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In Memoriam: Sister Mary Benedict Irish, OSB

Headshot of Sister Mary Benedict Irish.

Sister Mary Benedict Irish, OSB
February 27, 1914 - March 25, 2012

God of faithfulness,
you have called our sister, Benedict, home to yourself.
The unknown is no longer a mystery to her.
She now knows the gift of eternal life;
she now knows the fullness of peace.

Benedict lived life well.
Her interest in everyone and everything
kept her mind enlivened and her heart energized.
Family and friends nurtured her;
books and faith sustained her.

She held herself to high standards
of courtesy, care, compassion and kindness.
A simple appreciation for the finer things of life
allowed her to impart a spirit of graciousness
and the beauty of simple elegance.

May we ever reverence
the memory of this holy woman
whose smile was easy, whose sincerity was real,
so that we, too, may live with depth and integrity,
now and forever. Amen.

Sister Mary Benedict Irish, OSB, 98, died on March 25, 2012 at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery in Erie, PA.

Born in Decatur, IL and baptized Ann Katherine, Sister Benedict was one of four children born to Charles and Emma (Bone) Irish. She entered the Benedictine Sisters of Holy Family Priory, Benet Lake, WI on December 8, 1950. She lived as an Oblate until beginning her canonical novitiate in 1956 and pronounced her perpetual vows in 1960. Sister Benedict celebrated her Silver Jubilee in 1982. In 1986, the Benedictine Sisters of Benet Lake began a merger process with the Benedictine Sisters of Erie; it was completed in 1991. Sister Benedict celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 2007.

During her years of ministry at Benet Lake Sister Benedict worked primarily in day care, both as teacher and director, and as a teacher in Religious Education. She served the community as a member of the formation team, an appointed council member, and as liturgist. Before pursuing her degree, Sister Benedict also gained experience in the operation of a print shop and publication sales facility. With a B.A. in English Literature from Dominican College, along with library course work and a love for reading, Sister Benedict became the priory’s librarian. Eventually, she became the librarian at St. Benedict’s Abbey of Benet Lake, WI, a position she held for 17 years. After transferring to the Erie Benedictines, Sister Benedict continued her work as the monastery librarian. Most recently, as an infirmary resident Sister Benedict engaged in the ministry of prayer and presence at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery.

Sister Benedict was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers, and nephew, Thomas, and his wife, Marilyn. She is survived by her Benedictine community, and her nephews, George Irish (Jeannie), Charles Irish (Mary Lynn), and John Irish (Diana) and their families.

Memorials may be made to the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, 6101 East Lake Road, Erie, PA 16511. Click here to offer an online memorial.