Sr. Mary Jerome: It is All That I Own


On Sept. 9th of this year, Mother Alphonse Maria Eppinger, founder of the Sisters of the Redeemer, was beatified in Strasbourg, France. Several of the sisters from the local area attended the beatification including Mother Superior from the community in Elizabeth, PA. She brought back gifts for members and friends of the community as mementos of the event.

Earlier this week, a mutual friend, Stephen Sawczak visited with Sr. Mary Jerome (Sr. Dorothy Ruth Varga). During their conversation, Sister asked Stephen to pick up a pile of items on a table nearby. These items were the gifts Mother Superior had brought her from the beatification in Rome. She informed Stephen she intended to give them to him. He replied that the gifts were hers, but she insisted that he take them. She told him that these gifts are all she owned and that she wanted him to have them. Stephen accepted the gifts. Three days later, on Sept. 28th, Sr. Mary Jerome passed away. He received all that she owned in the world, a beautiful testimony to her generosity and what truly mattered to her in life.

“For you alone are my hope, Lord, I have trusted you since my youth. I have relied on you since I was born. You have been my portion from my mother’s womb, and the constant theme of my praise.”

Psalm 71:5-6

I met Sr. Mary Jerome at the Cloister Day this summer and spent the afternoon with her. I was impressed by her simplicity. Each day, she said, we just do the tasks that the day requires of us – nothing more, nothing less. That is enough.

Sr. Mary Jerome’s funeral will be celebrated at the Convent of the Holy Redeemer on October 2nd at 10:00 am.

For a more detailed summary of her life, you can read her obituary here.