Remembering Sister Marie Brendan Harvey
A total of 11 Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, passed away in 2016.
During the month of December, the Throwback Thursday blog was dedicated to those sisters’ lives and ministries.
And on Dec. 27, 2016, Sister Marie Brendan Harvey passed away. This week’s Throwback Thursday, which is actually a Flashback Friday, will take a look at her life and ministries.
Mary Therese Harvey was born on Jan. 2, 1926, in Chicago, to parents John and Margaret Harvey. Her father was from Scotland and her mother was from Ireland. Mary Therese was the only child of the family born in the United States.
Of her many ministries, most remember her through music education. For 18 years, she ministered on the faculty at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, serving as the director of the College Chorale. She was the founding director of the College Madrigals. She also taught voice and chant. In 2016, she received the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Distinguished Alumni Award.
Sister Marie Brendan also ministered as the director for the Alumnae Office at the college from 1973 to 1982.
Through the years, she also served in pastoral ministry and liturgical consultation, and for 26 years, she coordinated the alumnae for her alma mater, Providence High School, located in Chicago.
Many will also remember Sister Marie Brendan’s voice. In her commentary for Sister Marie Brendan’s obituary, Sister Mary Roger Madden said, “The response almost always received at the mention of her name is not only to her gift of music, but to the loving nature of her character … This attribute is expressed in one of the songs with which she is often identified, ‘Bless this House.’”
In 1965, Sister Marie Brendan was featured on a Sisters of Providence album, “Bless this House,” featuring songs she had been requested to sing throughout the years. She was accompanied by Sister Mary Lourdes on the record, which was released through Delta Records – based in Chicago.
It was the second album the sisters had recorded, the first being “In God’s Providence,” an album’s worth of choral performances by the Sisters of Providence.
Sister Marie Brendan died on Dec. 27, 2016. She was 90 years old and had been a Sister of Providence for 70 years.