Sister Mary Jane Schallert was born on July 25, 1922, in Detroit. She was the first of three girls born to William and Maybell (McCarty) Schallert. Her mother was born in Bay City, Michigan, and her father in St. Louis, Missouri. Sister Mary Jane provided this description of her parents in her autobiography.
We lived during the depression days when my practical Irish mother prodded us all to strive for the highest – my methodical thinking German father made sure the wages stretched. My mother had grandiose ideas of striking it rich in the Real Estate business, or a B&B in our home at St. Theresa [Parish]. She felt a little win at bingo or a small bet on the horses would stretch the earnings just a bit. My dad, after a few puffs on his pipe, would say, “Now Maybell, have we really thought this project through?” Then my mother was on to bigger and better ideas.
Read more about Sister Mary Jane (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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I remember Mary Jane and our summers in Adrian. She was always ready for a softball game on Friday evenings. I was so happy that someone else was so interested in playing softball that I readily told her I would be on the team, when she asked me. Somehow she got enough of us together to have two teams to play. This is one of my happiest memories of my Adrian summers, thanks to Mary Jane.
Sister Mary Jane Schallert was my friend and I am greatly saddened to learn of her death. I believe she was one of the finest women on the face of the earth. Her passing begs one more retelling of the endearing story surrounding her entrance into Adrian, which has got to be one of the best convent stories I've ever heard (and I heard it from her own lips). An avid sports fan, she was signed up to enter the convent in the summer of 1940. When the day arrived in late summer for her crowd to arrive in Adrian, Mary Jane called Mother Gerald and said "Mother, I really want to be a nun and I am planning on joining with this group, but I'm pretty sure the Tigers are going to win the World Series this year and I don't want to miss that. Can I come a few weeks late?" There probably hasn't been a more unconventional entrance to the convent in all of Catholic nunhood! Amazingly, Mother Gerald, who was probably disarmed by the unusual request apparently could say nothing other than "Yes, that will be fine." The Tigers did not win the World Series that year but they did win the American League pennant and the Adrian Dominican Sisters got one of their finest members. It's no wonder that Sister Mary Jane was always a popular teacher, but by the boys in her classes, she was absolutely adored! May she rest in peace.
Sr. Mary Jane was a lifelong inspiration to her family. As her niece, I loved her visits because she was so good with children. She was energetic and active and enjoyed family gatherings of all kinds. We were blessed to have such a good example of a life well lived right in front of our eyes. She will be remembered with love and affection. She will continue to inspire us all.
My deepest sympathies on the loss of your Sister Mary Jane. In reading her obit and history, I had a vague memory of a Sr. Marie William that was at St. Joseph in Maybee for a very short time. I think this was around my 3rd grade year and it seems that Sister may have been there just for a very short time until Sr. Anne Lucille came. Almost seems as though there were about three sisters in our 3rd grade classroom that year with Sr. Anne Lucille finishing out the year. Could this be this Sr. Marie William?
Our Adrian Dominican cemetery with its circular headstones is a beautiful place of rest for women who gave their lives in service to God—and a peaceful place for contemplation and remembrance.
We will post memorial reflections on our faithfully departed Sisters and Associates. If you would like to reflect on a Sister or Associate who has gone before us, please send your reflections – no more than 500 to 600 words – to
We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.