Sr. Jeanne Stegmann, SUSC
September 15, 1934 – December 27, 2020
Sister Jeanne Stegmann (Sr. Catherine Gerard) SUSC, died December 27, 2020 at Catholic Memorial Home, Fall River. Born in New York City on September 15, 1934, she was the daughter of the late Herman and Catherine (McMenamin) Stegmann. In addition to her Holy Union Sisters, her nieces Jeanne Besanty, Nancy Dodd, Diane Stegmann, nephew Paul and his wife Laura, grandnephews and her dear friend Sr. Mary Bridget McGettigan survive her. She was predeceased by her brother Robert and sister-in-law Marian Stegmann.
Sr. Jeanne entered the Holy Union Sisters on August 22, 1952 and pronounced her final vows August 22, 1961. She was a graduate of the Holy Union Preparatory School, studied at Providence Catholic Teachers College and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from the College of the Sacred Hearts. She received a Master of Science Degree in Education from Manhattan College, New York.
Sr. Jeanne ministered in education for over 40 years. She taught junior high classes in parish schools in Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. She served as principal at Immaculate Conception School, Astoria New York for twenty-three years before she retired in 2002. When the Holy Union Sisters left Immaculate Conception Parish in 2017, Sr. Jeanne’s declining health necessitated a move to Catholic Memorial Home, Fall River where she resided until her death.
Sister Jeanne and I have been friends since the summer of 1968 when we worked in Summer in the City in the South Bronx. We remained friends ever since that summer. I was a seminarian who was inspired by her example of charity to all and commitment to the poor. The kids in our program of whom there were hundreds flocked around her as she softy engaged them in the various projects we were doing. They were mesmerized by her gentility and instinctively knew she loved them. She drew them into the love of God. A tribute to the Holy Union charism which was so much a part of her life. Jeanne did the same for so many during her many years of ministry as a consecrated religious.
A note from Bishop Dennis Sullivan, Bishop of Camden, NJ
Her genuine and loving interest in how my life was going during the formation years of the seminary was helpful and inspiring. Her monthly letters (no phone calls allowed in those seminary days) were always appreciated and contained much needed and balanced advice. Over these many years from time to time we would go out and enjoy conversation and catching up. Jeanne went out of her way to be present to me in times of personal sorrow for which I was so grateful. I so enjoyed visits and meals and offering Mass for the communities at St Francis de Sales and Astoria. I especially treasure a phone call I received from her on the day it was announced that I was going to be ordained a bishop. Her faith, love and humor calmed me down and her sisterly counsel remains ever in my heart these past 16 years of episcopacy.
How sad I am that she is gone from this life but I believe she lives in the Communion of Saints and is ever close. How grateful I am that our paths crossed in this life. She enriched my life. Rest dear Jeanne in a well-deserved peace until the Day of Resurrection and pray for your loving friend, +Dennis Sullivan, bishop of Camden.
Saturday, January 2, 2021
Sr. Jeanne Stegmann, SUSC
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January 6, 2021
Some of my earliest memories stem from you and our experiences together. I remember when you used to give me tours of the convent in Astoria, showing me all the different rooms and what they were for. I remember the countless times you or one of your “henchman” unplugged the electric reclining chair so Matthew, Christopher, and I didn’t break our necks on it!
I have so many memories of all the shenanigans from the convent that I will always remember from my childhood.
Although time and place have kept us apart these past few years, I will always hold you and your memories close in my heart. Rest easy AJ.
Love always, James ❤️
January 3, 2021
January 3, 2021
To our dearest AJ,
Thank you for all your love and spiritual guidance throughout the years. You always, always made us feel loved, showing us by your example how to live a happy and blessed life.
Favorite memories include all the holiday and special occasions going back to when you were first cloistered in Massachusetts, followed by visits to our Islip home in full habit. The many parties and gatherings at our family home on Staten Island, Mom and Dad’s apartment in Manhattan, the St. Francis de Sales’ Cartier mansion, in Astoria both at Grandma’s apartment and, of course, the convent of the Immaculate Conception.
We’ll miss your sharp wit and humor, a trait you shared with Dad. Your affection for all of us was apparent and laced into each and every of our precious memories.
We were blessed to have you as an Aunt and as James’s Godmother and also to come to know the other Sisters through you (such as Sister Bridie, Sister Hildegard and so many others).
