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In Memoriam: Sister Jerome Eustace, OSB

November 5, 1925 - June 27, 2020
Our sister, Jerome, was ready to meet her God
and she did so, quietly and peacefully.
She faced her death as realistically
as she lived her life:
with honesty and simplicity.

Jerome was a woman of inner strength
who spoke her mind and appreciated reason.
She was hard-working and efficient,
genuine and authentic.

She often served behind the scenes,
doing what was needed without complaint,
not looking for compliment,
and always grateful for kindness.

Her practical approach to life served her well
as she took the challenges of aging in stride
and lived her monastic life with the constancy
for which she was known.

May we learn from her, O God,
a faithfulness that remains strong
and an integrity of heart that remains sincere
so that in all things you may be glorified,
now and evermore. Amen.

Sister Jerome Eustace, OSB, 94, after a quick and unexpected decline, died peacefully on June 27, 2020 at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery in Erie, Pennsylvania, upheld by the love and support of community.

A native of Oil City, Pennsylvania, Sister Jerome was the daughter of Dorothy (Gidders) and P. Michael Eustace. She entered the Benedictine Sisters of Erie in 1944 from St. Joseph Parish, Oil City. She pronounced her first vows in 1945, followed by perpetual monastic vows in 1948. In August she would have celebrated 75 years of monastic profession.

Sister Jerome held a BS in Social Sciences and a BA in Elementary Education from Villa Maria College and was both a teacher and principal in Erie Diocesan Schools for 35 years: St. Joseph and St. Stephen, Oil City; Sacred Heart, Sharon; Immaculate Conception, Clarion; St. Gregory, North East; St. Mary and Mount Calvary, Erie. In addition, she was a CCD Catechist at Our Lady of Mercy, Harborcreek. Her ministry changed when she became a certified nurse aide and worked for 15 years, both at Twinbrook Nursing Home and Mount St. Benedict Monastery Infirmary. She served at Benetwood Apartments as receptionist and provided family child care as well. Never one to be idle, Sister Jerome became involved in contributed services at the monastery after retiring from external ministry and was engaged in various internal ministries up to the time of her death. She was hard-working and efficient, genuine and authentic. She cherished the prayer life of the community and always desired to do as much work as her body permitted. When she began a new decade at the age of 90 she said: “Believing God is with me has helped me. Prayer empowering work has kept me going. Nothing is more important than that and I have no intention of giving it up.”

Sister Jerome was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters, Thomasine Toohig and Judith Matis, and her brother, James. She is survived by her Benedictine community and her brothers: John, Michael, and Thomas, and many nieces and nephews.

Due to national guidelines concerning the Coronavirus, no public visitation will be held. A memorial mass will be announced and celebrated at a future date at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery. A private interment will be held at Trinity Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, 6101 East Lake Road, Erie, Pennsylvania 16511. Brugger Funeral Homes and Crematory, Pine Avenue Branch, 845 East 38th Street, is in charge of the arrangements.

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