In Memory

Sister M. Lisbeth Hartnett, IHM

May 22, 1921 – August 8, 2018

Lisbeth Hartnett, IHM

Sister M. Lisbeth Hartnett, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

She was born on May 22, 1921, in Beaverdale, PA, and given the name Dorothy Marie. She was the daughter of the late Maurice William and Anna Elizabeth Drabick Hartnett. She entered the IHM Congregation on February 2, 1940, made temporary profession of her vows on August 3, 1942, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1945.

Sister Lisbeth served as a teacher at the following schools: Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School in Forest Hills, NY, from 1942 to 1948; St. Monica Elementary School in Raleigh, NC, from 1948 to 1949; Most Holy Rosary Elementary School in Syracuse, NY, from 1949 to 1960; St. Matthew Elementary School in Wilmington, DE, from 1960 to 1965; and Our Lady of Grace Elementary School in Greensboro, MD, from 1979 to 1980.

Sister served as principal at the following schools: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Elementary School in Rocky Mount, NC, from 1965 to 1967; St. Mary Elementary School in Goldsboro, NC, from 1967 to 1973; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Clinton, MD, from 1973 to 1979; and St. Joseph Elementary School in Williamsport, PA, from 1980 to 1993.

Sister Lisbeth also served as assistant to the administrator of the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 1993 to 2010.

From 2010 until the time of her death, Sister Lisbeth was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence.

She received a Bachelor of Arts in English/social sciences, and a Master of Science degree in education, both from Marywood College.

She is preceded in death by a brother, Maurice William, Jr., and two sisters, Patricia Louise and Sister M. Maurice, IHM.

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

The funeral will be Saturday, August 11 at 9:30 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 Friday, August 10, 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, Fall 2018 issue

Reflection given by Sister Kathryn Clauss, IHM Congregation Vice-President

Sister M. Lisbeth Hartnett, Funeral August 11, 2018

Today’s text from the Luke’s Gospel recalls the Visitation. It places before us the challenge and promise of Elizabeth’s words to Mary which speak to persons of faith and have deep meaning for us as women religious, “Blessed is she who trusted that the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled.” Over a lifetime of 97 years, Lisbeth surely experienced the impulse of God’s word in her heart. Perhaps it evoked in her wonder, maybe worry, “Why me, why now?” Maybe she had a feeling similar to Elizabeth, “Who am I that God would come to me?” We don’t know how Lisbeth experienced God’s Word but when we listen attentively to what she said about herself and what others experienced in their relationships with her, we can sense that she trusted that God’s promise to her would be fulfilled.

Yesterday we heard a few stories that reflected how Lisbeth could respond with confidence by entrusting herself to the providence of God. She had the courage and confidence to let Msgr. Gilbert, her larger-than-life pastor in North Carolina know who she was, “I am your new principal.” Perhaps it was her clear declaration or her calm demeanor, or self-assured tone in her voice that gave rise to his response, “You look like you know what you are doing.”

On completing 51 years in the ministry of education, Lisbeth felt the impulse of the spirit to move on. She indicated on the ministry form that year, that she was willing to learn new skills if needed and that she would prefer some type of active ministry for as long as she was able. Well, wish granted! Lisbeth was assigned to serve as the assistant to the IHM Center Administrator. Here she continued her ministries of hospitality and leadership for 17 years and as a life-long learner she continued to strengthen her computer abilities and developed other interests. What a gift Lisbeth had in being able to balance her self-awareness with the common good and to approach life open handedly. Her life experience and expertise as a bridge player taught her the importance of not focusing on the hand she could have been dealt but to concentrate on getting the best possible results with the hand she had. Lisbeth modeled for us what it means to live in the providence of God.

And so we rejoice with our Sister Lisbeth this day. As she is welcomed into the heart of God, she joins her parents, Maurice and Anna, her sisters Patricia and Jane, our Sister Maurice, and her brother Maurice. We offer our prayerful support to Charlene and Ralph, the Sisters in household 3A, and all those who loved and cared for Lisbeth and grieve her passing, in particular, her faithful friend, Sister Monica Byrne.

Sister Leonnette will place Lisbeth’s scripture on her casket. It is open to Proverbs 31 reminding us that Lisbeth, a valiant woman, heard the word of God as she lived her life with joy, strength, patience, love and outstretched arms that generously gave her gifts and treasures to all whom she met. Lisbeth heard God’s word and trusted that God’s word would be fulfilled in her and so it was.

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