In memoriam: Sister Bernadette McNamara, SHSp

Sister Bernadette McNamara, SHSp died peacefully at her home, the Convent of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate, on March 28, 2023.

Born on May 2, 1934 on Achill Island, County Mayo, Ireland, Sister Bernadette grew up in a loving and faith-filled family with her eleven siblings. Her love for her native Ireland and for her family fed her spirit until her last breath.

On Jan. 6, 1950 at the age of fifteen, Sister Bernadette came to San Antonio following her dream of becoming a missionary. Last June, she joyously celebrated her 70th jubilee of religious profession.

In her early years of religious life, she was known as “Sister Mary Jude” and she spent those years in service of students and families whose situations often seemed hopeless. As a teacher, principal and a fundraiser, she stretched out her years in compassionate ministry in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, including St. Peter the Apostle School in Pascagoula, for 63 years. The religious congregation that she loved so deeply was blessed to have had her generous and gracious spirit with them for so long.

Sister Bernadette is mourned by her sisters and brothers, her 58 nieces and nephews, her over 70 grandnieces/nephews, her many friends and by the members of her religious community, some of whom she had known since she was twelve years old.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Monday, April 3 at the Motherhouse Chapel in San Antonio, Texas. Sister Bernadette is interred in the Community Cemetery. Services can be viewed on the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate Facebook page.

Donations can be made in Sister Bernadette’s memory to the ministries of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate.