In Memory

Sister Linda Anne Greenberg, IHM

August 25, 1939 – November 28, 2015

Sister Linda Anne Greenberg, IHM, (formerly known as Sister M. St. Isidore) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died Saturday, November 28, 2015, at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA.

She was born on August 25, 1939, in New Haven, CT. She was the daughter of the late Isadore and Theresa Anderson Greenberg. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1959, made temporary profession of her vows on June 27, 1962, and final profession of her vows on June 27, 1967.

Sister Linda Anne served as a teacher in the following schools: Sacred Heart Elementary School in Mt. Holly, NJ, from 1964 to 1968; St. Mary of the Assumption Elementary School in Upper Marlboro, MD, from 1968 to 1972; St. Mary Elementary School in Goldsboro, NC, from 1972 to 1975; Our Lady of Mercy and Queen of Martyrs Elementary Schools in Forest Hills, NY, from 1975 to 1976; St. Aloysius Elementary School in Cresson, PA, from 1976 to 1982; St. Rita Elementary School in Dundalk, MD, from 1982 to 1983; and Bishop Neumann High School in Williamsport, PA, from 1983 to 1984.

Sister also served as director of religious education at St. Mary’s Parish in Clinton, MD, from 1984 to 1988; field representative at the Archdiocesan Office for Religious Education in Washington, DC, from 1988 to 1990; director of religious education at St. Peter Parish in Olney, MD, from 1990 to 1993; pastoral associate at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Parkersburg, WV, from 1993 to 1995; program director at Our Lady of Peace Spiritual Life Center in Narragansett, RI, from 1995 to 1996; director of religious education at Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Plymouth, MA, from 1996 to 1999; pastoral associate at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Whitehouse Station, NJ, from 2000 to 2004; and liturgical musician at Benedictine Monastery in Ridgely, MD, in 2004.

From 2005 until the time of her death, Sister Linda Anne was the chaplain for LIFE Geisinger at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA. She had a great love for the Liturgy and understood the importance of music in a well planned liturgical celebration.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music, and a Master of Science degree in religious studies, both from Marywood College; and a Master of Science degree in elementary education from St. John’s University.

She is preceded in death by her step-mother, Mildred Greenberg.

She is survived by a brother, David, and sister-in-law, Barbara, of Plymouth, MA, nieces and nephews, and the members of the IHM Congregation.

The funeral will be Wednesday, December 2, at 11:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at the IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Friends may call at the IHM Center on Tuesday, December 1, between 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Interment will follow Mass on Wednesday 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.



Reflections given by Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM Congregation President

Sister Linda Anne Greenberg, IHM Funeral Mass 12/2/15

Good morning. As we gather this morning to celebrate the life of Sister Linda Anne, I want to welcome very specially her brother, Dave, and his wife, Barbara, her IHM sisters in Sacred Heart Community, her Band members and all her IHM family, the staff members and participants of LIFE Geisinger, and all her many friends whose lives she touched in so many ways.

I am very happy to welcome and thank our celebrant, Monsignor Bannick, and Fathers Blake and Williams, all dear friends of our IHM community.

Blest is she who believed that the promises made to her
by our God would be fulfilled.

We give gratitude today for the life of Linda Anne and the countless ways she shared life and love with us as sister, friend, companion, teacher, and minister during her more than fifty-three years of religious life. To her students she was the voice of gentle reasoning mixed with kindness, humor, and enduring belief in each one’s potential. As a liturgical director, pastoral minister, and chaplain, she brought the gifts of enthusiasm, generosity, dedication, compassion, and a deep love and reverence for each individual. Her love of others was rooted in her love of her God and she shared that love tirelessly.

As the news of Linda Anne’s death spread last Saturday evening, the universal reaction was one of disbelief and shock. After all, she was a vibrant and devoted chaplain to the participants and staff at LIFE Geisinger, a meticulous sacristan at OLP, involved in planning and taking part in various services and activities for the LIFE participants, a liturgist and beloved musician at both OLP and the IHM Center – and these were only her part time day job! She delighted in accompanying in prayer and study those interested in becoming IHM associates and was always looking to start a new group as soon as one finished. She relished the beauty and harmony of music and nature. She loved her family and treasured her time with them. She had a zest for shopping. The day before she died, in fact, she braved the dreaded “black Friday” hordes of shoppers to get some good deals on Christmas gifts for family members. And of course her ability to turn a simple, passing greeting into a 30 or 45 minute conversation about almost anything was legendary.

