Sister Maria of the Rosary, of the Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary, died Dec. 31, 2015, in Buffalo. She was 98 years of age.
The former Johanna Bergen was born May 27, 1917, in Delft, Holland, to Johannes and Petronello (Ruygrok) Bergen. She initially studied to be a nurse, briefly serving in this capacity before joining the Dominican Sisters of Bethany. The congregation served female prisoners and Sister Maria served as a nurse in her native Holland during World War II. She professed vows on June 24, 1945.
In the 1960s, Sister Maria transferred to a congregational house in Canada, and later joined the Dominican Monastery of the Holy Name in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In 1989, when the monastery in Ohio closed, Sister Maria was one of the five eldest sisters from that order who went to the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary in Buffalo. While in Buffalo, Sister Maria was known for her devotion to the Dominican Order, the Catholic Church and words of wisdom for the other sisters in her order, as well as her dedication to the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady.
She was the sister of the late Father Johannes W., Helena, Adriana, Gerardus and Petronella Bergen, and the aunt of Johannes Bergen of Soubury, Holland.
A funeral Mass was held in Sister Maria's honor in the chapel of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary.