Sister Madeleine Marie Sautter, 87, former school principal

Sister Madeleine M. Sautter
Sister Madeleine M. Sautter
Posted: June 18, 2014

Sister Madeleine Marie Sautter, 87, former principal of Merion Mercy Academy and Archbishop Prendergast High School, died Thursday, June 12, of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at McAuley Convent in Merion.

Sister Madeleine was principal of Merion Mercy Academy from 1972 to 1980. During that time, the academy grew in enrollment, and classrooms were added.

"She was an outstanding woman of faith and kindness, whose door was always open to the faculty. She was never too busy to take time to talk about professional or personal matters with us," Marguerite Russo Mitchell, a fellow faculty member from 1972 to 1977, wrote in an online condolence book.

In 1980, Sister Madeleine was appointed principal of Archbishop Prendergast. Colleagues remembered her as a mentor and developer of young leaders. She left Prendergast in 1985 to join the leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy, Regional Community of Merion.

As an educator, she enjoyed learning as much as teaching. After graduating from the Academy of the Sisters of Mercy in 1945, she entered the Sisters of Mercy and professed her religious vows in 1948.

She began her career teaching elementary students at St. Margaret and Holy Cross Schools in the Philadelphia suburbs, and St. Raymond and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the city.

Sister Madeleine earned a bachelor's degree in the humanities and became certified as a high school instructor in English, history, and Latin. At various times, she taught in Richmond, Va., and Allentown, as well as at St. Hubert High School, Cardinal Dougherty High School, and Gwynedd Mercy Academy. She earned a master's degree in Latin and Greek in 1963 from the Catholic University of America.

In 1967, she moved to Cardinal Dougherty High School as prefect of discipline. Three years later, she joined Archbishop Prendergast as vice principal. During that period, she studied school administration at Temple University and the University of Notre Dame.

Sister Madeleine was a board member of Gwynedd-Mercy College (now University) and Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania. She retired to McAuley Convent in 2011.

Sister Madeleine enjoyed travel and trips to the Shore, discussing politics, and finding a bargain.

She is survived by nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were Monday, June 16. Burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 17, in the Community Cemetery of the Convent of Mercy Chapel, 515 Montgomery Ave., Merion, Pa. 19066.

Contributions may be made to the Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic Community at the address above.


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