Sister Mary Brett was a Sister of Mercy for 62 years. She was a dedicated teacher serving at Catholic elementary schools throughout the Sacramento area. Her gentle ways and creative nature made her a loved teacher, serving in that capacity at Holy Spirit and Sacred Heart Schools in Sacramento, St. Joseph School, Redding and Holy Cross School, West Sacramento. It was St. Rose School, Roseville, that most won her heart. Sister Mary Philomene Gogarty tells us: “Mary loved teaching the children. When she retired the children in the classes she taught invited her back every year for their graduation.” Sister Mary served that community for almost fifteen years until her retirement in 2013.
Sister Mary had many gifts and talents. Even as a young sister, she was known for her sewing expertise and willingness to help newer members sew their first habits. Later in life she took up oil, water and acrylic painting, taking delight in blending colors and capturing landscapes. The sisters she lived with were a priority for Sister Mary. Sister Nora Mary Curtin shares that: “Sister Mary was one of the most generous people I know, always doing kind acts for others, was described by one of our Sisters several years ago as being “the heart” of our house.”
Although she suffered from severe arthritis throughout her life, she was known for her hospitality, gentleness and generous spirit.