Cover photo for Dr. Mary Rose Barral's Obituary

Dr. Mary Rose Barral

d. December 30, 2012

Dr. Mary Rose Barral

Dr./Professor Mary Rose Barral (Maria Rosa Barale), of Erie, passed on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at Westlake Woods Assisted Living Community.

She was born June 30, 1915 in Orbassano Torino Italy, a daughter of the late Giuseppe Barale and Dolosina Trossi. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her brother Don Armando Barral, a priest of the Istituto Salesiano Don Bosco of Taranto Italy. She came to the United States July 21, 1937.

Dr. Mary Rose Barral began her career as an Elementary Teacher in Italy and later in the United States (NYC). She also taught piano. She then went on to attend Fordham University where she received another B. S. degree, Masters Degree and her PH.D. in Philosophy.

She did postdoctoral work at Sorbonne in Paris, the University of Milan and at the Mediterranean University of Nice.

She is the author of "The Body-Subject in the Philosophy of Merleau-Ponty", "Life Sharing for a Creative Tomorrow", Pragmatic Neutralism in American Education", "The Unconscious in Contemporary French Literature." Dr. Barral published over forty-five Philosophical Articles that appeared in American, English, French, and Italian journals.

Throughout her work, she placed emphasis on the dignity of the human being, freedom and responsibility, the good in a technological society, and the interpersonal relationships and their value for the stability of culture and family relations as well as Christianity and Metaphysics in a humanistic culture.

Dr. Barral was a Professor at Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey; Loyola University, Baltimore Maryland, Adjunct Professor at Edinboro State University, Edinboro, Pennsylvania; and Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio.

She was appointed Visiting Fellow at the John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. She also was appointed Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Barral had active membership in the American Philosophical Association, American Catholic Philosophical Association, President of the International Thomas Aquinas Society, Co-Founder on the Board of Directors for International Husserl and Phenomenological Research Society, President and Co-Founder for The International Society for Philosophy and Psychotherapy, International Society for Phenomenology and Literature.

Dr. Barral turned her attention to global issues. She directed and participated in 5 World Congresses of Philosophy in Russia, Argentina, Canada (Montreal), England, and Puerto Rico. She gave a number of lectures on nuclear war, problems concerning water in 3rd world countries, problems of poverty, nuclear build-up, alienation and moral issues in under-developed countries, final destruction or peace. She was also concerned about the plight of women in these countries regarding their future. She had addressed problems of poverty, pollution, and tribal warfare. Dr. Barral always discussed dialogical relations and lived life projects that aimed to better inter-subjective relations. This would undoubtedly help the deeper understanding of the human condition and the purpose of life while enhancing the appreciation of other cultures and their intellectual-moral-spiritual achievements. She also lectured in Rome on Truth and Identity in Persons. She was concerned with the advancement of the American Indians, especially their education.

Dr. Barral did not limit herself to the academic world. She was an active member in the community. She was involved in the Housing and Neighborhood Development Inc., United Way, Pax Christie, Emmaus Soup Kitchen, City Mission, Community of Caring and many other ministries. She was financially generous to many local charitable organizations, charities throughout the United States and 3rd World Countries. Through the years, she sponsored many children from Children International and Save the Children. She was a supporter of the Arts, the Erie Playhouse and the Erie Philharmonic. She was a passionate letter writer and addressed many humanitarian and political issues. Many of her letters appeared in the Letters to the Editor in the Erie Times News.

She was a world traveler. Her extensive travels throughout Europe and especially Rome, Italy, created a most memorable highlight of her numerous experiences – her personal audience with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.

She is survived by her sister Ines Margaria Gilli and nieces and nephews of Pinerolo Torino Italy. Her family in Italy and her close friends and caregivers Michael Acri and Frank and Eileen Romeo of Erie would like to express a sincere and heartfelt thank you to the staff of Westlake Woods for the care shown to Mary Rose during the years she lived at Westlake.

Friends are invited to call at St. Peter Cathedral, 230 West Tenth Street, on Thursday from 1:30 p.m. until the time of the Funeral Mass at 2:30 p.m. Burial will take place in Italy. The John R. Orlando Funeral Home, 2122 Raspberry Street, Erie, PA is handling the arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Mary Rose Barral, please visit our flower store.


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