1933 – 2022
On Thursday, November 24th, the day the USA celebrates Thanksgiving Day, Sr. Nanette quietly and peacefully journeyed into the eternal embrace of the Love of God.
Sr. Nanette entered our novitiate when she was 18 years old. Trained as an educator, Sister taught in various elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Allentown Diocese. Sister also served as Activities Director at the former St. Joseph Living Center, in Reading, PA. She realized her dream to minister abroad when she taught in the Novitiate in Otjiwarongo, Namibia. Upon returning to the USA, she worked as the Director of Development and later, as Pastoral Care Coordinator at Sacred Heart Villa, where she lovingly served the residents.
As to her ministries Sr. Nanette asked me to mention in this letter “that it was only with and through our community that anything was accomplished. A single grain or a single stalk of wheat is next to nothing. But joined and ground with many grains, people can be fed and nourished. As community we can nourish many.”
As I visited with Sr. Nanette these last days, I experienced a sister who was very grateful for her call to religious life and the congregation in particular. She recalled accompanying many elderly residents as they approached the end of their earthly life. She even quipped that she had a lot of practice in the dying process due to her many illnesses. She insisted multiple times that I would express her gratitude for her vocation and for the MSC community. To quote Sr. Nanette, “My MSC vocation means more to me than life itself. This filled me with deepest gratitude and loyalty to my congregation. I am leaving with a smile on my face.”
I thought little of it until one of the attending sisters told me this story: As Sr. Nanette lay dying, soft music was playing in her room. At one point, she raised both arms and moved them to the beat of the music. Quickly her arms fell to the side of her body, but she turned her head facing the sister at her side and gave her the biggest smile. Shortly after this, she journeyed to eternity.
With all the conversations about expressing gratitude, I was not surprised that Sr. Nanette died at 3pm on Thanksgiving Day.
At sister’s request, a live plant will be placed in the chapel for the Funeral Mass since live plants signify life. Her mission cross will signify salvation wrought by the death and resurrection of Jesus.
In gratitude for all of God’s many graces and in memory of Sr. Nanette, there will be Vespers and a visitation at St. Michael Convent at 7pm Thursday, December 1st. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, December 2nd at 11 am in St. Michael Convent Chapel. Internment in the MSC convent cemetery will follow the Mass.
In the Heart of Jesus,
Sr. Dorothy Fabritze, MSC