Anita (Nancy) Bremner, RSCJ

Anita Bremner, RSCJ

Birth: May 3, 1914
Profession: July 31, 1945
Death: February 27, 2012

Religious of the Sacred Heart Anita (Nancy) Bremner, a lively and much-loved teacher, died Monday, February 27 at Teresian House in Albany, New York. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, March 5 at 2:00 PM in the Teresian House Chapel, with a visitation period one hour before the service. Interment will be in the Kenwood Cemetery in Albany.

The daughter of John Berchmans Bremner and Mary Taylor Bremner, both deceased, she was born in Chicago, on May 3, 1914. She is survived by a sister, Elizabeth (Mrs. William) Cole of Bulverde, Texas, and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her sisters, Lauretta (Mrs. James) Sliney, Marie (Mrs. Edward) Sliney and Mariella Bremner, RSCJ and a brother John Berchmans Bremner, Jr.

A product of Sacred Heart Schools, Sister Bremner entered the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1937 at Kenwood Convent in Albany, New York, and made her final vows there in 1945. Sister Bremner, saw her vocation as a gift and became a nun because “God told me to.” She is remembered as open and vivacious. She will be missed by her RSCJ community, her former colleagues, residents and staff at Teresian House and a multitude of former students.

From 1939 to 1984, Sister Bremner taught in Chicago area Catholic schools: Academy of the Sacred Heart, Sheridan Road; Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart, St. Joseph School and St. Mary’s Parish in Lake Forest. In 1984, she moved to Grand Coteau, La., where she taught at St. Ignatius School part-time, while also teaching Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) at parochial schools.

In 1985, she began a literacy ministry that became her passion. She started the Volunteers in Teaching Adults (VITA) literacy program at the Thensted Center in Grand Coteau and managed it from 1985 to 1993. Sister Bremner moved to Albany, New York in 1993 and spent five years as a religious educator at Our Lady Help of Christians School. Her final years were spent in prayer and community service, deepening her relationship with God and loving and helping her sisters and others.

Bonnie Kearney, RSCJ, said of Sister Bremner, “Nancy was someone who took totally to heart the life of a Jesus with no boundaries - she would feed anyone, talk to anyone, let anyone into the house - her openness to others was totally Christian! Her approach was simple: love your neighbor as God loved you and spread the word.”

Sister Bremner earned a bachelor of arts in history, with a minor in sociology, from Manhattanville College of the sacred Heart, New York City, in 1936. She also earned an M.A. in French from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois, in 1947. She was a member of the Chicago Catholic School Board, 1976-80.

Comments

Submitted by Cathy O'Conor on

Nancy was one of the most genuinely cheerful people I have ever known. I used to tease her by saying "hail Nancy full of grace" becasue no one could be that perenially cheerful without an infusion of God's grace. I met her first in Grand Coteau when she was at Thenstead. I really got to know her at Kenwwod where she was the life of the party at Bingo, Choir practice and other  community activities. She loved God and knew that God loved her. ANd now she rests with God for eternity.

Submitted by tmeyerhoff on

The following thoughts about Mother Bremner were shared with the Provincial House:

“She was a gem.  What a full life she had.”

“She once told me that by becoming a Mother of the Sacred Heart, she was becoming a bride of Jesus Christ. I saw how much she loved him and how much her vocation meant to her.” (Julia G)

“How fortunate we are to have been enriched by, not only her instruction, but her energy, her love of guiding and remarkable influence she had on each of us.  Her memory is eternal. “  (Joanne C)

“There were a couple of nuns then who would give you a wink or a nod and let us know that they couldn’t be with us, but they were with us. My memory is that she was one of them.” (Terry S)

“I think Mother Bremner was the most selfless person I ever met.” (Kathleen D)

“Soyez bien! She did tell other people to be good besides me. Right?  She had a wondrous heart filled with gentle blessings.” (Ann M)

“Mother Bremner was definitely a force to contend with ... I admired her even then.” (Mary S)

“Her kindness and attention were always felt on an individual level, guess that is the secret of loving your fellows. Mother Bremner is a testament to Brotherly Love and the Real Christian message. May her memory be eternal and life to those left behind. (English translation to a Greek saying).” (Emy D)

“How fortunate all of us are to have had this woman and others of the Sacred Heart influence our formative years. Yes...we are blessed.” (MaryDee C)

“I have such fond memories of Mother Bremner! She had such a soft spot for “children” like us. I really felt she was on our side, cheering us on until we might make sense!  Her French class was a hoot.” (Patty M)

We Fondly remember her.  She taught us so much, and showed us her love of Jesus. (Ginger)

Submitted by Brigid on

My favorite teacher!  She was so full of life, joy & the perfect example of a truly giving spirit.  She took a small group of us to Europe two different summers; what culture & lessons of life she showed us. The world is a better place because of Mother Nancy Bremner.

Submitted by Elizabeth Lupo ... on

I just starting looking for the nice nun who was a friend of my mom and took us to her families Island house in Wisconsin. She was at our school in Lake Forest. One of my favorite childhood memories was going to that Island with her.