In Memory

Sister Eileen Miller, IHM

January 5, 1925 – November 25, 2016

Eileen Miller, IHM

Sister Eileen Miller, IHM, (formerly known as Sister M. Berchmans) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Friday, November 25, 2016, at Regional Hospital of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

She was born on January 5, 1925, in Spangler, PA, and given the name Eileen Rose. She was the daughter of the late James Gilbert and Rosalia Agnes Gray Miller. She entered the IHM Congregation on July 2, 1943, and made her temporary profession of vows on May 8, 1946, and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1949.

Sister Eileen served as a teacher in the following schools: St. Patrick Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1946 to 1949; St. Mary Elementary School in Avoca, PA, from 1949 to 1953; Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School in Forest Hills, NY, from 1953 to 1958; St. Agnes Elementary School in Lock Haven, PA, from 1958 to 1964; St. Paul Elementary School in New Bern, NC, from 1964 to 1965; Our Lady of Grace Elementary School in Greensboro, NC, from 1965 to 1966; St. Mary Elementary School in Patton, PA, from 1966 to 1972; Lock Haven Elementary School in Lock Haven, PA, from 1972 to 1978; St. Thomas Elementary School in Bedford, PA, from 1978 to 1983; and St. Mary of Mount Carmel Elementary School in Dunmore, PA, from 1983 to 1991.

She also served as a nurse’s aide at the Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA, from 1991 to 2012.

From 2012 until the time of her death, Sister Eileen served as a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a Bachelors of Science degree in English and Social Sciences from Marywood College.

She was preceded in death by four brothers, Wilbert, James, Eugene, and Irvin John, and three sisters, Margaret Mary Llewellyn, Florence Miller, and Rita M. Thomas.

She is survived by a brother, Marlin Joseph of Hastings, PA, four sisters, Alice Anna of Hastings PA, Louise Rennie of Stratford, CT; Lucy Vivadelli of Hammonton, NJ, and Hazel Eckenrode of Spangler, PA, many nieces and nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews. She is also survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

The funeral will be Thursday, December 1, at 11:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Wednesday, November 30, between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Interment will follow Mass on Thursday at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA.

Memorial contributions may be made to support the retired IHM Sisters c/o the IHM Sisters Retirement Fund, IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.



Reprinted from “In Memoriam” section of Journey, Spring 2017 issue

Reflection given by Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM Congregation President

Sister Eileen Miller, Funeral 12/1/16

“Be it done unto me according to your word.”
Mary’s Fiat

These words of Mary—her Fiat—are familiar to us all as signifying her deep faith and trust in God and God’s plan for her. During the sharing at the wake service for Eileen, we heard Eileen’s version of that fiat, a single word: “Whatever!” To be honest, and Eileen would want that, her “Whatever!” may have had just a little frustration mixed in with her trust and faith, since as we heard yesterday, after writing for a couple years on the yearly mission form that she would like to minister at the Marian Convent and then not being assigned there, she finally gave up requesting that and wrote in the single word, “Whatever” as her wish. Of course, as we know, that’s when she finally got her wish to be assigned as a nurse’s aide at the Marian.

But that story, and that single word, captures for me the extraordinary life of this wonderful woman. Those who knew Eileen saw in her life the consummate example of a person deeply in love with her God and totally confident in God’s love for her, which she shared unconditionally with all. Her “whatever!” was not an expression of the current, popular attitude of indifference or uncaring, but was rather, like Mary’s “Yes,” the simple but profound act of belief and trust in God that is the essence of the spiritual journey we are all on. For Eileen, this trust revealed the rock-solid relationship she had with God which was the source of her gentle strength, love, and joy throughout her life. This was a person so in love with her God that she was able to give herself freely and totally in goodness to all.

So many wonderful stories have been shared about Eileen’s life. She is an inspiration and reminder to all of us of our own call to service on behalf of others. Words such as goodness, joyfulness, compassion, respect, love, gentleness, and humility so aptly describe Eileen. She was dedicated to revealing the goodness of God in all. Her young grade school students knew her love and joy, which was infectious. Teachers who served with her experienced her countless acts of dedication and selfless giving. When Eileen left teaching after 45 years, she spent the next 21 years serving as a nurse’s aide at the Marian Convent and at Our Lady of Peace Residence. Her energy, compassion, and generosity brightened the lives of sisters and staff alike. Many people yearn to do something heroic, something that influences our world on a grand scale. Eileen’s life is an example of the amazing impact of countless small acts of kindness done out of selfless love. Her name may not be written in history books, but her impact on our lives and the lives of so many others was monumental. We have known something of God through Eileen. I do have one question, though: how did she manage to do all that she did every day — running errands for the sisters, helping to clean their cupboards, serving meals, etc.— and yet never get so much as a wrinkle or smudge on her white uniform??

Eileen loved her families — her natural family and her IHM family. We remember today her parents, Rosalia and James, her sisters, Mary Margaret, Florence, and Rita, and her brothers, Wilbert, James, Eugene, and Irwin, with whom she is smiling and rejoicing in heaven as we speak. Our prayers are with her sisters, Louise, Hazel, Alice, and Lucy, her brother, Marlin, her nieces and nephews and their families today very specially. We also pray with and for her many IHM friends, the sisters and staff here at Our Lady of Peace, and all those who knew and loved Eileen.

When her niece, Janet, once asked Eileen when she was going to retire, Eileen replied: “You can never retire from God.” Somehow, I think even in heaven, Eileen is busy doing God’s work. We give thanks for her life and rejoice that she is enjoying the eternal fullness of her wonderful “Whatever!” life.

I now ask her nephew, Joe, to place the scriptures on Eileen’s casket, for Eileen heard the Word of God; indeed, she staked her life upon it, and received life to the full … the Word now beckons her home.

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