A Pittsburgh Sister of Mercy for 75 years, died at the Convent of Mercy on Saturday, February 17, 2018. She was 97 years old. Born in Monesson, PA, and daughter of Julius Peter and Mary Barbara (Doerfler) Schmidt, Sister Mary entered the Sisters of Mercy from St. Leonard's Parish in Monesson in 1943 and made final vows in 1949. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Mount Mercy College (now Carlow University) and a Master's in Education from the University of Pittsburgh. Sister Mary taught for many years in area Catholic schools including St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Pleasant Hills, Holy Family, Latrobe; St. Peter, Northside; Immaculate Conception, Washington, PA; and Colegio Nuestra Señora de la Merced in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She was very proud of her students who oftentimes received awards in science and for their public service. In July 1959, Sister Mary was one of the original 10 Sisters of Mercy who assumed Sisters of Mercy leadership of Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, FL. She served there as a dietitian and later in the pastoral care department. Over several summers in the late 1960s, and early 70s, Sister Mary volunteered to teach religious education classes throughout Appalachia, and visited homebound elderly persons in Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, and South Carolina. In an oral history, Sister Mary noted that one of the most interesting experiences she had was teaching Native American students in an Upward Bound program in Chico, CA. Sister Mary served as co-director of the Pittsburgh Mercy Associates, a group that steadily increased in membership with her help and her engaging personality. Always adventuresome, Sister Mary answered a call for volunteers when Mercy International Centre opened in Dublin, Ireland. She backpacked through Europe, and visited friends she had made who lived in New Zealand. Preceded in death by her parents; brothers, John and Ray Schmidt; and sisters, Sister John Bosco Schmidt, RSM, and Catherine Williams. Sister Mary is survived by her brother, Joseph (Betty) Schmidt of South Hills; she is also survived by many nieces and nephews. Friends will be received Wednesday, February 21, 2018, from 2-8 p.m. at the Convent of Mercy, 3333 Fifth Avenue. Funeral Mass will be celebrated Thursday, February 22, 2018, at 11 a.m. in the Chapel at the Convent of Mercy, followed by interment in St. Xavier Cemetery, Latrobe. Arrangements entrusted to the EDWARD P. KANAI FUNERAL HOME, 500 Greenfield Avenue. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sisters of Mercy, 3333 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213, or the Carlow University Scholarship Fund.
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PostedFebruary 20, 2018