Life Story / Obituary
Salazar, OP, Marie Bernarde of Grand Rapids (born Maria Bernadita Salazar in Espanola, New Mexico) died on September 6, 2020. She was 93 years old and a Dominican Sister for 74 years.
Sister Marie Bernarde earned a BA from Aquinas College. For thirty-two years she taught in the following Michigan schools: St. Thomas, Grand Rapids; Mt. Carmel, Saginaw; St. Andrew, Grand Rapids; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Chesaning; and Blessed Sacrament, Grand Rapids where she became director of children’s liturgy and coordinator of religious education. She also worked in sacramental preparation programs for Baptism, Eucharist, and Reconciliation. In addition, she taught conversational Spanish in the elementary grades.
Sister Marie Bernarde became Pastoral Associate of Liturgy for Family and School at Sacred Heart Parish, Grand Rapids. She also visited the sick in the hospital and the lonely in their homes. One of her particularly appreciated gifts was that of providing comfort and support for grieving families at the time of the death of their loved ones.
In 2009 she moved to Marywood Health Center due to failing health. “What has meant most to me in my Dominican vocation is my giftedness in being able to reach out and touch the hearts of the very young as well as the elderly and ill of the parish . . .
Sr. Marie Bernarde is survived by her brothers, Henry (Viola) Salazar, Tony Salazar and David Salazar of Espanola, New Mexico; and Richard (Mary) Salazar of Cochiti Lake, New Mexico; and sisters, Helen Montoya and Priscilla Medina (Tony Romero) of Espanola; nieces, nephews; many friends and members of her Dominican Community.
In an effort to protect our vulnerable population from the Covid-19 virus a private Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Dominican Chapel/Marywood on Wednesday, September 9.
Burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery. Memorials in Sister Marie Bernarde Salazar’s name may be made to the Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters.