul. Sister leaves behind her beloved sisters, Rose Mary O’Brien and Sr. Paul Ann Hanneken, SND. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews, and grand-nephews.
Visitation will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 6, 2020, at the Provincial Center, followed by the wake service at 5:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 7:00 p.m. in the convent chapel. Interment will follow the 8:30 morning Mass in the convent cemetery on Friday, February 7, 2020.