A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Dec. 28 in McAuley Hall Health Care Center, Watchung, for Mercy Sister Barbara Burdett who died Dec. 24.
The former Sister Mary Elaine was born in Trenton and she and her family attended the city’s Blessed Sacrament Parish. Sister Barbara graduated from Cathedral High School, Trenton and entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1941, taking the name Sister Mary Elaine at her reception the following year. Sister Barbara earned degrees from Georgian Court College (now University), Lakewood, and Notre Dame University, South Bend, Ind. She taught art and mechanical drawing in Holy Spirit High School in Atlantic City and in St. Mary High School in Perth Amboy for a total of 31 years. Sister was also certified in mathematics.
In 1975, Sister Barbara moved to pastoral ministry and served as a pastoral assistant in St. James Parish, Woodbridge, where she visited hospitalized and homebound parishioners. In addition, she initiated a social ministry program for elementary school students to visit elderly parishioners and also set up a food pantry located in the basement of the convent. Sister Barbara also recruited parish volunteers to serve the needy. She was well known in the area for her round-the-clock availability to serve the needs of runaways, abused mothers and unemployed women. On leaving St. James Parish, she became coordinator of hospice volunteers at Roosevelt Hospital Hospice in Edison.
Sister Barbara retired in 1991 and lived for several years near Lakewood. She joined the Prayer Apostolate at McAuley Health Care Center in Watchung in 2005.
Sister Barbara was the last surviving member of her immediate family. She will be remembered by the Sisters of Mercy and her many friends.Burial was in St. Mary Cemetery, Trenton.
Memorial donations may be made to the Sisters of Mercy, MidAtlantic Community,
1645 Highway 22 West, Watchung, N.J 07069.