In Memory

Sister Mary Lambert Rossi, IHM

March 4, 1930 – June 5, 2018

Mary Lambert Rossi, IHM

Sister Mary Lambert Rossi, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She was born on March 4, 1930, in Pittsburgh, PA, and given the name Erma. She was the daughter of the late John P. and Mary Tavaletta Rossi. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1951 and made her temporary profession of vows on August 2, 1954 and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1957.

Sister Mary Lambert served as a teacher at the following schools: Epiphany Elementary School in Sayre, PA, from 1954 to 1960; Holy Name of Jesus Elementary School in Forty-Fort, PA, from 1960 to 1967; St. Clare Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1967 to 1968; St. Aloysius Elementary School in Cresson, PA, from 1968 to 1978; St. Paul Elementary School in Cranston, RI, from 1978 to 1979; St. John the Baptist Elementary School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1979 to 1986; St. Mary of the Mt. Elementary School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1986 to 1988; and St. Rita Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1988 to 2006.

She also served as an associate chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore, MD, from 2006 to 2007; and as a volunteer at Our Lady of Hope/St. Luke Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 2006 to 2017.

In 2013, Sister Mary Lambert was recognized by the Dundalk Council #2942 of the Knights of Columbus, as an outstanding Catechist for her many years of service to the people of God.

From 2017 until the time of her death, Sister Mary Lambert was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

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

She is preceded in death by a brother, Frank.

She is survived by two sisters, Joan Lantz, and Mary Ann Petkunas both of Pittsburgh, PA; nieces and nephews; and grandnieces and grandnephews. She is also survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

The funeral will be Friday, June 8, 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 Thursday, June 7, between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery in Pittsburgh, PA, at a later date.

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 2018 issue

Reflection given by Sister Kathryn Clauss, IHM Congregation Vice-President

Sister Mary Lambert Rossi, Funeral June 8, 2018

Before moving into the Liturgy, I invite you to recall yesterday’s sharing of memories. There was a foreshadowing of today’s first reading from Isaiah, where we hear that the Lord of Hosts will provide a feast of fresh food and matured wines. In the memories shared we learned of the spacious hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Rossi and Lambert as they shared fresh baked goods and home grown tomatoes with IHM sisters in Pittsburgh. Lambert carried on the tradition by providing lavish spreads for her mission group and for all who visited St. Rita’s Convent. Food for Lambert was a gift, something to be shared. We were reminded that while Lambert lived in Dundalk, she would prepare and distribute bags of food to men and women who missed the scheduled hours at the Vincent DePaul Society office. When she moved into OLP, her trips to the dollar store often included other stops to pick up snacks for the sisters in her household.

Now, Lambert’s generosity was not limited to food. I can only imagine the feast her classroom was for the children she ministered to for over 62 years. The joy, the love, the excellent and exciting learning environment she created with and for them and how it continued to influence their lives into adulthood. In her generous service to the Dundalk Historical Society, Lambert warmly welcomed those who visited the center. Her participation in the yearly reenactment of the War of 1812 surely inspired others in the Dundalk community to become more involved and to join in the endeavors of the Society.

Yesterday, we were reminded about Lambert’s generous gift of time and presence to her good friend, Sister Mary Mark Carnes. One day they were together in the presence of some women and a young child. One of the women, referring to Lambert, asked who the small sister was, the child replied, “She’s Sister Mary Mark’s body guard.”

Perhaps that posture of standing with and by another and responding to the needs she noticed was Lambert’s way of being Christ for others, of pouring out her life so that others would have something more, something they needed, some reminder that they were being loved by God. As we celebrate Lambert’s life, and her fidelity today, let us remember that she was a feast of all that was good and human and holy and let us thank God for the Christ-centered witness of her life for the life of the world.

Sister Lambert has completed her mission of 64 years as an IHM sister and is united in the heart of God with her parents, John and Mary, her brother Frank, and with her family, friends, and all IHM sisters who have gone before her. Sister Lambert will return to Pittsburgh for the last time and will be buried there with her family. After the closing hymn we will sing the Salva Regina and then process out of the chapel.

Sister Michael Marie, Sister Lambert’s dear and faithful friend, will now place Sister Lambert’s bible on her coffin as a reminder that Sister Lambert heard the Word of God. She staked her life on it. It is Jesus, the Word of God, who now welcomes her home.

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