In Memory

Sister Madeleine Merritt, IHM

February 10, 1929 – June 25, 2016

Madeleine Merritt, IHM

Sister Madeleine Merritt, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Saturday, June 25, 2016, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

She was born on February 10, 1929, in Providence, RI, and given the name Margaret Edna. She was the daughter of the late Raymond and Mary Donahue Merritt. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 7, 1947, and made her temporary profession of vows on May 8, 1950, and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1953.

Sister Madeleine served as a teacher in the following schools: St. Leo Elementary School in Ashley, PA, from 1950 to 1951; St. Patrick Elementary School in Oneida, NY, from 1951 to 1955; St. Ambrose Elementary School in Bridgeport, CT, from 1955 to 1959 and 1974 to 1975; St. Mary Elementary School in Manhasset, NY, from 1959 to 1963; St. Bernard Elementary School in Hastings, PA, from 1963 to 1969; St. Thomas Elementary School in Providence, RI, from 1969 to 1971; Holy Trinity Elementary School in Poughkeepsie, NY, from 1971 to 1974; Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School in Forest Hills, NY, from 1975 to 1980; St. Raymond Elementary School in East Rockaway, NY, from 1980 to 1981; Our Lady of Peace Elementary School in Clarks Green, PA, from 1981 to 1983; and St. Mary of Mount Carmel Elementary School in Dunmore, PA, from 1984 to 1986.

While on the support staff at the Marian Convent in Scranton, she also served as an instructor at the GED program and creative writing course at the Lackawanna County Prison in Scranton, PA, from 1983 to 1984. She also served as pastoral minister at St. Ambrose Parish in Endicott, NY, from 1986 to 2010; and as a Telespond volunteer from 2010 to 2015.

From 2015 until the time of her death, Sister Madeleine served as a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence.

She received a Bachelors of Arts degree in education, and a Master of Science degree in religious education from Marywood College.

She is survived by a sister, Rita Carbon of Cumberland, RI, nieces and nephews, including Kathleen Keaney of Norton, MA. She is also survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

The funeral will be Wednesday, June 29, 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 Tuesday, June 28, 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 Wednesday 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.



Reflection given by Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM Congregation President

Sister Madeleine Merritt, Funeral June 29, 2016

Over the course of 34 years in education, Madeleine taught a variety of subjects in junior high schools, concentrating on religion, language arts, and creative writing. She later taught the GED program to women and men at Lackawanna County Prison.
Madeleine had a special desire to reach out to underserved students, so she spent several summers teaching religion and math at Independence House in Brooklyn, helping at a day camp in Tunkhannock, and teaching art and English composition to teens
in Appalachia. She also tutored young adults at Covenant House in New York City for a time. There was no doubt that she had a very special love for all her students, reaching out to them even beyond the classroom.

Madeleine noted that her favorite hobbies, outside of her ministries to those in need, were raising beautiful canaries, which she loved, and growing colorful plants, especially her gorgeous orchids. However, a special place in her heart was reserved for Briney, her
dog, who accompanied her on visits to the ill and elderly parishioners of St. Ambrose in Endicott, and who, she said, lifted the spirits of so many lives, including her own.

Madeleine summed up her years of ministry with this statement: “My ministry to the sick, elderly, and homebound has been very fruitful and rewarding. Being able to bring Eucharist to so many and assisting them in every way possible has brought
about my own spiritual growth and has afforded me great joy.”

Like most of us, I suppose, Madeleine probably did not think her life, her presence in the lives of others, was all that special. But her gift to us was her uniqueness, her determined, yet fragile spirit that desired to bring compassion and beauty into the lives of
others even amidst her own struggles and uncertainties. We celebrate and give thanks for Madeleine’s life among us, for her fidelity to God and to those to whom she ministered, for the rejoicings as well as the sufferings. We bring thoughts of her goodness
to our prayer today as we also remember very specially her parents, Mary and Raymond, who planted the seeds of faith in her heart, and who now welcome her home to the new life of eternal peace and joy.

We gather into our circle of prayer this day Madeleine’s sister, Rita, her niece, Kathy, her nephew, Joe, their families, the staff and sisters here at Our Lady of Peace and the staff at LIFE Geisinger, her Band members, and all who enjoyed her friendship and who
lived and shared in her life’s journey. Those who knew Madeleine will miss her strength of will, her kindness, her determination, her undeniable spirit, and her love of the beauty of creation, especially those beautiful orchids. We rejoice in her life and in
the unique gift she was to this world. We are comforted by the certainty that Madeleine now enjoys her reward of eternal peace and joy in the great feast of heavenly life with her God who created her in goodness and welcomes her home with love.

Sister Ann Marie (Lynott) will now place the scriptures on Madeleine’s casket, for indeed Madeleine 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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