Date of death: 3/14/2020
Saint Meinrad Class: SS 1978
Sister M. Ann Vincent Siemer, 87, passed away peacefully in the infirmary at Sancta Maria in Ripa on March 14, 2020. The second of three children was born to Louise (Gruse) and Vincent Siemer on September 16, 1932, in St. Louis. She was baptized on October 2, 1932, at St. Paul the Apostle Church, (Pine
Lawn) in St. Louis, and named Mary Louise. She had an older brother and younger sister.
Mary Lou attended first grade at Blessed Sacrament in Kansas City, Missouri. The remainder of her elementary education was at St. Barbara School, St. Louis, where she was taught by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. During her grade school years, she felt called to religious life and asked her parents to enter the Aspiranture upon graduation from eighth grade. Her father, however, wished her to complete high school before entering. She enrolled at Rosati-Kain High School.
When Mary Lou graduated from high school, family circumstances necessitated that she remain at home. Her father was ill and could not work. Mary Lou was needed to help support the family. She was employed as a typist at EndicottJohnson Company for two years. When her sister graduated from high school, she was free to follow her vocation.
Mary Lou entered the candidature at Sancta Maria in Ripa on August 28, 1952. Her father died suddenly of a heart attack on April 20, 1953. She attended the wake and funeral in her home parish of St. Barbara and then returned to complete her candidature year. She was received into the novitiate on August 1, 1953, and given the name Mary Ann Vincent. She professed first vows on August 2, 1954, and final vows on August 2, 1960.
Sister Ann Vincent taught elementary grades for 11 years at St. Peter Cathedral, Belleville, Illinois; St. William and St. Raphael in St. Louis. During the next
six years, she was sent to teach high school students at Helias High School, Jefferson City, Missouri, and Notre Dame High School in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. She spent one year as principal at St. Aloysius in Tulare, California, and taught in the school for five years. Returning to the Midwest, she was missioned to St. John the Baptist Grade School, Burlington, Iowa.
Sister Ann Vincent was awarded a bachelor’s degree in English from the former Notre Dame College, St. Louis, in 1959; a master’s degree in elementary administration from St. Louis University, St. Louis, in 1967; a master of pastoral theology from St. Mary of the Woods College in Terra Haute, Indiana in 1995.
After 30 years of teaching in elementary and secondary schools at various levels, Sister Ann Vincent moved into the field of religious education. In 1985,she became director of religious education at St. Francis of Assisi, a public school in Teutopolis, Illinois. This necessitated religious education programs early in the school day as well as evening programs and workshops. She oversaw the daily religion program for grades one to six, weekly junior high program and Sunday morning pre-school and kindergarten classes. After 32 years as the director of religious education, she transitioned to a part-time position in 2017 and became the volunteer assistant director in 2018.
Sister Ann Vincent was awarded the Magnificat Award on December 8, 2002,for her service to the parish and the diocese of Springfield, Illinois.
In November 2019, Sister Ann Vincent came to the infirmary at Sancta Maria in Ripa suffering from a liver disorder. She was placed on hospice and passed away
peacefully in the infirmary on March 14, 2020, as sisters kept vigil with her.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there was a private funeral on March 18,2020. Prior to the Mass of Christian Burial, a hymn was sung, her biography was read and a moment of prayer was observed. Rev. John Eaton, OFM, was presider at the liturgy. He had been one of the several pastors that Sister Ann Vincent ministered with in Teutopolis.
Her brother, John; niece Cindy and nephew Eric and their spouses were in attendance. Also present were the members of her Effingham-Teutopolis SSND community and the Theresa Center residents. The funeral services were livestreamed for other relatives and friends. Burial was in the Sancta Maria in Ripa cemetery. Later, a memorial Mass will be celebrated in Teutopolis, Illinois. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Jean Graver.
Through her ministry in Catholic education and under her guidance as the director of religious education, Sister Ann Vincent shared with numerous children, young adults, their parents and volunteer teachers how to live a Christian life. She touched the lives of hundreds of children and prepared them to receive the Sacraments. Her own life, of over 65 years of religious profession, gave witness to her covenant with a faithful and loving God. May she now rejoice in her new and eternal life with her God!