Sister Claire O’Mara died peacefully at Andrus on January 8, 2012. She was 89 years old and resided at Andrus on Hudson in Hastings, NY.
She entered the Ursulines in 1945 and made her final vows in 1951. Her Ursuline life of service extended beyond the United States to Mexico City, from 1954 to 1966, with 1 year of tertianship in Rome during those years, and again in 1974 to 1976. She studied Spanish at Salamanca Pastoral Institute in Madrid in 1966-1967, and she went from there to serve in Miramar, Peru for 3 years.
When Claire returned to the United States, she found ways to use her language skills, her joy in life, and her ardent commitment to social justice by teaching, interpreting, and pastoral service at St. Angela Merici School in the Bronx, Hostos Community College, Mount St. Ursula Speech Center, Casita Maria, the Adult Learning Center n New Rochelle, and with migrants in Encinitas, California and Apopka, Florida.
In a demonstration calling for the close of the (then) School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia that trained foreign military, Claire was arrested and from May 31, 1996, served 2 months at the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution.
Claire held a bachelors’ degree in Spanish from the College of New Rochelle and a Masters in romance languages from Fordham University. The College of New Rochelle honored her along with Rosa Parks as a Woman of Conscience.
Claire was born May 20, 1922 to Mary Martha and John O’Mara in Worcester, Mass. She had five siblings: David, John, and Anne Ahearn, who predeceased her, and Christine Sullivan of Dedham, Mass. and Lucille Murphy of Harwichport, Mass.
Memorial gifts may be given to the Ursuline Retirement Fund, 1338 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10804.