May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Margaret Weber, RSM

Sr. Margaret Weber, RSM, a teacher, principal, administrator, community leader, chaplain and a Sister of Mercy, died peacefully at McAuley Center on Oct. 16, 2018, surrounded by loving staff members. She was 89 years old and had been a Sister of Mercy for 70 years.

Margaret was born on Sept. 30, 1929, to George and Mary Ann (Kehoe) Weber in Midland, Michigan. She joined four older sisters, all of whom loved their blonde-haired blue-eyed baby sister. She attended St. Brigid Elementary School, staffed by the Sisters of Mercy, and Midland Senior High.

Funeral services were held at McAuley Life Center in Farmington Hills on Oct. 20, 2018.
Sr. Margaret Weber, RSM

Young Margaret had a strong attraction to religious life and joined the Sisters of Mercy in September 1946. However, this was not the right time for her, so she returned home, finished high school and worked in a business office. Margaret followed her heart once again and returned to Detroit in February 1948 to become a Sister of Mercy. She stayed, became known as Sister Mary Mechtilde and prepared for the ministry of teaching. On Aug. 16, 1953, she made perpetual vows.

Children in Remus, Parnel, Holland and Detroit learned the elements of music and science in her classrooms. Upon learning of her death, one former student wrote, "She was probably the nicest teacher I had at IHM, and she undoubtedly helped my interest in science." Sister Mary Mechtilde's administrative abilities were recognized as well. In 1965, she became superior, principal and procurator at St. Monica School in Detroit, a position she held for five years. She then continued in the parish religious education programs for an additional two years.

With the changes in religious life following Vatican II, Sister Mary Mechtilde returned to her baptismal name and new responsibilities. She became program director for Mercy Center. A year later, Sister Margaret was elected to the Detroit Province Leadership Council. Then came time for personal renewal, so she spent a sabbatical year at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

Upon her return, Sister Margaret became administrator of McAuley Retirement Center in Dubuque, Iowa, one of Detroit Province's retirement homes. She facilitated it’s transfer in 1984 to the new McAuley Center in Farmington Hills and later served as its administrator for five years. Her care for the sick and the elderly led her to chaplaincy and pastoral care at Mercy Hospital in Port Huron. Her co-ministers there characterized her as having "quiet compassion - graciousness, unfailing hospitality." Sister Margaret is remembered as "always having a brilliant smile, kind words and a great sense of humor." On Aug. 1, 2010, she retired to McAuley Center where she enjoyed a ministry of prayer and presence with her Sisters.

Sister Margaret will be dearly missed and fondly remembered in a myriad of ways. Words that first come to mind include: generous, faith-filled, loving, prayerful, gentle, sensitive to others' needs, accepting, happy, transparent, creative and a friend. Stories abound of her adventurous spirit and how she enjoyed traveling. For example, some recall a trip to California with five other Sisters in a station wagon pulling a pop-up camper or her camping trip to Alaska with her sister, Louise, and her dear friend, Sister Helen Ruhl.

Sister Margaret's love for nature was evident in her conversations, always noting a full moon or the first buds of springtime and collecting colorful fall leaves that she pressed between pages of many books. She loved music and she took poetry and art classes. Her poetry and art are part of her legacy. She very much enjoyed a good game of cards and was an active participant in a Dialogue Group that centered on prayer and friendship with Mercy Associates.

When Sister Margaret was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer and told there was no cure, she had not expected such an outcome. But her first response was, "I have lived a long life, served God well and I am ready to meet my God." She returned to McAuley Center where she enjoyed being with the Community, devoting time for prayer and entering into activities as she was able.

Sister Margaret is survived by her sister, Louise Schick; generations of nieces and nephews; ministry partners; friends; and the Sisters of Mercy.

Funeral services were held at McAuley Life Center in Farmington Hills on Oct. 20, 2018. Interment is in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield.