In Memory

Sister M. deSales Brennan, IHM

May 7, 1862 – February 12, 1940

Sister M. deSales Brennan, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Thursday, February 12, 1940 in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

She was born on May 7, 1862 in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, and given the name Elizabeth. She was the daughter of the late Thomas and Elizabeth Brennan. She entered the IHM Congregation on February 12, 1879, received the religious habit on May 13, 1879, and made profession of her vows on April 19, 1881.

Sister deSales served as a teacher at the following schools: St. John High School in Pittston, PA, from 1880 to 1889; St. Cecilia Academy in Scranton, PA, from 1889 to 1895; St. Paul High School in Scranton, PA, from 1895 to 1902; and St. Mary of the Mount High School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1913 to 1929.

Sister also served as the bursar at Mount St. Mary’s Motherhouse in Scranton, PA, from 1902 to 1912; and instructor of art at Marywood College in Scranton, PA, from 1929 to 1940.

Interment is at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, Pennsylvania.

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.

Below is a eulogy from Sister deSales funeral:

On the twelfth of February Sister deSales, head of the art department at Marywood College and one of the pioneers in the establishment of Marywood died at the college after a short illness. Sister deSales was a member of the Community of Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for sixty-one years. She entered the novitiate February twelfth, 1879, and made her religious profession on April nineteenth, 1881.

She was a member of the group of Sisters who in 1880 opened St. John’s High School, Pittston, when the late Father Finnan was pastor there. Nine years later she was transferred to St. Cecilia’s Academy, Scranton, where she taught mathematics and drawing. In 1895 she went to St. Paul’s High School, Green Ridge.

In 1902, when the new mother house, Mount St. Mary’s, was completed, Sister M. deSales became bursar of the community. She served as bursar for twelve years. In 1913, Sister began directing art classes at St. Mary of the Mount High School, Pittsburgh. She opened the convent there with Mother Cyril. Sister M. deSales has been an instructor of art at Marywood since her return in 1929.

During her long years of classroom service Sister was distinguished by her sympathetic understanding of the young, a quality that endeared her to the many pupils who came under her care.

Marywood will miss her and will keep the memory of her simple, childlike and beautiful personality and what she has done for the school, as long as it endures. May she rest in peace.

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