Sister Clare Smith (Sister M. Callistus), a Pittsburgh Sister of Mercy for 71 years, died at the Convent of Mercy on November 9, 2020. Born in Pittsburgh, Pa. she was 93 years old. Daughter of Bernard F. and Rose Elizabeth (McCarthy) Smith, Sister Clare entered the Sisters of Mercy from St. Philip Parish in Crafton, Pa. in 1949 and made final vows in 1955.
Sister Clare studied at Catholic University of Puerto Rico, and McGill University, Montreal. She taught French, Spanish, and Latin at various area Catholic schools, including St. Xavier in Latrobe, St. Peter, McKeesport, Our Lady of Mercy Academy, St. Elizabeth High School in Pleasant Hills, and Serra Catholic in McKeesport. Sister Clare also taught at Colegio Nuestra Señora de la Merced in San Juan, P.R. She was an instructor in languages and director of Madre Center at St. Meinrad School of Theology from 1996-2010 in St. Meinrad, IN.
With a quiet sense of humor, Sister Clare was gentle and considerate. “I had a desire to live a life as close to God as I could,” she said on the occasion of her 60th Jubilee in 2009. “There is a joy and freedom in being real in the midst of serving others.”
One of her students from St. Elizabeth High School reflected: “I always thought of God as someone who speaks English. But if, on the off chance, He speaks French, I’m glad Sister Clare will be there to tell me what He is saying. May God bless her for being the person who, for many of us, gave us our only look into the wide world of a foreign language.”
Sister Clare was preceded in death by her parents, brother William Smith and sisters Mary Frances Hartland, Eleanor Jane Parker, Gertrude Conniff, Mary Helen Noud, Dorothy Martin, and Marjorie Monteith. There will be a private funeral service at the Convent of Mercy, 3333 Fifth Avenue, followed by interment in St. Xavier Cemetery, Latrobe. Arrangements entrusted to the EDWARD P. KANAI FUNERAL HOME, 500 Greenfield Avenue. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sisters of Mercy, 3333 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213 or the Carlow University Scholarship Fund
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