Sister Maria Bierer, IBVM, dies; served Diocese of Sacramento in education and worship roles

Sister Maria Bierer, IBVM, died on Dec. 29, 2019 at age 86, after several years of living with challenging health issues.  Sister Maria was a member of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary since 1952 and her passion was music and education in all its forms.

Sister Maria started her ministry in education at St. Francis High School in Wheaton, Illinois, in 1957. She also earned her master’s degree in music and another master’s degree in theology.

In 1965, Sister Maria  taught at (the former) Loretto High School in Sacramento, where she eventually became principal until 1982. During that time she produced several musicals noted for their excellence. She then served as Director of Worship for the Diocese of Sacramento from 1983 to 1993.  

She returned to the Chicago area to become Director of Development for the IBVMs in the United States. She was elected to the General Council of the IBVMs for the North American Generalate in Toronto and then was elected General Superior in 1999.  During her time as General Superior, the North American Branch of the IBVM reunited with the Irish Branch to form the Loretto Branch in 2003. Sister Maria then went to Rome to serve as a Councilor for the Loretto Branch of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary until 2006.

Sister Maria’s wake and funeral will be held at St. John of the Cross Church in Western Springs, Illinois on Tuesday, Jan. 7. The wake will start at 10 a.m. and the funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. There will be a reception following.

Remembrances can be sent to