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Inez Marie Berger, SHCJ
November 27, 1929 – April 19, 2023
Rosemont, Pennsylvania – Sister Inez Marie Berger, a Sister of the Holy Child Jesus for 71 years, died peacefully on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. She was 93.
Born and raised in California, Sister Inez came from a tightknit, loving family, whom she enjoyed immensely and visited as often as possible. Sister Inez inherited her mother’s impressive dressmaking and crafting skills, which she shared with the Society and others. Years ago, Sister Inez, whose letter-writing skills were legendary in the Society, learned calligraphy from Mother Mary Febronia, SHCJ. Up until her final days, Sister Inez could be found using her artistic gifts to make a poster or a collage for the Sisters.
On her artistic talents, Sister Inez reflected, “Sharing a gift of artistic composition always impresses me for the joy it brings to the receiver as well as a giver. As a Holy Child Sister, realizing Cornelia’s marvelous talents, I find that now in my retirement, using my artistic gifts has certainly shown me God’s constant love and presence. The rewards are never-ending. I feel God’s presence and help in every situation.”
Sister Inez is a graduate of Mayfield Junior School of the Holy Child Jesus and Mayfield Senior School of the Holy Child Jesus in Pasadena, California. She entered the Society of the Holy Child Jesus after graduating high school and made her first and final vows in 1951 and 1956, respectively. She became known by her religious name Mother John Vianney.
Sister Inez began her teaching ministry on the East Coast at Saint Edward School in Philadelphia, Pa. (1951-53) and Holy Child Academy in Drexel Hill, Pa. (1953-56). In 1956, she returned to the West Coast, where she would live and serve for the next five decades. Sister Inez taught at Assumption School in Pasadena, Calif. (1956-67 and 1972-75); Saint Rita in Portland, Ore. (1967-72); Saint Charles School in Portland, Ore. (1975-79); and Mayfield Junior School of the Holy Child (1980-2001). In 2001, Sister Inez retired from full-time teaching but continued to help the Mayfield School community.
In 2015, she moved to Holy Child Center in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, where she made many friends with Sisters and staff. Her serene presence and gentle voice were a gift to all who knew her.
Holy Child Sisters Susan Slater and France White shared the following about their friend.
“Inez, with a rosary, calligraphy pen, and knitting needles in her hand, will be remembered for her love of the Society, her family, and her friends. She loved to knit beautiful, personalized sweaters and/or Christmas stockings for her family and friends. She made each one with just the right colors and details for each person.”
Sister Inez earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Portland in Portland, Ore., in 1968. She also studied art at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles with Corita Kent, IHM.
Sister Inez is predeceased by her parents, Paul and Inez Marie (Westfall), her sister, Maya Lynette Berger, IHM, and brothers and sisters-in-law, Paul and Gretchen, and Peter and Elianne. She is survived by many loving nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, great-grandnieces, and great-grandnephews.
Friends and family are invited to a Memorial Mass on Monday, May 1, 2023, at 11:30 a.m., at Holy Child Chapel, 1341 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont, PA, 19010. Friends and family are welcome.
The family of Sister Inez has arranged a service of remembrance on May 9, 2023, at 11:00 a.m., at Holy Family Church in South Pasadena, California.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Society of the Holy Child Jesus – American Province, 1341 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont, PA 19010, or made online at www.shcj.org/american/donate.