In Memory

Sister M. Paula Baier, IHM

August 26, 1916 – March 6, 2008

Paul Baier, IHM

Sister M. Paula Baier, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on August 26, 1916 in Nisbet, PA, and given the name Agnes Mary. She was the daughter of the late Robert and Rebecca Stopper Baier. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1933, made her temporary profession of vows on August 2, 1937, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1940.

Sister Paula was a teacher and served at the following schools: Mother of Mercy Elementary School in Washington, NC, from 1937 to 1941; St. Mary of the Mount Elementary School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1941 to 1947 and 1967 to 1969; St. Mary Elementary School in Goldsboro, NC, from 1947 to 1950; St. Patrick Elementary School in Spangler, PA, from 1950 to 1955; St. Cecilia Elementary School in Exeter, PA, from 1955 to 1956; St. Rose Elementary School in Carbondale, PA, from 1956 to 1963; Holy Trinity Elementary School in Poughkeepsie, NY, from 1963 to 1964; St. Ann Elementary School in Nyack, NY, from 1964 to 1967; St. Basil Elementary School in Dushore, PA, from 1969 to 1970; St. Paul Elementary School in New Bern, NC, from 1970 to 1975 and 1983 to 1984; St. Clare Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1975 to 1976; Epiphany Elementary School in Sayre, PA, from 1976 to 1978; and at St. Ambrose Elementary School in Bridgeport, CT, from 1978 to 1983.

From 1984 until the time of her death she served as a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace Residence, both in Scranton, PA.

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

She was preceded in death by five brothers, Charles, Reverend Paul, Edmund, Norbert and Robert; and five sisters, Frances Lucasi, Edith Bower, Mary Stopper, Marcella McCaslin and Rose Deitrick.

She is survived by a sister, Amelia Triosi of Williamsport, PA; a brother, Joseph of Johnson City, NY; and nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be Monday, March 10, at 11:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Interment will follow Mass on Monday at St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Moscow. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Sunday, March 9, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:30 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 2008 issue

When I say Sister Paula’s name or even think of her, I smile because she was a joyful person. She had a great love for God, her family, and her pupils. Her classroom was always a beehive of activity where her pupils learned more than the basic academics— they learned lessons for life and many practical skills. I believe every pupil that Sister Paula taught learned how to knit, not with knitting needles, but by using two large sharpened pencils. If you were in Sister Paula’s classroom when the hour struck, you were startled because her students stopped whatever they were doing and began the prayer “Hail and blessed be the hour…”

Sister Paula was a wonderful community person who helped the Sisters in whatever task they had undertaken. She had many practical talents that she used for the good of all. On the first Sunday of the month she wrote a card to all her relatives who were having birthdays or anniversaries that month. When she was a resident in the Marian Convent she kept her joyful attitude despite many challenges. While there she nurtured the plants as ardently as she formerly nourished her pupils. Our IHM Constitutions state that “we devote ourselves to joyful, loving, service to the people of God.” Sister Paula practiced this her entire life.

In her later years at Our Lady of Peace, Sister Paula lived the “Prayer of Diminishment” of Teilhard de Chardin: “When the signs of age begin to mark my body (and still more when they touch my mind)… grant that I may understand that it is you… who are bearing me away within yourself.” This our loving God did for Sister Paula on March 6, 2008.

by Sr. Anne Mary Boslett, IHM

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