Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

December 13, 2013

Sister Mary Peter Sterwerf, 83

The Batesville Herald-Tribune

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Sister Mary Peter Sterwerf, 83, of the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, died Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, at the convent. 

Born Feb. 7, 1930, in Hamilton, Ohio, she was the daughter of Freda (Fallert) and Joseph Sterwerf.

She entered the convent Sept. 5, 1948, and made her final vows Aug. 12, 1954. An advocate for and working with battered women and children was very important to her. She was an accomplished handcrafter, enjoyed spirited card games and had a delightful sense of humor. 

A teacher for 36 years, Sister Mary Peter taught at St. Gabriel’s, Connersville; St. Mary’s, Evansville; St. Joseph’s, Shelbyville; Holy Family, Richmond; St. Lawrence, Indianapolis; St. Mary’s, North Vernon; St. Mary’s, New Albany; Immaculate Conception, Old Monroe, Mo.; St. Bernard’s, Taylor’s Creek, Ohio; St. Mary’s, Middletown, Ohio; St. Peter’s, Hamilton, Ohio; and St. Peter’s, Chillicothe, Ohio. Strict discipline managed with a gentle hand was her approach.

In 1977 she became an elementary principal while working at North Vernon and in 1986 she became pastoral assistant for St. Peter’s Church, Chillicothe. She developed programs to spread God’s word to the elderly, the infirmed and those hospitalized. In 2011 she returned to the Motherhouse in Oldenburg.

Sister Mary Peter is survived by numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. 

In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by sisters Ruth Hoelle and Janet Abbott and brothers Ralph, Russell, Harold and the Rev. Walter Sterwerf.

Visitation is Monday, Dec. 16, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Motherhouse chapel. Funeral services follow at 1 p.m. with the Revs. William Hahn and James Black officiating. Burial is in the convent cemetery. Weigel Funeral Home ( is in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be made to the Sisters of St. Francis (, P.O. Box 100, Oldenburg, IN 47036.