A funeral Mass for Sister Janet Mary Feager was celebrated Jan. 2 at Nazareth Living Center Chapel in South St. Louis County. Sister Janet Mary died Dec. 30 at Nazareth. She was 83 and a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 60 years.
Born in St. Louis to Orland and Irene (Moorhem) Feager and given the name Arlene Mary, she moved to Sullivan when she was seven or eight years old. She was taught by the School Sisters of Note Dame in the parish grade school. She knew as early as the third grade when she was preparing for her First Communion that she wanted to become a religious sister. Her pastor had worked with the Sisters of St. Joseph, so when she talked to him about her vocation, he suggested she consider that community.
After she graduated from high school, she helped out at home for a few years before entering the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet on Sept. 15, 1958, receiving the name Sister Janet Mary. She made her final profession on Aug. 6, 1966. Sister Janet Mary earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Fontbonne College in 1963.
For almost five decades, she served as a teacher in Catholic schools in St. Louis and in Denver. In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, she was at Immacolata (1963-65), St. Cecilia (1965-67), Sts. John and James in Ferguson (1967-69), St. Luke the Evangelist (1979-88) and Holy Innocents (1988-90). In 2010, she retired and served as a volunteer with the Sisters of St. Joseph in Denver. In 2012, she moved to Nazareth Living Center in St. Louis, where she served in a ministry of prayer and presence until her death.
During her last teaching assignment at St. Francis de Sales School in Denver, Sister Janet Mary noticed how the students’ circumstances changed over the years. Many of the children in her class came from broken homes and lived in poverty. She and the staff worked to find ways to make the children feel like school was a safe and caring place for them.
She is survived by one sister, Vera Feager of Union. Burial was in Resurrection Cemetery.