In Memory

Sister M. Susan McMenamin, IHM

October 29, 1914 – May 7, 2007

Susan McMenamin, IHM

Sister M. Susan McMenamin, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Monday, May 7, 2007, at the Marian Community Hospital in Carbondale, Pennsylvania.

She was born on October 29, 1914 in Freeland, PA, and given the name Margaret. She was the daughter of the late John and Margaret Ferry McMenamin. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1932, made her temporary profession of vows on April 30, 1935, and final profession of her vows on August 1, 1938.

Sister Susan served as a music teacher at the following schools: St. Matthew Elementary School in East Stroudsburg, PA, from 1935 to 1940; St. Patrick Elementary School in Oneida, NY, from 1940 to 1942; St. John High School in Pittston, PA, from 1942 to 1945; Sacred Hearts Elementary School in New York, NY, from 1945 to 1949; St. Mary High School in Manhasset, NY, from 1949 to 1956; Central Catholic High School in Kingston, PA, from 1956 to 1966; St. Dominic Elementary School in Oyster Bay, NY, from 1966 to 1968; St. Mary of the Mount Elementary School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1968 to 1972; St. Paul Elementary School in Cranston, RI, from 1972 to 1975; St. Ephrem Elementary School in Brooklyn, NY, from 1975 to 1976; Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School in Forest Hills, NY, from 1976 to 1988; and at Sacred Heart Elementary School in Mount Holly, NJ, from 1988 to 1993.

Sister served as a prayer minister at the following convents: Sacred Heart in Mount Holly, NJ, from 1993 to 1995; Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Asbury Park, NJ, from 1995 to 1997; Marian Convent in Scranton, PA, from 1997 to 2006; and from 2006 until the time of her death at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Marywood College, and Master of Arts degree in music education from New York University.

She was preceded in death by five brothers, Reverend John Gerard, CP, Maurice, Hugh, Joseph and Bernard, and five sisters, Mary, Margaret, Sister Clare Marie, IHM, Sister Jean Marie, RSM, and Clare Stringer.

She is survived by a sister-in-law, Elizabeth McMenamin of Scranton, PA, and a niece, Dr. Margaret McMenamin of Hellertown, PA.

The funeral will be Thursday, May 10, at 10:30 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Interment will follow at St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Moscow. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Wednesday, May 9, between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 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.

Eulogy for Sr. Susan McMenamin by Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin

Reprinted from “In Memoriam” section of Journey, Winter 2007 issue

In the fall of 1932, life for twenty-three young women (twenty women about eighteen to nineteen years old and a few seasoned elders) stretched out to times and places replete with promise and challenge — the latter a resounding affirmative! One of the things we postulants of the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary were to learn in that entrance time was that significant change in living out the promise comes with cost and that growth is never easy. Susan McMenamin and I learned together the difficulties entailed in answering a vocational call.

What had been a deep loneliness for the parents and family left behind was to catch up with us as we settled into the often demanding differences of a monastic version of community living. Perseverance was required to change us into the desired religious and that stick-to-i- tiv-ness sometimes came accompanied by tears of distress.

Meeting Susan was a rewarding experience for me, as it must have been for the other members of our band. We both found in each other a sincere friendship that has been an essential part of a lifetime effort to grow into God. On retiring here to Our Lady of Peace Residence our striving for holiness has been greatly enabled by renewal of that joint effort we had
discerned all those seventy plus years ago.

Through her busy life as a teacher, Susan has contributed to an intelligent and educated Church Membership and to the loving and artistic liturgy for which she prepared countless elementary and high school students. And when illness brought to a close what had been her active apostolic life, though a stroke victim, Susan’s contribution at the Marian Convent was a surprising assistance to those ministering to the residents. She actually did some of the routine tasks that become necessary help to other sisters.

The reality of her love for her God was demonstrated by the love returned to Susan by her grateful visitors of the Congregation, young and old, and by the comments heard on the occasion of her funeral. Quoted in part are the following:

She was a prayerful and true IHM;
She was a faithful and true friend;
Honesty was a strength in Susan.
Her opinion may have differed from
yours but always it was expressed with kindness;
A strong believer in the value of
education she generously shared
what she had been graced to learn;
She was ever sensitive to the needs of others.

We learn from Scripture that we have been made in the image and likeness of God. It would certainly seem that Susan had taken on that image and likeness to a remarkable degree by human standards. It is our hope that she and we of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, responding to His grace, are becoming instruments for the mirroring of God’s unimaginable greatness and inimitable power.

by Sr. Sheila Reilly, IHM

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