Sister Mary Brian Bole, SSND, Nolan Catholic High School educator, dies at 75

by Joan Kurkowski-Gillen

North Texas Catholic

October 9, 2020

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FORT WORTH — “Sister Mary Brian provided students with a listening ear and a warm, open-door policy when we had concerns. She held us to the highest level of integrity and encouraged us to conduct ourselves in a way that reflected our faith.”

Those words from a 2000 Nolan Catholic High School graduate is how many alumni will remember Sister Mary Brian Bole, SSND, who died Oct. 2 at the age of 75. The longtime educator served as dean of academics at the school and also taught social studies and English literature. Her Nolan tenure lasted from August 1997 through June 2003.

A Mass of Christian Burial is set for Saturday, Oct. 10 at 3 p.m. at the University of Dallas. Recitation of the Rosary will begin at 2 p.m. Interment is in Calvary Hill Cemetery in Dallas.

“Students loved and respected her,” said Cindy Jung, Nolan principal for student affairs. “She was direct, firm, and had the knowledge base to back up her decisions.”

Given the name Alma Ann at birth by her parents, Thomas and Alma Bole, Sr. Mary Brian came from a family of 11 children. In 1963, she entered the University of Dallas to study political philosophy and joined the School Sisters of Notre Dame as a postulant at the same time. The aspiring teacher chose the School Sisters of Notre Dame congregation because she was convinced it was the way God wanted to save her soul and serve others. Sister Brian later received a master’s degree in political science from Northern Illinois University.

Although she held several administrative positions in education, classroom teaching was her passion. In addition to her years at Nolan, Sr. Mary Brian taught at Bishop Dunne High School in Dallas, The Highlands School in Irving, and other locations in Louisiana and Mississippi. For several summers, she taught pedagogy at the University of Dallas with a team of other instructors and participated in an instructional program at Kyoto Notre Dame University in Japan. The deceased also served on the staff of the Diocese of Dallas Pastoral Center.

In 2016, Sr. Mary Brian authored They Came to Serve, a book chronicling the work of the Ursuline nuns, Daughters of Charity, Holy Cross Sisters, and Sisters of St. Mary of Namur who established schools and hospitals throughout North Texas.

“Sr. Mary Brian Bole, SSND, gives a glimpse of the labors and these brave consecrated women. Their story needed to be told and she has done it well,” wrote former Dallas Bishop Kevin J. Farrell in the book’s introduction.

Sr. Mary Brian is predeceased by her brother, Lt. Christopher G. Bole, USAF, and survived by nine remaining siblings and their families.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Bishop Dunne Sr. Mary Brian, SSND, Endowed Scholarship fund.

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FORT WORTH — “Sister Mary Brian provided students with a listening ear and a warm, open-door policy when we had concerns.

Published (until 10/9/2035)
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