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Sister Mary Austin Blank of Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, Indiana, died at 3:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 30, 2023, at Scenic Hills at the Monastery in Ferdinand.

Sister Mary Austin was born Donna Catherine Blank on July 16, 1939, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the oldest of two children of August and Lavina(Jaent) Blank. She entered the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand in 1957 from St. Cecilia Parish and made her monastic vows in 1959.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother David Blank. She is survived by her sister-in-law Carol Ann (Hartweck) Blank and her religious family.

Sister Mary Austin earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education from St. Benedict College and a Master’s degree in Mathematics from St. Louis University.  She also studied at Indiana State University, the University of Nebraska, Oakland City University, Creighton University, the Catholic University of America, and the University of Evansville.

Sister Mary Austin taught elementary students at St. Theresa School in Evansville, IN, and taught mathematics at Mater Dei High School in Evansville, and at Marian Heights Academy in Ferdinand, where she also served as President.  She worked in the admissions office of Sacred Heart College in Belmont, NC, was the Regional Director of Admissions for Elms & Associates in Asheville, NC, and served as the Director of Admissions at both Felician College in Lodi, NJ, and Brescia University in Owensboro, KY and worked for the University of Phoenix in Indianapolis, IN.  With the Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand, she worked as a Development Associate, as an online teacher, as a tutor, at the switchboard, and by making mission advancement phone calls.  She most recently served in prayer ministry.

Public visitation will be held in Marian Parlor at Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, Indiana, on Sunday, April 2 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.and 6:00 to 6:45 p.m., and on Monday, April 3 from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. EST.AVigil Service will be held in the monastery church on Sunday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m. Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, April 3 at 4:00 p.m. with burial of the cremains at a later date. The public may view the Vigil Service and Funeral Mass at  Becher Funeral Home in Ferdinand is in charge of the arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand.

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