Mary Claver Paustenbach, CDP

We commend to your charity the soul of our beloved
Sister Mary Claver Paustenbach 
who departed this life on Saturday, March 27, 2010
in the seventy-second year of her religious life
Age: 88 years, 7 months, 1 day
Funeral: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at 4 p.m. 

"So shall our song of triumph ever be, Praise to the Crucified for victory."

As preparations were being made to remember and celebrate the most sacred events of our faith, Sister Mary Claver quietly left us to be with Jesus, whom she had followed throughout her life. She had earnestly lived and proclaimed the love of Christ, sung about by her Sisters at the Palm Sunday morning liturgy and again at evening prayer:

"Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim, till all the world adore his sacred name." 

Born in Tarentum, Pa., July 26, 1921, Clara Paustenbach was baptized a few weeks later at Sacred Heart Parish, the parish to which she, with her parents, brothers and sisters, belonged throughout her growing years. Drawn to the Sisters of Divine Providence at a young age, observing, experiencing and learning from them throughout her formative years, Clara became an aspirant, attended Providence High with other devout young women, and completed high school after entering the community. Named Sister Mary Claver, she joined a host of others in consecrating her life to Christ, the One sent by God to save us all. 

"Led on their way by this triumphant sign, the hosts of God in conquering ranks combine." 

Though Sister Mary Claver wanted to be a nurse, she was needed for and trained in education. First as a teacher, then serving as principal and school supervisor, her life as an educator in Detroit and Pennsylvania spanned more than forty years. Sister Mary Claver dedicated herself to meeting others’ needs, in the schools, in the community and wherever she was called to serve.

Her Sisters speak of her as calm, unassuming, and kind, with a great concern for others. Sister Mary Claver loved her community, enjoyed a good laugh and the relaxation of jigsaw puzzles. Generous with her time, she often went out of her way to accommodate and provide for others. When the Sisters were able to take a vacation away from the convent, Sister Mary Claver sought out those who may not have had other opportunities and arranged for them to share her vacation. 

For more than fifteen years, after leaving the educational ministry, Sister Mary Claver was a driver and a friend to the sisters, offering her support, smile, and quiet presence, giving her time for the Sisters’ appointments, shopping, visiting or other needs. Sister Mary Claver generously served her sisters, while also continuing to age. In the midst of increasing pain and limited mobility, she peacefully adjusted to these changes, as she awaited a sharing in the fulfillment of Christ’s victory over death.

"So shall our song of triumph ever be, Praise to the Crucified for victory."

Feast Day: September 9

Written by Sister Mary Francis Fletcher

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