Aston, PA—Sister Mary Berard D’Amato, OSF, 89, died in Assisi House on February 23. She had been a Sister of St. Francis for 71 years. Sister Berard (Mary D’Amato) was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, where she was a member of Holy Rosary Parish and a graduate of Mt. St. Dominic High School. She entered the Franciscan Sisters of Ringwood (a congregation that later merged with the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia) in 1940 and professed her first vows in 1942. Her sister, Sister Concepta D’Amato (now deceased), also entered the congregation. Sister Berard earned a B.S. in Education from St. John’s University. She ministered in elementary education both as teacher and principal and in 1997 was named Teacher of the Year in the Diocese of Paterson.
Sister Berard ministered for 45 years in the Diocese of Paterson. She taught at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School in Passaic from 1943-1947, 1964-1965, and 1984-2005. She served as principal of the school from 1972-1978 and from 2005-2011 was a volunteer there. She also taught at Our Lady of Pompeii School in Paterson from 1947-1948. She served as principal of St. Catherine School in Ringwood from 1968-1970 and taught at the school from 1948-1950 and 1960-1961. From 1964-1965 Sister Berard served as vocation director for the Franciscan Sisters of Ringwood.
Sister Berard’s 11 years in the Diocese of Brooklyn included teaching at St. Benedict School (1961-1962) and at Holy Family School (1950-1960).
Sister Berard also ministered for 12 years in the Archdiocese of Newark. She was principal of St. Ann School in Hoboken from 1965-1966. She was also principal of Assumption School in Emerson from 1966-1968 and taught there from 1970-1972 and 1978-1984. From 2011-2012 she lived at St. Anne Convent in Jersey City where she served in local house ministry.
Additional ministry included teaching in the Diocese of Albany at St. Mary School in Frankfort, New York (1962-1963). In 2012 Sister Berard moved to Assisi House, the congregation’s retirement residence in Aston, Pennsylvania, where she served in prayer ministry until her death.
Services will be held in Assisi House, 600 Red Hill Road, Aston, on Wednesday, February 27. A Christian Wake Service will be held at 9:30 A.M. followed by viewing. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 A.M. Burial will be on Thursday, February 28, in Ringwood, New Jersey. Sister Berard is survived by a sister, Jennie D’Amato, nieces, nephews, and by her Franciscan family. Donations in her name can be made to the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014.