Sister Charlotte Marie Bayhouse, CSC


(November 25, 1911 - March 12, 2012)

Word has been received of the death of Sister Charlotte Marie Bayhouse, who died at 8:55 a.m. on Monday, March 12, 2012, in Saint Mary’s Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana.
There are many descriptive words that could be used to characterize Sister Charlotte Marie: brilliant, creative, resourceful, gracious, kind, insightful, dedicated, persevering and loyal, just to name a few.  Many who knew her well were often in awe of her dynamic personality and the scope of her knowledge.  She could converse on almost any topic and do so with accuracy and conviction.
The relationships she formed even as a girl were strong and lasting, beginning with her sister, Sister Anna Teresa.  Sister Charlotte Marie said that while growing up the two of them were never separated, even to their entrance into the congregation.  Though each applied individually, without initially revealing the fact to the other, they both were accepted at the same time and entered the novitiate together on June 22, 1929.  Here they again did everything together as postulants and novices up to their first vows when ministry sent them their separate ways.  From then on they even made their home visits separately in order to spread out the total amount of time with their close-knit family.
Both Bayhouse girls were studious.  “For us,” Sister Charlotte Marie wrote, “study and learning were always a joy, since our mother, a teacher trained at UCLA in California, made every new item to be learned a challenge and a reward in itself.”  Sister Charlotte Marie carried this love of learning throughout her life and her teaching reflected this love.  She enthusiastically transmitted this love to her students.  She was a marvelous teacher and, as the students often said, “a walking encyclopedia.”  She had a photographic memory and could reference the location of a quote or fact with precise accuracy, garnering admiration and astonishment from her students.  Sister Charlotte Marie loved her students, and this love and respect were reciprocal.  The rapport she had with her students, both boys and girls, caused many to declare years later that she was their favorite teacher.  Often, the student-teacher bond that developed grew into friendships that lasted through the years.
Most of Sister Charlotte Marie’s teaching years were in the field of history, and her students claimed she made dry history come alive.  She also was gifted in languages and, at several junctures in her professional life, taught both French and Spanish.  In 1964 her sister was in Europe studying for her doctorate in French and Sister Charlotte Marie was given permission to meet Sister Anna Teresa in Paris to study for the summer. They both agreed this was a high point of joy and of being together.  Is it any wonder that in their retirement years they often played their own special version of Scrabble in French or Spanish?
To say Sister Charlotte Marie was creative is to minimize an outstanding artistic talent.  She could draw, paint, crochet, embroider and do crafts of every kind.  Her complete Nativity set done in plastic canvas needlepoint was showcased at the annual boutique.  One set was sold for a goodly sum to Holy Cross Care and Rehabilitation Center, where it is displayed in the chapel each Christmas.
Sister Charlotte Marie was a devoted Sister of the Holy Cross and she called herself a “loyal daughter of Father Moreau.”  Throughout her life she always credited the sisters for her education.  “I had the finest possible education from a group of talented, devoted teacher-sisters at St. Teresa’s Academy (Boise, Idaho),” she wrote.   “I spent my first mission years at St. Alphonsus School in Fresno, California, with a great group of sisters who helped me grow in love of my teaching vocation.”  Building on this foundation and her own talent and ability, she gave herself unstintingly to the work assigned to her. Whether as teacher, counselor, principal, or director of religious education in a parish, she labored for the people of God.  Sister Charlotte Marie now reaps the reward of this labor of love.   May she rest in peace.
Funeral arrangements for Sister Charlotte Marie are as follows:  Reception of the body and wake on Wednesday, March 14, 2012, at 4:30 p.m. with the Mass of Resurrection on Thursday, March 15, 2012, at 10:30 a.m.  All of these ceremonies will take place in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto.


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