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Sister Rosaria Bednar

Viewing in the Community Room at Providence Heights on Wednesday, March 12 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. 
and on Thursday, March 13 from Noon-3:30 p.m.
Wake Service in the Community Room on Wednesday, March 12 at 7 p.m.
Mass of Resurrection on Thursday, March 13 at 4 p.m. in the Mother of Divine Providence Chapel at Providence Heights. 

We commend to your charity the soul of our beloved
Sister Rosaria Bednar
who departed this life on March 10, 2014
in the eighty-second year of her religious life
Age: 98 years, 9 months, 27 days
Resurrection Service: Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 4 p.m.

But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament. And those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever. (Daniel 12:2)

Sister Rosaria Bednar—daughter, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, great-aunt, teacher, administrator, mentor, woman of Providence--a woman with many names, will likely be remembered for all of them.

Mary Catherine Bednar was born May 13, 1915, one of the 12 children of Anna (Javorsky) and John Joseph Bednar. She joined the Sisters of Divine Providence, the community who educated her at St. Mary’s in McKees Rocks. She excelled in her own studies and in passing on knowledge to her students, especially in the areas of math, science, and living. One of her students wrote to her: “I remember that I did the test in all of 15 minutes...much to your credit of being a great teacher I ended up with an 'A'...A real compliment of your teaching ability.” Another wrote: “While so many of my peers were grappling with basic morality and ethics, I felt no confusion. We had learned long ago at St. Mary's the difference between what we wish to be right because it feels right and what we know in our hearts is truly right...” Who knows how many students she taught, how many she led to justice?

After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees, Rosaria attended a number of institutions of higher education, in Pa. and out of state, supported by grants, so that she could improve her teaching in math and physics. And teach she did. If a student could not quite make the grade, despite trying, she would find a way to pass the student. Rosaria understood that rules represented an ideal and were to serve us, not the other way around. 

She was a principled individual, truly a woman of independent means. After she left formal classroom teaching, she found other ways to be of service. In her later years, she visited people and cheered them up, by her presence and her dry wit. Never a shy person, she was always ready to add some reality to any situation. She was truly a realist but was always willing to work to make a situation better, and always enjoyed a good time. She had many enjoyable times attending class reunions of students she taught. She probably holds a record for class reunions attended.

Rosaria’s family was very important to her, every generation. Perhaps her life is best summed up by a family member who wrote to her: “As I am sure that you are aware, the kids have also enjoyed being with you immensely. You make them feel important. At the same time, I think you help imbue in them a sense of what is important in life, of God and his love, and of the advantage of a simple way of life. I don't think they understand yet how their sense of values is developing. Yet I see your constant, good, and loving influence, and I think one day they may grasp it all a bit better themselves.”

Perhaps today...

Birthday: May 13
Written by Sister Mary Traupman

If you would like to make a gift to the Sisters of Divine Providence in memory of Sister Rosaria, visit our donation page.

Read Sister Rosaria Bednar's profile from the Meet Us section of our site, posted before her death.