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Sister Mary Black
In Memory of
Sister Mary Ellen
Black (Black)
1927 - 2024
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Obituary for Sister Mary Ellen Black (Black)

Sister Mary Ellen  Black (Black)
A month after celebrating her 75th jubilee of monastic profession with Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and her fellow jubilarians, Benedictine Sister Mary Ellen Black died June 8 at age 96.

Sister Mary Ellen was the fourth of five children born to Joseph Francis Black and Sarah Burnett Black. She grew up in Richmond and made her first profession with the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia in 1949 and her final profession in 1952.

She attended St. Gertrude High School in Richmond, and St. Joseph College in Emmitsburg, Md., 1954-55, earning a bachelor’s in English. She earned a master’s in theological studies; from The Catholic University of America in Washington, 1961-63, and a master’s in education from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, 1979.

Her teaching assignments include St. Charles School, Arlington, 1949-52; St. Gertrude High School, Richmond, 1952-54; St. Paul School, Richmond, 1955-56; St. Gertrude High School, 1956-61; Linton Hall Military School, Bristow, 1961-63; St. Benedict Monastery, 1962-67; St. Paul, 1967-68; and Sacred Heart School, Richmond, 1968-73. She was principal at Linton Hall, 1973-79; and St. Gertrude, 1979-85. She served in various roles at St. Benedict Monastery, especially as formation director, and Sacred Heart 1987-2008.

She told the Catholic Herald that her relationship with the Benedictine Sisters drew her to the religious life. She said she most enjoyed time with her fellow Benedictines talking, laughing and sharing stories. Her hobbies were music, card playing, sports, gardening and art.

Sister Mary Ellen will be remembered as a prayerful person of great generosity and love.

A Vigil service will take place at St. Benedict Monastery on Monday, June 17, 2024, at 6:30 PM, and a Mass of Resurrection on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, at 10:00 AM with burial following at the monastery cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia.

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