Poor Clare Sister Mary Paschal, of San Damiano Monastery of St. Clare on Fort Myers Beach, went peacefully home to God on Wednesday, May 29, 2019. She was 101.
Born Honora Sadlier on March 12, 1918 in Lisheen Cashel Co., Tipperary, Ireland, Sister Mary began her religious life with the Sisters of St. Anne in England shortly after her 18th birthday in 1936. Sister Mary Paschal made her final profession as a Poor Clare on Oct. 4, 1946 and served in various capacities.
It was at the age of 70, when she answered a call for Poor Clare sisters to volunteer to join the newly established San Damiano Monastery of St. Clare on Fort Myers Beach, adjacent to Ascension Parish, arriving in Florida on Oct. 7, 1989.
Bishop Frank J. Dewane officiated the Mass of Christian Burial at Ascension Parish on June 3. He described Sister Mary Paschal a profoundly religious woman who committed herself to the service of God early on.
Bishop Dewane spoke of how the Diocese was blessed to have Sister Mary Paschal, along with all of the Poor Clare Sisters, and gave thanks for her generosity of spirit she gave for all those years.
Recalling his many visits to the monastery, Bishop Dewane added that Sister Mary Paschal always greeted him with warmth and humor. One such visit was for Sister Mary Paschal’s 100th birthday celebration which brought hundreds of well-wishers.
Poor Clare Abbess, Sister Mary Frances Fortin, described Sister Mary Paschal’s time at the monastery: “She has served this community cheerfully and faithfully from that time (in 1989), blessing us all with her Irish wit and the wisdom of her many years in religious life. She will be greatly missed by her religious sisters and the many friends and benefactors of this community who have come to know and love her.”
With the Sisters of St. Anne before becoming a Poor Clare, Sister Mary Paschal served the sick and the elderly in this community. During the difficult times of World War II, she transferred to the contemplative life in 1941 when she joined the Poor Clare Nuns at Sclerder Abbey, Cornwall, England. Sister Mary Paschal made her final profession as a Poor Clare on Oct. 4, 1946. She served this community as novice mistress, and abbess. When the monastery of Sclerder closed, Sister transferred to the Monastery of St. Clare in Arundel, England for a short time and then to the Monastery of St. Clare in Darlington, England, before making her final journey to the San Damiano Monastery of St. Clare on Fort Myers Beach.
She is survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials in her name may be made to the San Damiano Monastery of St. Clare, 6029 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach, FL, 33931.