Sister Mary George Pusateri
1929 – 2017
Sr. Mary George Pusateri, Mary Lucille Pusateri, was born January 10, 1929, in the town of Franklin, LA, to Anthony Pusateri and her mother Beatrice Siracusa Pusateri, both from Italy. Despite the hardship, the family made the sacrifice of giving each of the six children a Catholic Education at St. John Elementary and St. John Academy both staffed by the Marianites of Holy Cross.
Sr. Mary George entered the Marianites of Holy Cross in New Orleans on September 1, 1946, and pronounced her perpetual vows on August 9, 1951. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Holy Angels College in 1951 and a Masters of Education degree from Our Lady of the Lake College in San Antonio, Texas in 1968. Sr. Mary George taught in elementary schools in Houma, New Orleans, Ville Platte and Arnaudville. She was principal of St. Julian Eymard in New Orleans and Sacred Heart in Ville Platte. From 1980 until 2013, Sister ministered at St. Rita in New Orleans serving as teacher, parish minister, mentor to teachers and parents as well as a volunteer in the school performing countless tasks that made the school and parish run smoothly and connected. No matter where she ministered she captured many faithful, life-long friends.
Following in the footsteps of her beloved St. Joseph, Sr. Mary George was keenly rooted in the midst of life’s daily moments by her gentle, prayerful presence to others. She was the one lending an attentive ear and offering support as a wise, parent-figure to countless students, friends, fellow Marianites and family members. Often she taught her most profound lessons without words. Sharing coffee or lunch, instructing in the classroom, enjoying social gatherings, teaching needle work to students, sharing her delicious baked goodies, caring for her many plants, living with her Marianite Sisters – she witnessed the essence of the spiritual dimension of life. When unable to do so by her physical presence, she used her gift of correspondence to joyfully and prayerfully connect with others. Cards, notes and phone calls she received in the last weeks of her life attest to the many people whose lives she continued to touch until the end.
The image of the butterfly was deeply rooted in her heart. She believed and taught that the cocoon would not have the last word. When the caterpillar wondered if life was ending; it fulfilled its destiny, stretched its wings and became a butterfly. Through her varied life experiences, always with a smile, Sr. Mary George lived in the light of the resurrection as associated with the butterfly. Her needle work often displayed the image of the butterfly and she surrounded herself with this image not as a decoration but as a religious icon. In the spiritual life when the outer and inner dimensions are most congruent, there is a profound connection to the sacred. Sr. Mary George quickly took flight on February 26, 2017, at 9:20 a.m. She was preceded in death by her loving parents, her three brothers: Joseph, John, and Samuel and two sisters: Josephine and Rose Marie. Survivors include her beloved nieces and nephews and their families who were very attentive throughout her life and with whom she enjoyed holidays and family celebrations.
We say thank you, Sr. Mary George for joyfully, generously, and consistently sharing your life filled with resurrection moments in its many forms!
To celebrate her life, a wake service was held on Friday, March 3, 2017, from 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. in the chapel at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Home followed by the Mass of the Resurrection at 10:30 a.m. in the chapel at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Home with burial in St. Landry Cemetery in Opelousas, LA.