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Sister Theresa Bernhart

Monday, November 27  from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. & Tuesday, November 28 from 12-3 p.m., Community Room at Providence Heights - Pittsburgh

Vigil Wake Service:
Monday, November 27 at 7 p.m., Community Room at Providence Heights - Pittsburgh

Resurrection Service:  
Tuesday, November 28 at 3:30 p.m., Mother of Divine Providence Chapel at Providence Heights - Pittsburgh

We commend to your charity the soul of our beloved
Sister Theresa Bernhart
Who departed this life on November 24, 2017
In the 80th year of her religious life
Age: 96 years, 6 months, 16 days

“Who can find a woman of worth? Far beyond jewels is her value…She opens her mouth in wisdom; kindly instruction is on her tongue… Acclaim her for the work of her hands, and let her deeds praise her at the city gates.”  (Proverbs)

What better description of Sister Theresa Bernhart, whose deeds most certainly praised her at her entrance to heaven, on Friday evening, November 24.  

Dorothy Bernhart was one of 9 children of Lawrence and Emma (Miller) Bernhart. She followed her cousin, Sister Mary Alvin Hunter, into the Sisters of Divine Providence. Her ministry for decades was primarily education. She was not merely a teacher, school principal or superintendent of schools, but was truly an educator. Sister Theresine Gildea said of her that she had the ability to “put things together,” and that she could see what was needed at the school so the students could achieve in the future.

Besides being educator, she was also one educated, at Duquesne University and the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a Master’s degree in Latin.

Sister Leona Ulewicz saw her as fair in dealing with students and faculty members. As school superintendent in Puerto Rico, Theresa was very disturbed when she heard of a student receiving some type of discipline which would “put a damper” on a holiday or family celebration.

Theresa was an educator, teacher or school administrator, in the dioceses of Pittsburgh, Arecibo, PR, Youngstown, and the archdiocese of Detroit. She spent twenty years in ministry in Puerto Rico, where she was able to relate well to teachers, clergy and the bishop. Sister Inesita Velez described her as reachable, a person who listened and would do something about what was told to her. She must have really loved Puerto Rico. In 1972, she left explicit instructions for her burial, if she were to die while missioned in Puerto Rico.

Theresa also provided clerical assistance at the Generalate in Rome. Her last active ministry was with Providence Day Care South. And, through all her years in ministry, she was an excellent cook! She was always at community prayer, took a turn cooking, made many of her own clothes, was a member of the Regional Council when Puerto Rico was a region, and knew how to empower others. At the time of her diamond jubilee in religious life, Theresa described herself as prayerful, pleasant and determined but kind. She knew herself well.

Sister Theresa Bernhart was truly one of those women whose shoulders we stand on today. Truly a woman of worth, whose value is far beyond jewels.

Birthday:  May 9
Sister Mary Traupman

CLICK HERE to make a contribution in honor of Sister Theresa's memory.