Word has been received of the death of Sister M. Mercia (Scherer) who died on September 10, 2017, in Saint Mary’s Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana. Please join us in prayer for Sister as we renew our faith in the resurrected Jesus and strengthen our hope that all the departed will be raised to eternal life.
Sister Mercia came from a close-knit family who “learned to make do by sharing” during the Depression years. Her German heritage of self-discipline and an Irish smile reflected the balance she found in her parents, Julius Scherer and Nellie Kurtenbach.
It is not certain how or why the former secretary, Donna Louise Scherer, received the name Sister Mary Mercia when she received the holy habit in 1944. Perhaps her new name was in honor of another Sister Mercia, whose ministries had been mostly clerical, who died a year earlier. Her maternal aunt, Sister Marie Anastasia, CSC (died 1982), had made a great impression “with her fun-loving disposition” when she visited the Scherer home in the South Side of Chicago. Though Donna was fond of sisters in other orders, she entered the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame, Indiana.
She was a successful elementary and secondary educator (1946-1974) serving in Catholic schools in Indiana (South Bend, Michigan City, Hammond), Michigan (Flint), and Illinois (Danville). She then had a year of study to prepare herself for social work and pastoral ministry with the sick and elderly in 1975-1980 at Saint Mary’s Parish, Michigan City. She tutored Cambodian refugees at Holy Family School, Danville in 1980-1981.
Sister Mercia then joined Saint Joseph’s Medical Center, South Bend in various support staff and volunteer positions until late in 2008 she moved to Saint Mary’s Convent to continue her ministry of prayer. Sister had been “anxious about many things” throughout her life, so conscientious about being the proverbial “good sister,” schooled in high expectations by both church and society. She now rests in God’s peace, no longer worried about the quality of her service and devotion.
May Sister Mercia rest in peace.
Funeral ceremonies are on Wednesday, September 13, in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto, Saint Mary's, Notre Dame, Indiana. The reception of the body and wake is at 10:30 a.m., and the Mass of the Resurrection is at 1:30 p.m.