Artistic Expressions: S. Mary Lou Knapke (1941-)

Throughout the years poetry has been a natural, creative outlet for Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Mary Lou Knapke.

Born in Coldwater, Ohio, S. Mary Lou Knapke attended Holy Trinity School and graduated from Coldwater High in 1959; she entered the Sisters of Charity in September 1960. S. Mary Lou earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1972 and a master’s in religion from Mount St. Mary Seminary in 1979. She began her 10 years of elementary classroom ministry in 1964 at St. Boniface, Cincinnati, followed by time at St. Michael, Findlay; St. John, Lima; St. Albert, Kettering; and St. Elizabeth, Norwood; all in Ohio. Parish ministry, adult education and massage studies all received serious attention from S. Mary Lou during the 1980s and 1990s. She studied at the Cincinnati School of Medical Massage in Blue Ash and used the skills learned in private practice as well as serving as a team member of After Crisis Care in 2001 at Ground Zero in New York City and in 2006 at Covenant House in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She also shared her massage skills with student nurses in Romania in 1995 as part of the Eastern European Outreach to women religious there. Throughout the years poetry has been a natural, creative outlet for S. Mary Lou. She is currently retired with a variety of volunteer activities.