We love you. We will miss you terribly. Rest in peace in God’s love.
P.S. I will miss your Thanksgiving creamed onions and late afternoon turkey sandwich you would make me – always with much TLC.
Paul, Laura and James
January 2, 2021
I don’t have words to describe my feelings with the loss of Sister Jeanne Stegmann. As a graduate of Immac in 1980 I only had Sr. Jeanne as my Principal for my last year at Immac but she was the greatest teacher I ever had.
When she became the Prinicipal of Immac in 1979 she inherited my mom as the school’s secretary. Jeanne and my mom formed a close bond over the next 25+ years that is hard to describe. Jeanne was one of my mom’s closest friends (if not best friend) from the time they first met until my mom’s death in 2006. The great stories I have heard over the years of the their time at Immac would fill volumes.
Jeanne was part of our family, she was at all our important events, graduations, holidays, weddings, and too many funerals that I want to recall. Jeanne was with me in the hospital when my mother passed away and was a tremendous comfort to me in the coming months after my mother’s death.
My brother and I would always try to play tricks on Jeanne but she always figured out how to beat us at our own game. She had a quick wit and was a always a good match for my father who always tried to give her a hard time.
Jeanne was one of the most caring people I have ever known. She helped my parents through the unimaginable loss of my brother, she stood by my mother’s side as she battled cancer and then by my mom’s side during my dad’s battle with cancer and death.
I can only imagine the reunion in heaven with her family, the sisters that have went before her and with my family right now.
Peace Jeanne, I love you and miss you.
January 2, 2021
Sr. Jeanne was my elementary school principal at Immaculate Conception School in Astoria, NY, and became a great friend of my family. She always thought of and cared for others. She truly made the world a better place. RIP Sr. Jeanne.
January 1, 2021
Although we grew up only a block apart in Astoria, I first met Sister Jeanne in 1979 when I joined the faculty at Immaculate Conception
School and she became its Principal. What followed was a 40- year friendship that aches now at her loss. Jeanne was not only my dear friend, but everyone’s. At Immac, Jeanne fostered an atmosphere among staff and students that brought us together as a family. We all became invested in the success of the children and the overall well being of their families. She was a quiet force that always sought to meet the needs of “other.” Jeanne became the heart of the community and we all loved her for her generous and loving outreach. My children attended Immac and so witnessed her Christian life. They were blessed to have had her as a role model. Over the years she shared in my family events that ranged from Communions to Weddings to Grandchildren’s Baptisms. We are all left with memories and the knowledge that she is now enjoying her just reward. RIP dear Jeanne.
December 30, 2020
as a newly ordained innocent young priest, I was assigned to Immaculate Conception in Astoria. Even from the Bishop's office, I was told to 'get ready' for the principal of the school! I had no idea what to expect. How could i ever have imagined that i was going to work with (work FOR!) the greatest principal in the world. Words could not express the Spirit that filled a room when Sister Jeanne came flying in (usually unexpectedly!) Sister Jeanne ran a tip top school, and her faculty adored her - as did the priests of the rectory. Every single store and business on Ditmars Blvd. knew Sister Jeanne. Jeanne was one of the people who made Astoria such a great neighborhood. A real example of a Sister of the Holy Union of the Sacred Hearts- love and light!
Thank you, Jeanne. You made my first experience as a priest an unforgettable few years - maybe the BEST. (I even forgive you for those 6am meetings where you made me translate for parents who didn't speak English and needed to meet with the principal. Remember, you had to keep waking me up!!!) Good bye, good friend. Until we meet again...love always....frank
Elizabeth Gillick Smentkowski
December 30, 2020
I’ve lived in Ca. for 40 years & love to visit family & dear friends including the Holy Union Sisters at Immac before it closed. . Sr. Jeanne always welcomed me with open arms. She was solid as a rock, down to earth, loving & funny - all wrapped up in a devout spirituality that was her essence. Her faith in God & everyone around her made their lives better.
I am deeply , forever grateful for the influence Sr. Jeanne & the Holy Union Sisters have had on my life. People describe me as being courageous, successful & a wonderful person -all because I was blessed that they taught me!
RIP dear Sr. Jeanne. You know I love you.
Connie Felice Morales
December 30, 2020
I went to Immaculate conception school. May Sister Jean RIP