In short, Linda Anne’s life bespoke a kind of anxious urgency in all she did, as if she were on a mission. Yesterday, as we shared some wonderful stories about her generosity, love, compassion, and quiet yet profound kindness toward others, I couldn’t help but think what a lesson her life, far more than her death, was to all of us. Linda, I believe, knew deeply that love of God and love of others was what truly mattered in our lives, not grandiose accomplishments, awards, or titles. She taught us about love every day of her life by her actions: her simple visits to an ill LIFE participant, her dropping off a hot meal to those in need, her efforts to care for children who lost their mother, the sharing of her musical gifts, and the countless other seemingly small, ordinary kindnesses for others that showed, far better than mere words, that they were loved. Mother Teresa once said, “I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die, …God will not ask, ‘How many things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?” May we all lead lives that can answer that question as eloquently as Linda Anne did last Saturday evening.

We remember very specially today Linda Anne’s parents, Theresa and Isadore, and her step-mother, Mildred, who now welcome her home to an eternal, all-encompassing love. We ask God to fill with hope and peace the hearts of Linda Anne’s brother and sister-in-law, Dave and Barbara, her nieces and nephews, her sisters in Sacred Heart Community, her Band members, all her many IHM friends, the staff and participants at LIFE Geisinger, and all with whom Linda Anne shared life.

will now place the scriptures on Linda Anne’s casket, for she heard the Word of God, she staked her life upon it and received life to the full . . . the Word now beckons her home.

The following is a poem written by Sr. Maria Rose Kelly, IHM and read at Sr. Linda Anne’s vespers service on December 1, 2015:

For Linda and all of us

Between life and death there is no fine line.
Between life and death there is a chasm.

Linda’s body – so recently filled in every
nook and cranny with the breath of life – is
empty now, of all her energy and Spirit.

Her body once filled to overflowing with
gestures of hand and heart, talking and
singing, piano playing and ironing, paper-
reading, movie-watching shopping,
comforting, praying…is quiet

But the immense, Spirit-energy of Linda
Anne Greenburg is loose now,
loosened by God
to more freely bless this earth.

Welcome her spirit in.

SMRK 11/2815

Homily given by Msgr. Thomas Banick at Sr. Linda Anne’s funeral, December 2, 2015

Dear IHM Sisters,

Dear David and Barbara,

Dear Friends,

The Christian world, as you know so well, is right now celebrating the season of advent. It’s traditionally a time of yearning, of longing, of desire, of hope. It’s chief figure, to be introduced once again on the second Sunday of advent coming up, was John the Baptist. John cried out prepare the way of the Lord and make straight his paths. This was John’s job description, his reason for living, a preparer for something, a preparer for someone greater than himself. What a noble calling.

It was the calling, too, of Sister Linda Anne Greenberg. A few weeks ago, true to the accomplished liturgist and musician she was, she came into the sacristy here at the IHM center to get my reaction to including a rousing spiritual to begin the season of advent. This is what she sang and as she sang it the two of us got into its rhythm, into its beat–we almost danced it together:

Soon and very soon, we are goin to see the king.

Soon and very soon, we are goin to see the king.

Soon and very soon, we are going to see the king.

Hallelujah, hallelujah we’re goin to see the king.

No more cryin there

No more dyin there

We are goin to see the king.

With courage and spirit, she rehearsed it with the sisters and got it ready for advent and we all sang it last Sunday soon after she went to the mountain of the lord of hosts, to the lord for whom she looked: no more dyin there.

Sister Linda Anne was an advent person, always preparing the way of the Lord for somebody: her children in elementary school, like the three children she took into the convent when their mother died, her catechists in religious education, her friends in spiritual direction, her parishioners in pastoral ministry, her aged people at life Geisinger, her sisters at Our Lady of Peace Residence, her IHM associates–always making paths straight and rough ways smooth, preparing the way for people to meet the caring and loving lord through her caring and loving ways.

I met Linda Anne only a few years ago when I began to celebrate Sunday mass in this chapel. We had a love of music and liturgy in common and so we became fast friends, chatting before the liturgy and strolling to Sunday brunch together: I said a few words to open the conversation and she talked it all the way to the dining room table. As you know better than I, she enjoyed people and made sure they knew where she was coming from—New England, New Haven, Connecticut, to be exact. You who knew her since she entered the IHM Congregation in 1959 can tell the story of her consecrated life—the amazing talent, the charming personality, the sensitivity to beauty in nature, in music, in people, the readiness of hands to help, the attractive spirituality that told the truth of today’s second reading from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, that both in life and in death we shall always be with the lord.

Dear Sister Linda Anne, hallelujah, hallelujah, you have gone to see the king!

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