Sister Rose Ann Bacak died in the early morning of Sunday, October 24, 2021. Prayer and visitation for Sister Rose Ann will be at 10:00 AM on October 28, 2021 at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 501 Holy Trinity Dr., Covington, LA 70433. The Eucharistic Celebration will follow at 11:00 AM. Rev. Rodney Bourg, pastor, will be the celebrant. Rose Ann Bacak was born in Kerrville, Texas in September of 1939. She was the fifth child born to John Benjamin and Mary Bettie Polanski Bacak. The family who had grown to eight children sent those who were old enough to Notre Dame Elementary School in Kerrville. When Rose Ann was about ten-years old the Bacaks moved south to Alice, Texas. While in Alice the Bacaks continued their elementary education at St. Elizabeth's School. Rose Ann attended William Adams High School in Alice. She had long felt the desire to become a religious sister so on graduation from high school she entered into preparation for the life of a School Sister of Notre Dame in St. Louis. On being received into the congregation of the School Sisters, she received the name Mary Benjamin. On making her vows, she continued her studies then after earning a degree in economics and business education she began her life's ministry of teaching and using the skills that she had learned. In the early part of Sister Benjamin's professional life, she taught high school students the useful skills of typing, shorthand, and bookkeeping, skills they would need in their further studies, in their business, and personal lives. In her religion classes they would imbibe the attitudes, the character traits, and the qualities they would need as they applied those skills. She taught in Louisiana in Marrero at the former Immaculata High School, in Baton Rouge at Redemptorist High School, and in Texas at Mount Carmel High School. In the mid-70s Sister returned to her baptismal name, Rose Ann. Another significant change would shape the rest of her professional life. Sister Rose Ann's future callings would be as administrative assistant in educational endeavors other than in the classroom. She would apply the skills she had taught others to assist the administrators in schools and in the province. Sister Rose Ann still served in just three southern states. In Texas she assisted at St. Mary School in Brownsville and the Provincial Leadership in Irving. She added Mississippi to the list as she assisted the administrators at St. Francis School in Brookhaven, at St. Mary School in Jackson and, at St. Mary of the Pines in Chatawa. In Canton, at the Notre Dame Education Center Sister continued as administrative assistant but also returned part-time to the classroom as she prepared adults to attain a secondary school diploma. After 50 years as an educator in the classroom and as a support to the education endeavor, in 2011, Sister Rose Ann retired partially to St. Mary of the Pines retirement center in Chatawa. She brought her exactness and her kindness, her eagerness to assist, and her faithfulness in prayer and activities to the community in Chatawa. At eighty years and still physically active Sister Rose Ann was transferred with all of the Chatawa School Sisters of Notre Dame to the senior living facility at St. Anthony's Gardens in Covington, Louisiana. Within the two years there a cranial cancer developed. The rapid decline in her last months brought a great awareness of her illness with acceptance and trust in God's plan for her. She slipped away to her God in the peacefulness of that great trust. Sister Rose Ann is survived by her sister Bettie Ofiela of Corpus Christi, Texas and by many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her four brothers and two sisters. Memorials may be sent to the School Sisters of Notre Dame, 320 E. Ripa Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri, 60125. Interment will be in The School Sisters of Notre Dame Cemetery in Chatawa, Mississippi. The Knights of Columbus Most Holy Trinity Council No. 14614 will serve as pallbearers. Arrangements entrusted to Serenity Funeral Home, Covington, LA. Condolences and tributes can be posted at www.serenitycovington.com
Published by The Times-Picayune from Oct. 26 to Oct. 28, 2021.