Sister Mary Bernadette Reichert

Mary Reichert
1933 - 2023
Mary Christina Reichert was born on April 1, 1933 in Fulda, SK the eldest of five children of Elizabeth and Sigmund Reichert. In 1945 the family moved to British Columbia because of her father’s ill health. After Mary completed high school, she wanted to be a teacher but because of her very poor eyesight, she went to Business College instead where she studied shorthand with a magnifying glass. She worked for six years in British Columbia until she moved to Edmonton, Alberta to be near her brother, Joe, who became paralyzed as the result of an accident. She lived at Rosary Hall and was able to visit her brother after work. It was at Rosary Hall that she met Sister Mary Faustina with whom she shared her desire to be a Sister.

She entered the novitiate on September 9, 1961. After her First Profession she was assigned to Rosary Hall in Edmonton where she worked with women who were mentally challenged or who suffered from mental illness. She was happy to be near her brother once again. In 1968 she was transferred to Rosary Hall in Toronto. On her days off she went to Riverdale Hospital to visit the chronically ill.

In 1970 she was happily missioned to San Cristobal, Guatemala to teach religion in the public schools and to teach adults to read and write. She worked with the catechists, the youth and served the poor. In February 1979 she was transferred to Momostenango, Guatemala where she worked with the poor defending their rights and with the AA groups. She worked untiringly in the rural areas helping women realize their dignity with the help of women leaders from the town whom the Sisters had formed. She also participated in the Diocesan Vocation Team meetings, women’s groups, formation of lay leaders and other areas of need. She returned to Canada when the mission closed in February 2003.

After a transition period, she arrived at Rosary Hall in Edmonton on September 2, 2003 to minister to women with mental illness. When her memory began to fail, she moved to the Motherhouse in Kingston in October 2011. She eventually moved to the infirmary where she was more actively engaged. Finally, on January 15, 2023 she went peacefully to her loving God.

Sister will be remembered for her great compassion for the suffering and the poor. Her generous and loving spirit endeared her to everyone. A prayerful woman of deep faith, she radiated much joy and love.

Friar Ed Debono, OFM Conv. presided over the Mass of Christian Burial, in the Chapel of Mary, Mother of Compassion, Providence Motherhouse on January 24, 2023. Burial was at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Kingston.