“One who is being instructed in the word should share all good things with his instructor.”
― Galatians 6:6
Sister Barbara Sellers, 84, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL) for 66 years, died on October 24, 2023. She entered religious life on August 20, 1957, and took the name Sister Marion Clare when she received her habit. She later returned to her baptismal name.
Born on January 25, 1939, in Topeka, Kansas, Sister Barbara was the third of the six children of Frank Marion and Clara “Kay” (née Linenberger) Sellers. Sister’s faith life was influenced by her mother’s example and bolstered by her grandparents. Her grandmother was her main supporter when she decided to enter religious life after graduating from Hayden High School in Topeka.
As a student at Hayden High, Sister Barbara was taught by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. The Sisters’ warmth and love of education inspired her to apply for the SCL novitiate after graduation. While pursuing her education, Sister Barbara taught in elementary schools for the first five years of her ministry. After that, she earned degrees from the University of Kansas and the University of Pennsylvania.
Sister Barbara is remembered by many as a beloved professor and administrator at the University of Saint Mary. She also taught Latin at the University of Kansas during the 1968-1969 school year. During her tenure at Saint Mary, Sister Barbara wore many hats—classical scholar, member of the language and literature faculty, associate dean, registrar and scheduler; coordinator of freshmen orientation and freshmen seminar. She designed and taught peer academic counselors, preparing upperclassmen to mentor freshmen. She also taught medieval history and Latin and took student groups to Greece and Rome to immerse themselves in the ancient cultures. She always had time for her students whether helping them master mythology or teaching them to write. In 2001, she began working in the SCL Archives, moving to head archivist in 2004.
Preceding her in death were her parents; sisters, Kay Sellers, Margaret “Cookie” Piercy; brothers, Frank, Scott, and Eric. Survivors include sisters-in-law Karen Sellers, Norma Sellers and Paula Sellers; nieces and nephews; and the SCL Community.
Due to health concerns, only Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth and immediate family will be present for the vigil and funeral, to be held on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3, 2023. Interment will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Mother House grounds. Memorial contributions can be made to the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, 4200 S. 4th St., Leavenworth, KS 66048.
Click HERE to view a short video celebrating the life of Sister Barbara.