In Memory

Sister M. Salvator Cramer, IHM

September 15, 1932 – December 11, 2013

Salvator Cramer, IHM

Sister M. Salvator Cramer, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Wednesday, December 11, 2013, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on September 15, 1932, in Brooklyn, NY, and given the name Mary Jane. She was the daughter of the late Leo and Lillian Kammerer Cramer. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 7, 1950, made temporary profession of her vows on August 2, 1953, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1956.

Sister Salvator served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Bernardine Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1953 to 1956; St. Joseph High School in New Bern, NC, from 1956 to 1961; Immaculate Conception Elementary School in Lock Haven, PA, from 1961 to 1962; St. Mary of the Mount High School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1962 to 1967; St. Mary High School in Manhasset, NY, from 1967 to 1981; Maria Regina Diocesan High School in Uniondale, NY, from 1981 to 1983; and Cathedral High School in New York, NY, from 1983 to 1993.

Sister also served as pastoral minister at St. Ambrose Parish in Bridgeport, CT, in 1983; support staff member of the Marian Convent in Scranton, PA, from 1993 to 1994; and instructor at Education Enrichment Institute in IHM Center, Scranton, PA, from 1994 to 1996.

From 1996 until the time of her death, Sister Salvator was a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and at Our Lady of Peace Residence, both in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Marywood College, and a Master of Arts degree in French from Assumption College.

She is preceded in death by a brother, Paul V.

She is survived by nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be Tuesday, December 17, 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 Monday, December 16, between 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Interment will follow Mass on Tuesday 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 2014 issue

In my sitting room hangs a poem framed in rich dark wood and printed on exquisitely handmade paper with pressed flowers and ferns. A glance at that poem reminds me instantly of my dear friend, Sal. The framed piece was purchased by Sal at the Vallis Clausa Paper Mill on the Sorgue in Provence, France, during a trip we made together. Translated from French, it reads:

Prenez le Temps (Take Time)
Take the time to play;
it is a secret of eternal youth.
Take the time to read;
it is the source of wisdom.
Take the time to love and to be loved;
it is a grace from God.
Take the time to make friends;
it is the voice of happiness.
Take the time to laugh;
it is the music of the soul.
Take the time to think;
it is the source of action.
Take the time to give;
life is too short to be selfish.
Take the time to work;
it is the price of success.

Although Sal didn’t write this poem, it expresses her lifelong desire to live life to its fullest. And that she did. Sal had a fine mind and with that came suffering. She was very sentimental. She was moved by beauty in all its forms and she shed tears easily. She knew the power of words and she expressed her feelings often in writing. One of Sal’s favorite quotes: “I should keep my words soft and sweet in case I have to eat them.” She hand-scripted this quote on a card she gave to me when I moved to Our Lady of Peace Residence.

My friendship with Sal goes back to 1951 at the Motherhouse. I was teaching music in the Marywood Seminary High School and was asked to create a choral group. The postulants and novices “tried out.” Sal was a natural alto who had a love for music. I could sing two lines and Sal could sing them back. The name of that first group was “The Queen’s Daughters.” This experience drew us all together and we all got to know each other better through our rehearsals. This was our bond.

Sal rests now in the loving arms of God. I am ever grateful for her presence in my life. Each time I glance at that poem, I remember Sal and I am reminded to take time to love and be loved, for it is, indeed, a grace from God. Rest in peace, my friend.

by Sister Louise Connolly, IHM

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