Mary Mardel, RSCJ
Religious of the Sacred Heart,
Beloved Superior General,
Director of Schools, Teacher,
Directoress of Children of Mary
During a dinner for current and former Trustees on May 20, the school named the Chapel for Mary Mardel, RSCJ, in honor of her decades of work on Broadway.
Sr. Mardel is an alumna of Sacred Heart Schools Atherton, and has been called “the heart and soul of Broadway” by many affiliated with Convent & Stuart Hall.
She served as a teacher, principal and Director of Schools at Convent & Stuart Hall, and is credited with leading the institution through the transition from operating as a division of the Society of the Sacred Heart to operating as a sophisticated non-profit with its own Board of Trustees. Sr. Mardel has been, often simultaneously, both a beloved champion of Sacred Heart traditions and an agent of change, propelling the school toward contemporary management models.
Sr. Mardel taught elementary girls and served as Mistress General for preK-12 for two terms (1940-1956 and 1958-1961). She also served two terms as Superior, a title that changed to Director of Schools during her tenure (1966-1972 and 1979-1984). Between her terms as Director, she held the post of Provincial for the Society, and in 1973, spent two weeks in jail in Fresno with other religious demonstrating on behalf of farm workers.
Back on Broadway, she was instrumental in starting the school's Archives and served as Directoress of the Children of Mary, a lay society founded by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat to work in prayer and service alongside the Society which still has an active chapter in San Francisco.
Former trustees Marcia Syufy and Brenda O'Connor MacLean'63 suggested naming the Chapel for Sr. Mardel, and spoke during the dedication about what she has meant to the community -- not just as an admired administrator but as "Mother Mardel," a kind woman and teacher who guided thousands of children through their important school years. Sr. Mardel graciously accepted the honor, recounting how many hours she spent in the sacred space over the past 75 years, acknowledging that it is one of her most cherished spaces anywhere. The dedication was led by Deacon Eddy Gutierrez, with choral performances by Convent & Stuart Hall singers.
In addition to dedicating the Chapel in her name, the school has established an endowed fund in honor of Mary Mardel, RSCJ, to support the physical integrity of this sacred space and to imbed the spirit of the school’s founding order through education to mission activities. (For more information about this fund, contact Vice President of Advancement Sarah Leffert at email@example.com). Two additional endowed funds have been named in Sr. Mardel's honor -- an elementary faculty professional advancement fund as well as a scholarship.
Read descriptions of all endowed funds here.