Sister Suzanne Brezette
“So, God is the God of the living, not the dead. They are all alive to God.” (Luke 20:38)
“These words of Scripture were the Gospel reading for the Eucharistic Liturgy on Saturday [Nov. 19], the day Sister Suzanne Brezette died. The God of the living, not the dead, was definitely the God that Sister Suzanne knew for 88 years. Many times during her life she would quote her mother’s wisdom, spoken to her in childhood, ‘Sue, as long as you live, you must plan to live.’ And live and plan to live she did!” said Sister Denise Wilkinson in a commentary that was written by her and Sister Ann Casper.
Born Suzanne Brezette June 20, 1917, in Indianapolis, she was the daughter of William and Rose (Metzler) Brezette. She had three brothers, all of whom preceded her in death. Sister Suzanne attended St. Joan of Arc Grade School, Indianapolis, and graduated from St. Agnes Academy, Indianapolis. She entered the Congregation Feb. 11, 1937, and professed first and perpetual vows Aug. 15, 1939, and 1945, respectively. Sister Suzanne earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a master’s degree in zoology from the University of Notre Dame.
Sister Suzanne began teaching in1939 at St. Rose High School, Chelsea, Mass. Five years later, she returned to Indiana to teach at St. Agnes Academy, Indianapolis. Her other pedagogical ministries in Indiana included Central Catholic High School, Fort Wayne; St. Rose High School, Vincennes; and Ladywood High School and Ladywood-St. Agnes, Indianapolis. She also ministered at Providence High School, Chicago, and Marywood, Orange, Calif.
“Sister Suzanne was a fabulous educator who dearly loved her students and they her. Even if the subject matter wasn’t something they were interested in, they chose it because Sister Suzanne was teaching it!” continued Sister Denise.
“After a teaching career of 37 years, Sister Suzanne embarked on a ministry at the Senior Friendship Centers in Florida where she ministered six years in public relations and as an administrative assistant. After a brief time as a pastoral associate at the Church of the Epiphany, Venice, Fla., she became the administrator of Casa Marta Apartments in Sarasota, a retirement facility for senior citizens. In all of these ministries she made lasting impressions and friendships. When she returned to Indianapolis, she worked on the St. Gabriel provincial staff as director of ministry research where she pursued ministry opportunities for older women religious and developed a comprehensive reference file,” said Sister Denise.
“Sister Suzanne began The Gift Shop at Providence Center, a ‘retirement’ ministry which she thoroughly enjoyed but was unable to continue beyond six years because of a back problem. She very deliberately chose many handcrafted items representative of different cultures, making sure that she worked with vendors who reimbursed their clients justly,” said Sister Denise.
After this, Sister Suzanne continued volunteering at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, St. Ann Parish and Clinic, Terre Haute, and the Mission Advancement office of the Sisters of Providence.
“Classy lady! That was the phrase often used to describe Sister Suzanne. In this regard, she was quick to quote her mother’s advice to her, ‘Sue, just remember, other people have to look at you!’ Well, we didn’t have trouble doing that.
“Sister Suzanne had a passion for social justice and right relationship. The remark was made that she was the best-dressed person holding a protest sign at the Newport Chemical Depot on Highway 63!” said Sister Denise.
“Yes, the God of the living, not the dead, was definitely the God that Sister Suzanne knew for 88 years. May her zest for life and the energy with which she approached whatever she put her hand to inspire each of us to live life to the full — every day, every moment,” said Sister Denise.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Suzanne was celebrated Nov. 23, with the Rev. Daniel Hopcus presiding.
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