A funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 19 for Loretto Sister Veronica Marie (formerly Sister Mary Thomas) Schneider, a longtime educator who taught for five years in El Paso and also served for 18 years in health care for the Loretto Community in El Paso. The Mass took place at the Church of the Seven Dolors on the grounds of Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, Ky. Sister Rosemary died Aug. 15 at Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary. She was 90 and in her 73rd year as a Sister of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross.
Sister Veronica Marie was born Dec. 3, 1925, in Los Angeles, the fourth child and only daughter of Wilhelmina (Reis) and George F. Schneider. She entered the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross in 1943. She was received into the Loretto Novitiate April 25, 1944, when she took the religious name of Sister Mary Thomas, a name she retained through her first 25 years of teaching. Sister Veronica Marie made her first vows April 25, 1946, and her final vows Aug. 15, 1949. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education, with minors in history and English, in 1957 from Loretto Heights College in Denver.
In the El Paso Diocese, Sister Veronica Marie taught at Guardian Angel School in El Paso from 1950 to 1955. She also served as infirmarian at Loretto Academy Convent in El Paso from 1984 to 1987. In 1986, at the age of 61, she took top marks in a certification program for nursing assistant, serving the El Paso Loretto Academy Convent Community with these skills for another 15 years.
Elsewhere, Sister Veronica Marie taught for 28 years in parochial schools in California, Colorado, Missouri and New Mexico. Following teaching, she entered the new work of clinical pastoral ministry and served briefly in this capacity in Calgary, Canada. She also was a World Book representative in Southern California for two years, working her way up to being an area manager.
Sister Veronica Marie retired to Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary in 2002 where she continued to satisfy her desire to “be of service and to help the Sisters” until her death. She once wrote, “I have liked each mission where I have lived and have been inspired by many of our community.” Her prayer was ever “that I may give the best in me for whatever God chooses.”
Burial was at Loretto Motherhouse Cemetery. Sister Veronica Marie was preceded in death by her parents and her siblings. Memorials in Sister Veronica Marie’s name may be sent to the Loretto Community, care of the Loretto Development Office, 4000 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Littleton, CO 80123-1308.