In Memory

Sister Mary Schelb, IHM

July 15, 1910 – June 4, 2006

Mary Schelb, IHM

Sister Mary Schelb, IHM, (formerly known as Sister M. Adalbert) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Sunday, June 4, 2006, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on July 15, 1910, in Williamsport, PA, and given the name Mary Ann. She was the daughter of the late Andrew and Mary Anne Stopper Schelb. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 2, 1928, made her temporary profession of vows on April 14, 1931, and her final profession of vows on August 1, 1934.

Sister Mary served as a teacher and a music teacher at the following schools: Most Holy Rosary in Syracuse, NY, from 1928 to 1929; St. Mary Elementary School in Upper Pittston, PA, from 1931 to 1934; St. Mary Elementary School in Goldsboro, NC, from 1934 to 1944; and at the IHM Academy in Coeur d’Alene, ID, from 1944 to 1951.

Sister served as the principal at St. Edward Elementary School in Twin Falls, ID, from 1951 to 1955.

For the IHM Congregation in Scranton, Sister Mary also served as director of novices, from 1955 to 1968; sector superior, from 1968 to 1974; director of retirement, from 1974 to 1978; and secretary in the personnel office, 1978 to 1998.

From 1998 until the time of her death, she served as prayer minister at the Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Music degree from Marywood College.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, Andrew and Joseph; and two sisters, Marcella and Teresa.

She is survived by two sisters, Bernadine Lutz, of Williamsport, PA; and Monica Lutz of South Williamsport, PA; nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be Friday, June 9 at 10:30 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton followed by interment at St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Moscow. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Thursday, June 8, 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.

Reflection on Sr. Mary Schelb:

I just received notice of Sr Mary Schelb’s death. My sincere condolences to the Congregation on her passing. Also my gratitude to her for the role she had in my novitiate year (1967-68). She was quite the lady and will certainly be remembered by many for her graciousness and concern for “her novices.” I think it very fitting that Pentecost marks the day of her entrance into heaven. She indeed had the Holy Spirit on her side while guiding and forming those in her charge (she always seemed to appear when we least expected it). May she rest in peacefulness – knowing that “all is well.”
Sincerely, Rosemary Ludwick-Bieker

Reprinted from “In Memoriam” section of Journey, Fall 2006 issue

On May 7, 2006 Sr. Mary celebrated seventy-five years of profession as an IHM Sister. On June 4, 2006 she quietly slipped into eternity, leaving us to celebrate a remarkable life of dedication to God and the countless people she met on the journey.

Born in Williamsport on July 15 in 1910 she was the oldest of seven children. She recalled that it was on her parents’ wedding anniversary that she entered the congregation.

Her love for family deepened with her love of God. Two sisters, Bernardine Lutz and Monica Lutz survive, and their devotion was a source of joy and strength to Sr. Mary. Brothers Joseph, Andrew and sisters Marcella and Teresa preceded her in death.

Sister’s versatile gifts were generously offered in ministry as an IHM. As a teacher her forte was music but she was also competent in teaching at elementary and secondary levels, including assignments as principal. For thirteen years Sr. Mary was director of novices. Other leadership assignments included that of sector superior and director of retirement.

She then continued for twenty years in support services in the congregation personnel office. In all this service to God’s people Sr. Mary traveled to Idaho, North Carolina and Peru, as well as to many missions in the Northeast.

Once, in a local assembly meeting, she proposed that our goal be “love of God and love of neighbor.” Sister exemplified this in her life, especially during the final years of prayer ministry. Hers was truly a life in the IHM Spirit of “generous, joyful, loving service.”

by Sister Harriet Jackson, IHM

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