May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Mary Danatha Suchyta (Lottie Suchyta), CSSF

Sr. Mary Danatha Suchyta (Lottie Suchyta), CSSFfrom Detroit, was called to the Lord on June 27, 2020, at St. Mary Mercy Hospital. Sister was 98 years old and 80 years in community.

Sister Mary Danatha, born March 14, 1922, was the eighth child of Joseph and Louise (Kwarciak). Baptized and confirmed at St. John Cantius Church, Detroit, she attended the parish grade school and was accepted for high school into the Seminary of the Felician Sisters in Detroit graduating in 1940. A few months later she was admitted into the Felician Congregation. Final vows were pronounced in 1948.

Sister Danatha earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Madonna (College) University, a Master of Science degree from Fordham University in Bronx, New York and a doctorate from Walden University in Boca Raton, Florida.  

Sr. Mary Danatha Suchyta, CSSF, was interred at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
Sr. Mary Danatha Suchyta (Lottie Suchyta), CSSF

From 1943-46, Sister was assigned to St. Louis the King School in Detroit to teach third and fourth graders. Secondary schools were the next assignments where from 1946 through 1955. Sister taught biology at St. Stanislaus, Detroit; Catholic Central, Alpena; St. Florian, Hamtramck.  

In 1955, Sister Danatha was assigned to Madonna (College) University for a total of 54 years. For the first 10 years Sister was an outstanding professor of biology. In 1965, Sister Danatha was appointed to the distinguished office of president of Madonna University, a term that lasted until 1976.  

Among her accomplishments as president along with her longtime colleague, Sister Mary Lauriana Gruszczynski, were the new campus on the southeast corner of the Felician Complex (the college was formerly located in the Motherhouse building); the Activities Center; transitioning Madonna into a coeducational institution in 1972; obtaining federal grants to raise the professionalism and technical expertise of the faculty and staff; introducing computerized registration in 1972; and new majors such as criminal justice, fire science, business administration and legal studies, the latter with the assistance of recently deceased (federal) Judge Patrick Duggan, father of the current Mayor of Detroit, Michael Duggan, and the longtime mayor of Livonia, Honorable Edward H. McNamara, who also served as Wayne County executive.   

After her presidency, Sister served as director of several departments which included Director of Coop Education and Director of Computer Information Services. During this time, Sister Danatha was elected as Vicar to the Provincial Council of the Felician Sisters in Livonia, Michigan (1988-1994). She was active in renovating the east end of the provincial motherhouse and worked closely with Bishop Walter Schoenherr to develop the Clergy Center for retired senior priests of the Archdiocese of Detroit on the Felician campus. She returned to Madonna in 1994 as Director of Advancement Research and later as Director of Planned Giving.

With increasing medical concerns, Sister Danatha was permanently assigned to Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent, St. Joseph Hall, in 2010. Sister remained active and alert until June 25, 2020 when she was admitted to St. Mary Hospital. On June 27, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lord gently called her home to His eternal peace and love. Sr. Mary Danatha was interred at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, Michigan on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

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