Sister Mary Schaefer
1929 - 2020
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Schaefer, Sister Mary
Sister Mary Schaefer (Formerly known as Sister Bernard Mary), 91, entered fully into God's embrace on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at St. Mary Home in West Hartford, CT. She was born September 4, 1929 in Torrington, CT. Her family moved to Canaan, CT in 1934. Mary was the daughter of Anna McCafferty and George J. Schaefer.
She entered the sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy in 1947 in Baltic, CT and professed final vows in the Motherhouse in Tilburg, Netherlands in 1952. Having been educated at Annhurst, Catholic University of America and Fairfield University Mary shared her ministerial gifts in teaching, administration and counseling for more than 60 years. She lived in East Haven from 1962 until entering the nursing home in 2014. Mary was the founding principal of St. Vincent de Paul School, East Haven from 1963-1969. She assumed leadership in the SCMM province in 1969 and continued teaching and counseling at St. Vincent's until 1978.The next phase of her ministry was to join the Notre Dame School community in West Haven from 1978-2012. Mary had a special gift of understanding individuals and gently guided him/her to believe in themselves and strive to reach for their own potential. People to this day describe Mary as loving and gracious. We, SCMM'S say she epitomized the spirit of our congregation as she always strived "to bring God's loving mercy" to all she encountered. She will be remembered for always giving her all. She was deeply attached to her loving family and friends; her Canaan hills and our congregation.
Mary is survived by her brother Joseph M. Schaefer of West Haven, several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews and grandnieces and nephews mostly living in the Greater Canaan area. As well as her religious community in East Haven and Chicago and our international congregation centered in the Netherlands. These communities owe her a large debt of gratitude for 70 + years of service. She is predeceased by her parents and her brother George W. Schaefer.
The SCMM'S are very grateful for the care and concern Mary received during her 6 ½ years at St Mary Home especially to the Sisters of Mercy and staff at Baggot St., and Day Care Center and recently from the VNA Hospice Care staff. Funeral services are postponed until a later date due to Covid and are in the care of Clancy-Palumbo Funeral Home (Clancy Funeral Home), 43 Kirkham Ave., East Haven, CT.

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Published in The New Haven Register from Oct. 22 to Oct. 23, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
October 23, 2020
My Deepest Sympathy To SisterBernardMary's Family.Was A Student At St Vincent dePauls School.Was So Happy To See Her As She Called Out My Name And Said Its You With A Big Hug. It Was 10yrs since School. Firm She Was But A Wonderful Principal And Person.Not To Long Mentioned This Story With More To It.So Sadden That She Passed.ABeautiful Life of A Beautiful Person. Happy Heaven!!!
Annmarie Landino
October 23, 2020
I was the principal at St. Vincent de Paul from 1990-97. I had the honor of knowing Sister Mary who continued to support the school. I was always honored to be in her presence. Rest In Peace my friend!
Dr. John Alfone
October 23, 2020
Sr. Mary Schaefer, known to me as Sr. Bernard Mary, was an extraordinary human being. Her humbleness, kindness, and high level of intelligence could not be duplicated. Her smile lit up a room and she had a wonderful wit about her. When she needed to be serious she was fair and compassionate and a wonderful listener. Obviously, she is someone that left a lasting impression upon me. She will me missed.
Phyllis Savo
October 22, 2020
Sister Bernard Mary At The Time I Went To School There,60's Was Firm Yet Pleasant And Wonderful. In The 70's Met Her While Walking But She Called Me Out, Annmarie And I Turned Around Gave Her Hug.Til This Day, Til Just 2Weeks Ago,Told This Story With More To It . Great Memories Of Sister Bernard Mary,The School And Student Classmates. Happy Heaven SisterBernard Mary. My Deepest Sympathy To All Her Family.
Annmarie Landino
October 22, 2020
A very nice, caring woman She was a colleague of mine for over a decade at ND.
John Gibbons
October 22, 2020
I went to St.Vincent for 3 years late sixties.Sister Bernard Mary was a sweetheart.Some nuns back then were I won't say the word here.The best along side her were Mother Theresa and Sister Mary Aquin. (Not sure on the spelling).My father set up a fish tank she wanted back then and I took over maintenance.She was a wonderful nun.When I got sent to her office for something it was a pleasure.
Bob Blanchard
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