SISTER MARLENE MONDALEK, SC, (formerly Sister Marie Maron), age 79, died at Mother Seton House, a community residence in Seoul, South Korea, home to retired sisters from the Korean Province of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill in Greensburg, on Wednesday, November 18.
Born in Pittsburgh, Sister Marlene entered the congregation of the Sisters of Charity congregation on September 8, 1959, from Our Lady of Victory Parish, Brookline. Preceded in death by her parents, Maron and May (Joseph) Mondalek, a brother, Alexander, and a sister, Mrs. Denise (Robert/Bob) Dinwiddie, she is survived by a sister-in-law Susan Mondalek and a nephew Maroon (Matt) Mondalek and nieces Allyson (Kelly) O’Keefe and Jennifer Dinwiddie. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, Spanish from Seton Hill University and a master’s and doctoral degree in English Literature from Chonnam National University, South Korea. Sister Marlene began her teaching ministry in schools of the Greensburg and Pittsburgh dioceses. In 1967, she volunteered and was assigned to join the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill in Korea who had, in 1960, opened Saint Joseph Girls’ High School in Gangjin, South Korea. Except for a year of study at Duquesne University, 1973-1974, Sister Marlene taught at Saint Joseph’s High School until 1978, when she was assigned the director of formation at the novitiate in Kwangju, Korea. In 1984, Sister Marlene was named regional superior for the Sisters of Charity in Korea, a position she held until 1993, when Korea was established as a province and Sister Marlene was elected as the Provincial Superior. In 1997, she was elected vice-president of the Sisters of Charity with the responsibility of developing and fostering religious life in the congregation. In 2002, when the United States Province of the Sisters of Charity was formed, Sister Marlene was elected general superior of the two provinces, United States and Korea, for a term of five years and re-elected to the position in 2008. In 2001, Sister received the distinguished alumna leadership award from Seton Hill University. A colleague once used the words of I Peter 3:4 to describe Sister Marlene, “Let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s light.” Sister Marlene’s life reflected the words of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, “Dear simplicity, so loved by our Divine Master, I embrace thee and prefer thee a thousand times to the wisdom of the world.”