Sister M. Benedicta Berendes, IHM
The Marywood University community has been saddened to by the death of Sister M. Benedicta Berendes, IHM. She died on October 2, 2011, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.
Born on November 28, 1927, in Woodside, NY, and given the name Eileen Ann, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Anna Fraser Berendes. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1945, made her temporary profession of vows on May 8, 1948, and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1951.
Sister Benedicta served as a teacher and music instructor at numerous Catholic elementary and high schools in Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania from 1948-1970. She joined the music faculty at Marywood in 1973 and served through 2002. After a brief time at St. Rosalia Convent in Pittsburgh, 2002-2004, Sister Benedicta again served as a Marywood University faculty member, 2004-2011, this time in the Religious Studies Department. A presidential scholarship was named in her honor for her many years of service at Marywood.
An accomplished musician, she received a Bachelor of Music degree and a Master of Science degree in Religious Education from Marywood, a Master of Music degree from the University of Notre Dame, and a doctoral degree in musicology from the University of Pittsburgh. In further education, she received a choir master certificate in the American Guild of Organists.
She was preceded in death by a brother, John Berendes, and a foster brother, Thomas J. Cassidy.
She is survived by a sister, Sister Ann Berendes, IHM, Center Moriches, NY, and cousins, nieces, and a nephew.