A funeral Mass for Sister Mary Paul Schmidt was celebrated May 1 in the chapel at The Sarah Community on the campus of SSM DePaul Health Center in Bridgeton. Sister Mary Paul, a Franciscan Sister of Mary for more than 75 years, died April 29 at The Sarah Community. She was 91.
Born Alberta Rose Schmidt in St. Louis, she came to know the Sisters of St. Mary while working at St. Mary’s Health Center in St. Louis. She entered the community in 1943 and received the name Sister Mary Paul. She professed final vows in 1949. (In 1987 the Sisters of St. Mary and the Sisters of St. Francis of Maryville, Mo., reunited as the Franciscan Sisters of Mary.)
Sister Mary Paul served in the nursery and obstetrics department at St. Mary’s Health Center in St. Louis from 1943-53. She worked at Sisters of St. Mary hospitals in Illinois; Ironton, Mo., and Pilot Knob, Mo. Besides nursing, she was sacristan, pharmacy assistant, surgical aide and technician.
In 1996, she returned to St. Mary’s Health Center, working in the laboratory and serving in the surgery hospitality room until 2010, when she moved to The Sarah Community in Bridgeton.
Sister Mary Paul said of her ministry, “I have most enjoyed helping others, especially those most in need.” She continued to carry out that commitment, knitting scarves, hats and booties for the babies born at St. Mary’s Health Center and DePaul Health Center. She also made adult hats and scarves for families in need helped by the City of St. Louis Lead-Safe Program.
Sister Mary Paul enjoyed contemplative prayer, reading, working with crafts and visiting her fellow FSM sisters.
Burial was in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis.