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Remembering Sister

 
Sister Mary Brigid Condon with a newborn baby and mother

July 2010


Sister Mary Brigid Condon, RSM, (Religious Sister of Mercy), 93, well-known in the field of nursing education–especially in Iowa for over 50 years–died peacefully on Thursday, July 22, at Provena Mercy Medical Center in Aurora, Ill.

Sister Mary Brigid was head of the Department of Nursing and a professor at St. Ambrose University and Marycrest College from 1954 to1973. Just this past year, the nurses from St. Ambrose University established a nursing scholarship in her name. Also, a classroom within St. Ambrose University's new Center for Health Sciences Education building will be dedicated in her honor Aug. 26.

Born on Sept. 14, 1916, in Boston, Mass., to Redmond and Brigid (Twiggs) Condon, she entered the Sisters of Mercy in Aurora in January 1932. Sister Mary Brigid first served in Marshalltown, Iowa, in 1943, where she was the Director of Nursing and Director of the School of Nursing, and later, the same at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City. She was vice president of the Iowa Hospital Association for seven years and was appointed by the governor to the Iowa Board of Nursing and the Physicians Assistants Board. During this time, she served as a consultant to all of the hospitals in Iowa and spoke at medical seminars nationally and abroad. At 70, she became the creator and executive director of a home for single mothers and children known as Clark St. House of Mercy in Des Moines.

Sister Mary Brigid was fond of children, especially babies. For many years she could be seen on a daily basis blessing the newborns in the nursery of Provena Mercy Medical Center (Aurora). She loved to crochet and  cook. As she said so many times, "I have had a wonderful life, now I'm ready to meet my God."

Sister Mary Brigid earned a master's and a doctoral degree in nursing from University of Iowa and she was awarded three honorary doctorates during her professional career. She wrote numerous journal articles and published four books on the history of the Sisters of Mercy. She received many awards for her achievements in nursing education and health-related endeavors.

Sister Mary Brigid was preceded in death by her parents and her three brothers: John, James and Richard. She is survived by her religious community and many nieces and nephews.

A Liturgical Wake service will be held Monday, July 26, at 2 p.m., followed by visitation until 8 p.m., at Provena McAuley Manor, 400 W. Sullivan Road, Aurora, Ill. Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday, July 27, at 10 a.m. in McAuley Chapel, also at Provena McAuley Manor. Interment will be at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Aurora, Ill.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community, 7262 Mercy Road, Omaha, NE 68124.

Courtesy of the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community

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