Brighton: Sister M. Gratia L’Esperance, RSM, was called home suddenly by God on May 31, 2019. during her 87th year as a Sister of Mercy. Sister Gratia entered the Sisters of Mercy after graduating from Our Lady of Mercy HS. She received a BA in French/Rivier College, NH, MA in French/Middlebury College, VT and MDV in Theology/St. Bernard Seminary. SIster Gratia was an elementary teacher in Rochester and Elmira, then taught at Our Lady of Mercy HS and Holy Family HS, Auburn, followed by joining the faculty of Catherine McAuley College, and serving as Religious/Adult Education Staff Member and Theological Consultant for the Diocese of Rochester and was Asst. to the Director of Field Education at St. Bernard Seminary. Working for many years as a staff member of the Mercy Center for the Aging, she became Justice Coordinator for the Regional Community of the Sisters of Mercy, while volunteering at the Resource Center for the Alzheimer Association. She was an Advocate for Justice Issues through published letters in the D & C. See D & C Sat. 6/1. Sister Gratia was recipient of the Consistent Life Ethic Vita Award, St. Bernard’s Lifetime Ministry Award, and Interfaith Alliance of Rochester, “Faith in Action”. She was the first woman graduate of St. Bernard’s seminary ministry formation program and a member of the Rochester Regional Task Force on Women in the Church. Survivors include cousins and the Sisters of Mercy.
Friends are welcome Wednesday, June 5 from 4 to 7 PM at Mercy Center, 1437 Blossom Road, where her vigil service will be held at 7 PM. Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated Thursday, June 6, 10:00 AM at Mercy Center. Interment will follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Donations in her memory may be made to the Sisters of Mercy.