Sister Bernarda Jaques, CSJ
Sister Bernarda Jaques, CSJ, 92, died Friday, March 12, 2010, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Sister Bernarda had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 74 years.
Sister Bernarda, christened Margaret Ellen, was born October 16, 1917, in Troy, NY, daughter of the late Hugh and Lulu Morris Jaques. She graduated from Catholic Central High School in Troy, entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on August 15, 1936, and professed final vows on August 15, 1942. Sister Bernarda received a bachelor’s degree in English and history and a master’s degree in English, both from The College of Saint Rose; a master of fine arts degree in speech and drama from Marquette University; and a doctorate in dramatic literature from Tufts University. Sister Bernarda taught for many years in elementary and secondary schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses as well as at Albany Medical College. In addition, Sister Bernarda served for nearly 20 years at The College of Saint Rose as professor of English, speech and drama; as a supervisor of student teachers; and as assistant in the Degree Program for Experienced Adults. Sister Bernarda also taught art at St. Joseph’s Provincial House and served as an evaluator for Empire State College.
Sister Bernarda was a woman of conviction with a wry sense of humor and a keen mind. Gifted with energy and initiative, she was a teacher of speech and drama whose enthusiasm and skill made the subjects come alive to her students. An accomplished artist with an eye for beauty and a passion for water colors, Sister Bernarda made the ordinary seem exquisitely extraordinary. A faithful friend and a dedicated Sister of St. Joseph, Sister Bernarda exhibited great patience and fierce courage in her final years of sickness. She leaves to us a lasting legacy of strength, creativity and appreciation of beauty.
Sister Bernarda is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Catherine and Frank Lequerica of Navarre, FL; several nieces and nephews and their families; many friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, with special mention of her dear friend, Sister Anne Lawrence Clark. In addition to her parents, Sister Bernarda was predeceased by her sister, Lulu Lansing; and by many friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Bernarda’s funeral Liturgy was celebrated on Wednesday, March 17, in the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Interment was in Our Lady Queen of Virgins Cemetery on the Provincial House grounds. Contributions in Sister Bernarda’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.