Dominican Sister of Peace Bernadine (Jude) Baltrinic, 88, died on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, at Regina Health Center, Richfield, Ohio.
Born in 1932, Sister Bernie grew up in a community of eleven siblings, all the children of Mary Pozderac and Michael Baltrinic of Empire, OH. She entered the Congregation in 1951, paving the way for her Sister Betty, who joined the next year. She served God and the Church as a Dominican Sister of Peace for more than 65 years.
Sister Bernie earned her Bachelor of Science, Education in Elementary Education from Saint John College and her Certificate in Pastoral Ministry from the Cleveland diocese. She also studied at the Center for Intercultural Formation in Cuemavaca, Mexico.
Sr. Bernie began her ministry is an elementary school teacher, first in Ravenna, OH, and then in Cleveland. Teaching predominately poor minority students in the mid-1960’s, Sr. Bernie was inspired to take her own steps toward racial justice. She volunteered for missionary work in El Salvador as part of the Cleveland Diocesan Mission Team and served there for nine years.
On returning to Ohio, Sister Bernie ministered with and for the Cleveland Hispanic community for four years and continued to work for social justice even after she had “retired.”
Sister Bernie served her Congregation in a number of important roles. She was a vocation director, a Councilor on the Leadership Team, and Motherhouse Coordinator, and even served as President for eight years.
One role in which Sister Bernie served is still bearing important fruit for her beloved Congregation today. Sr. Bernie was a member of the Transition Team that helped to bring seven Dominican Congregations together to create the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
In 1999, Sister Bernie received the Bishop Pilla Leadership Award, honoring those who work for social justice, peace, and human dignity in the diocese of Cleveland.
When she “retired” to the Akron Motherhouse in 2010, Sister Bernie continued to serve her local community and her religious Community through her work as a volunteer, and finally, through her ministry of prayer and presence.
Sister Bernadine Baltrinic is survived by her brother, Robert; sister, Dolores Mae Kennedy and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Joseph, Michael, Peter and Brother David, CSC; and sisters, Catherine Fenn, Mary Bennett, Margaret Musarra and Sister Betty Baltrinic, OP.
A private Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Bernadine was held on May 4, 2020. She was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Akron, OH.
Memorial gifts in Sr. Bernadine’s memory may be submitted securely online or sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr, Columbus, 43219.
To view a printable PDF copy of Sr Bernadine’s memorial, please click here.