In Memory

Sister M. Bonavita Feeney, IHM

November 15, 1910 – February 15, 2006

Bonavita Feeney, IHM

Sister M. Bonavita Feeney, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

She was born on November 15, 1910 in Providence, Rhode Island, and given the name Margaret. She was the daughter of the late Patrick and Catherine (Kate) Hunt Feeney. She entered the IHM Congregation on June 24, 1926, made temporary profession of her vows on January 2, 1929, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1932.

Sister Bonavita served as a teacher at the following schools: St. John Elementary School in Susquehanna, PA, in 1929; St. Michael’s Industrial School for Boys in Hoban Heights, PA, from 1929 to 1933; Most Holy Rosary Elementary School in Syracuse, NY, from 1933 to 1943; St. Mary Elementary School in Holidaysburg from, PA, 1943 to 1948; Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School in Forest Hills, NY, from 1948 to 1951; and St. Paul Elementary School in Cranston, RI, from 1951 to 1984.

Sister Bonavita also served on the staff of the Educational Enrichment Institute at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 1988 to 2002.

From 2002 until the time of her death, she was a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace Residence, both in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Marywood College.

She was preceded in death by four sisters, Agnes, Catherine, Mary Garrin and Helen Brophy, and a nephew, Earl Garrin.

She is survived by three nieces, Katherine Johnson of North Scituate, RI, Pauline Garrin of Johnston, RI, and Mary Schaefer of Oden, MI.

The funeral will be Tuesday, February 21 at 10:30 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at the IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton followed by interment at St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Moscow. Friends may call at the IHM Center on Monday, February 20, between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

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, Fall 2006 issue

“Little Bonnie” (so well named!) was a gift to all who knew her. She abounded in kindness, graciousness and serenity. Despite her quiet nature, it was amazing how many times her subtle sense of humor added a spark of laughter to a given situation. During her ministry to young children, her gentleness calmed their fear of the unknown. Ever mindful of the words of the Master himself, “suffer the little children to come unto me . . .”
Bonnie was never too busy to unravel the mystery of numbers to those who had a math problem, to tend to the scraped knees of those who had suddenly fallen upon the playground, or to listen to and comfort the child whose parents or friends “just didn’t understand.”

Sr. Bonavita’s great devotion to our Blessed Mother was evident by her love for the rosary. Throughout the course of the day a special time was reserved for reflection on the fifteen decades. Her way of expressing gratitude for an act of kindness was the promise of a rosary for the person’s intentions. What a precious gift!

As her physical dependence on others became a reality, it was necessary for Bonnie to exchange her customary high heels for a comfortable walking shoe. Traumatic! But like everything else in her life she accepted the change without complaint.

Our fond memories of “Bonnie” are held close to our heart. May her spirit abide with us and inspire us as we continue our journey.

by Sister M. Casimir Bougher, IHM

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