Sister Jeanne Schaedler, MM
Born: July 14, 1934
Entered: September 2, 1954
Died: May 16, 2013
“I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.”
This thread of trust in God’s plan, sustained Sister Jeanne Clare Schaedler throughout her life. With Mary, our Blessed Mother, she lived out, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to your will.”
August Schaedler and Caroline John welcomed Jeanne Clare into the world on July 14, 1934. She was the youngest of six children and grew up on a farm in Missouri. She had three sisters: Anne, Helen and Rose, as well as two brothers, Norbert and Leroy.
After graduating from Melrose Elementary School, Missouri, Jeanne attended Eureka Public High School, graduating in 1951. She became very active in the Legion of Mary and worked for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith from 1951 – 1954 in St. Louis , Missouri. She continued to be in touch with her Legion of Mary group throughout her life, especially with Rosemary Grifford and Jean Leonhardt.
On September 2, 1954, Jeanne boarded the train bound for New York and Maryknoll. She recalled that she cried most of the way, but once she arrived at Maryknoll, she loved it from the beginning. On her Reception day, March 7, 1955, Jeanne received the name, Sister Mary Finbarr. After her First Profession of Vows on March 7, 1957 at the Motherhouse, she was assigned to work at the Maryknoll Fathers and lived at St. Teresa’s. In 1959 she was assigned to study at Maryknoll Teachers College and after one year was sent to study radiology and X-ray technology at St. Joseph Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.
In 1962, she was delighted to hear that she was assigned to Maryknoll Hospital in Pusan, South Korea, where she made her Final Vows on March 7, 1963. Jeanne worked as x-ray technician and radiologist at the hospital for seven years during which time she discovered her talent to teach English as a second language. She taught English conversation to Nursing and University students in three different schools in Pusan. Winning her students over with her openness and big welcoming smile, she not only taught them English, but she also began various discussion groups including Bible study and one called Building Better Community (BBC). On hearing of Jeanne’s illness, many of these former students sent her e-mails and a collection was taken up on her behalf and a generous check was presented to Jeanne. One of the students from the BBC group wrote: “BBC made me what I am now, in terms of not only English, but also, character.” Another wrote, “I will never forget your love for the Korean poor.” She had a great concern for the poor and helped out wherever she could visiting homeless people and warming their hearts with her smile and gracious manner. Her thirty- eight years in South Korea were rich in deep relationships with all who knew her.
In 2000, Jeanne returned to the United States. She had always kept in touch with her family in Missouri, especially by e-mail. In these communications, they often wrote in various ways “You are such an inspiration to all of us. Thank you for being very lively, sweet, fun and an aunt who taught me compassion and grace.”
From 2000 to 2005, she did vocation work in Franklin Park, Illinois and at Maryknoll, NY. In 2005 she also was part of the Orientation Community in Chicago and volunteered in pastoral ministry to the sick at Mercy Hospital. Two years later, she joined Sister Dora Nuetzi in opening a house, also in Chicago, to welcome women interested in joining the Maryknoll Sisters. She also continued her volunteer work at the hospital, did home visiting and helped in the parish.
In 2011, Jeanne returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York, where she volunteered every day, ministering to our Sisters in Residential Care. Her smile touched many hearts and brought joy to everyone. When she became ill in December, 2012, her ministry of love continued as she smiled in greeting to every patient at the various treatment centers and continued to radiate joy at seeing everyone.
Jeanne had a great love for Our Blessed Mother and was very faithful to praying the Rosary. Each day she sang the song, “Maria, My Mother”. Her last month was spent in our Residential Care Unit and as her condition became more critical an aid from HOSPICE came to accompany her every afternoon. The aid saw that Jeanne had a CD on the Rosary and so every day they prayed the Rosary together.
Jeanne’s request for quiet was respected by her Sisters who took turns in “silent waiting” with her during the days until she quietly surrendered to God’s loving embrace on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 3:30 A.M. She had donated her body to Science.
We welcome and thank Maryknoll Father Michael Duggan who will preside at our Memorial Eucharistic celebration. Father Duggan also served in Korea.
“Wait on God with patience, cling to Him, forsake Him not.
Thus you will be wise in all your ways.”