In Memory

Sister M. Casimir Bougher, IHM

August 26, 1925 – March 5, 2017

Casimir Bougher, IHM

Sister M. Casimir Bougher, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Sunday, March 5, 2017, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She was born on August 26, 1925, in Carrollton, OH, and given the name Nancy Elizabeth. She was the daughter of the late Grant and Nora McCarty Bougher, and step-mother, Ursula McCarty Bougher. She entered the IHM Congregation on July 2, 1946, made temporary profession of her vows on May 9, 1949, and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1952.

Sister Casimir served as a teacher in the following schools: St. Ephrem Elementary School in Brooklyn, NY, from 1949 to 1950; St. Raymond Elementary School in East Rockaway, NY, from 1950 to 1959; Our Lady of Peace Elementary School in Clarks Green, PA, from 1959 to 1963; St. Henry Elementary School in Gresham, OR, from 1963 to 1967; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Clinton, MD, from 1967 to 1969; Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School in Forest Hills, NY, from 1970 to 1971 and 1984 to1988; St. Paul Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1971 to 1974 and 1992 to 1995; St. Stephen Elementary School in New York, NY, from 1974 to 1978; Holy Trinity Elementary School in Poughkeepsie, NY 1978 to 1980; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Elementary School in Asbury Park, NJ, from 1980 to 1984; and Epiphany Elementary School in Sayre, PA, from 1988 to 1992.

Sister also served as receptionist at the Marian Convent in Scranton, PA, from 1995 to 2006.

From 2006 until the time of her death, Sister Casimir was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

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

She was preceded in death by four brothers, J. Richard, William, Edward, and John, and a step-brother, Thomas; a sister, Jane McKinney, and two step-sisters, Louise Bougher and Lovell Symons.

She is survived by nieces and nephews. She is also survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

The funeral will be Friday, March 10, 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 Thursday, March 9, 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 Friday 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 M. Casimir Bougher, Funeral 3/10/17

God’s covenant of love is forever.

That quote was on the cover of the prayer booklet for yesterday’s wake service for Casimir. As we shared stories and remembrances, it struck me that her whole life was a trusting and faithful witness to that covenant with her God, whom she loved beyond words. Last evening, I attended a talk given as part of the “Road to Resurrection” series held in some of our local parishes each week during Lent. The theme of the presentation, believe it or not, was “Christmas in January, February, March, etc.,” (and by the way, the speaker announced that theme last week, when we were enjoying 60 degree weather!). The main point of the talk was that Christmas, “God with us,” is every day for those who really believe in God’s promise, God’s love. The true Christmas spirit of joy and goodness isn’t about the presents, or decorations, we know; it’s about the inner spirit of joy and peace and the faith that God became one with us so that we could share that love for eternity. Casimir trusted and lived that belief throughout her life, so how appropriate that we have the snow falling outside as we celebrate her entrance into her eternal Christmas in heaven.

Casimir’s entire life was dedicated to service of others, as the wonderful stories shared yesterday afternoon clearly showed. Before she came to the IHMs, she worked as a draftsperson, helping to design planes during World War II. Those who know Casimir are pretty sure the planes she worked on are still flying today. Her IHM ministry for over forty years was as a devoted teacher of elementary and junior high students in schools in five states. She also served as a CCD Coordinator and teacher in several parishes. Her students learned their academic subjects, but most importantly, were touched by her wisdom, kindness, encouragement, and dedication, lessons they would carry throughout their lives. Casimir later ministered as a receptionist at the Marian Convent, where many learned her secret of creating beautiful gift boxes of all sizes out of greeting cards. For the past eleven years, she served as a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace. Always she brought her welcoming presence, generosity, thoughtfulness, humor, and support to those she met. As part of the vesper service yesterday, we heard the following words of Henri Nouwen: “There is such a thing as a good death. We ourselves are responsible for the way we die…The real question before our death, then, is not how much can I still accomplish, or how much influence can I still exert? But, [rather] how can I live so that I can continue to be fruitful when I am no longer here among my family and friends? That question shifts our attention from doing to being. Our doing brings success, yes, but our being bears fruit.” Casimir’s life, throughout her years and final days here at OLP, taught us the true meaning of that quote. Her presence radiated deep joy, welcoming hospitality, unconditional love, constant gratitude, and quiet trust. The fruit of her example is alive and flourishing in the lives of the countless students she taught and all those who knew her, and in all of us. May we, like Casimir, nurture those same wonderful gifts by the way we live our own lives so that others and our world may benefit.

For sure, we are all better people for having shared life with Sister Casimir. We will miss her, but we rejoice that she is now at home and at peace with her God and enjoying eternal life with her parents, Nora and Grant, her stepmother, Ursula, her brothers, J. Richard, William, Edward, and John, her stepbrother, Thomas, her sister, Jane, and step-sisters, Louise and Lovell. We pray for all of us whose lives have been touched by Casimir, especially her nieces and nephews, her IHM sisters, her band members, the sisters, staff, and administrators at Our Lady of Peace, and all those who were part of her journey here on earth. We give gratitude that God’s covenant with Casimir is now fulfilled and pray that perpetual light and happiness will shine upon her forever. Merry Christmas eternally, Casimir!

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

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