In Memory

Sister M. Rosarii Hemmer, IHM

March 12, 1929 – February 8, 2021

Rosarii Hemmer, IHM

Sister M. Rosarii Hemmer, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Monday, February 8, 2021, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on March 12, 1929, in Syracuse, NY, and given the name Margaret. She was the daughter of the late Nicholas and Helen O’Connor Hemmer. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1947, and made temporary profession of her vows on May 8, 1950, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1953.

Sister Rosarii served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Mary of Mount Carmel Elementary School in Dunmore, PA, from 1950 to 1951; St. Charles Elementary School in Sugar Notch, PA, from 1951 to 1953; St. Joseph Elementary School in Danville, PA, from 1953 to 1955; Our Lady of Mount Carmel Elementary School in Asbury Park, NJ, from 1955 to 1957; St. Mary Elementary School in North Pittston, PA, from 1957 to 1958; Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School in Forest Hill, NY, from 1958 to 1968; Most Holy Rosary Elementary School in Syracuse, NY, from 1976 to 1979; St. Rose Elementary School in Carbondale, PA, from 1980 to 1981; St. Clare Elementary School in Scranton, PA, in 1982; and St. Agnes Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1984 to 1986.

Sister served as principal at the following schools: St. Clare Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1968 to 1970; Holy Trinity Elementary School in Poughkeepsie, NY, from 1970 to 1976; St. Patrick Elementary School in Scranton, PA, in 1981; and St. Rita Elementary School in Dundalk, MD, from 1986 to 1989.

Sister Rosarii also served as a parish minister at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Syracuse, NY, in 1979; as participant in CERT program in religious education for the Diocese of Scranton, from 1982 to 1983; founding director of the IHM Educational Enrichment Institute at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 1989 to 2000; reading specialist and diagnostic tutor in Parsippany, NJ, from 2000 to 2007; and elementary reading consultant in Peckville, PA, from 2008 to 2009.

From 2009 until the time of her death, Sister Rosarii was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree in music/English from Marywood College, and a Master of Arts degree in psychology of reading from Temple University.

She is preceded in death by three brothers, Francis, Paul, and Nicholas, and two sisters, Helen Rita Clover and Sister M. Helen, IHM.

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

Interment will be at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA. Due to restrictions related to the coronavirus, the funeral mass and graveside service are private.

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.

Funeral link:

Combined Vespers Prayer Service:

Reprinted from “In Memoriam” section of Journey, Spring 2021 issue

Sister M. Rosarii Hemmer, IHM

Reflection given by Sister Terri Jordan, IHM, member of the IHM Leadership Team, at Sister’s funeral on Monday, February 15, 2021:

Sister Rosarii had great devotion to the Spirit and often meditated on the mysteries of the Rosary. She had a deep sense of God’s presence and love for her. Last Monday, God called her home. Margaret Sangster once wrote, “No one should teach who is not in love with teaching.” Rosarii was in love with teaching. From her first teaching assignment in 1950 at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Elementary School in Dunmore to her later years as a reading consultant. During these 59 years in education, she was teacher, mentor, principal, and tutor. Students and other educators would be inspired by the care and compassion she showed every person. She would readily share her gifts of music, creativity, and humor with students and co-workers. Her creativity led her to create such programs as Crayon Talks, Fun Story Starters, and Creative Writing, all which were geared to providing creative, independent activities for teachers to use with their students.

In 1989 she founded the Educational Enrichment Institute, EEI for short, at the IHM Center. This program provided tutoring services for students
in the area, regardless of their ability to pay. In addition to providing much needed educational assistance, Rosarii also saw it as a way sisters
leaving the ministry of full time teaching could continue using their gifts to minister to the people of God.

In addition to her love of teaching, Rosarii loved her friends, her congregation, and especially her family. She and her sister Helen provided loving care to their mother as she declined in health. On February 8th, Rosarii was welcomed by her parents Nicholas and Helen, her three brothers, Francis, Paul, and Nicolas; and two sisters Helen Rita and Helen, IHM.

A good friend of Rosarii’s shared this with me. Occasionally, she would say she had a visit with the Lord to “talk things over.” I never doubted this. Her actions told me so. About a week before her last stroke, Rosarii said, “I just want to be quiet and make a retreat,” and she did. She followed this with “then I think it is time to ride into the sunset,” and she did, very peacefully.


May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our eyes,
And where we will never lose you again.

John O’Donohue

Sister Jean will now place the scriptures on Rosarii’s casket, for indeed she 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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