Servants of Mary Sister Rosemary Mayer of Good Shepherd Catholic Church died peacefully Aug. 4 at Orlando Regional Medical Center from injuries she suffered in a July 28 car crash while traveling to Florida Hospital East to bring the holy Eucharist to patients. She was 85.
“She was a very lovely, giving person,” said longtime friend, Servants of Mary Sister Rosemary Lorenzen.
Another longtime friend, Adrian Dominican Sister Lucy Vazquez, spoke of the loving way Sister Rosemary interacted with others.
“She was truly one of the kindest people I met in my life. Never once have I heard her say an unkind word about anyone. I can count on one hand in my whole life the people I could say that about. She was the epitome of kindness. She cared about everybody,” said Sister Lucy.
A native of Chicago, Sister Mayer entered the congregation of the Servants of Mary (Servite Sisters), Ladysmith, Wis., in 1954 and professed her final vows in 1962. With a bachelor’s degree in education, she taught for nine years in Minnesota before returning to her community, where she served as treasurer for the congregation for 18 years. During that time, Sister Mayer helped establish the Wisconsin Iowa Minnesota Coalition for Responsible Investment (WIMCRI), which promotes socially responsible investing.
Her advocacy for social justice issues led her to the political arena in Wisconsin. She was a member of NETWORK, a Roman Catholic social justice lobby.
In 1984, she moved to Florida, where she spent 19 years ministering at BETA Center in Orlando, an organization formed to give children and parents the knowledge and support needed for strong and healthy families, with a focus on teen moms and at-risk families. Sister Mayer was also a delegate and treasurer of the Diocese of Orlando Sisters’ Council for many years, served on the Board of Catholic Charities of Central Florida, and chaired many committees for Good Shepherd, including serving as president of the OWLS ministry (Older, Wiser, Livelier, Seniors).
Sister Rosemary retired in 2003; however, she remained involved in many ministries and touched countless lives.
A Funeral Mass was celebrated on Aug. 7 at Good Shepherd Catholic Church. Additional services were held in Addison, Ill. for family and friends, and in Ladysmith for the sisters of her community.