Sister Mary Robert Bernet, and her identical twin sister, Sister Mary Clare Bernet, have been nuns with the St. Francis of the Neumann Communities for 70 years. The retired sisters are former teachers and also enjoyed a religious life long after their retirement.
The twin sisters are now 89 years old and have been members of the church for 70 years. They were born in Brooklyn, about 15 minutes apart. They are Sisters of the St. Francis of the Neumann Community and grew up on Staten Island. Sister Mary Clare left school in January 1949, followed by her sister in January 1950.
On August 3, last year, a morning mass was organized for the two sisters, with Bishop Peter Byrne present, to celebrate 70 years with the church. About 150 people attended, something which both sisters greatly appreciated. They loved the fact that members of other churches and religious societies were present.
The two sisters have taught together in New York, at schools on Staten Island, in the Bronx and in New Rochelle. They have also taught in New Jersey and Connecticut. They mainly taught at primary school, but Sister Mary Robert also taught high school students. Religion was, of course, often the curriculum.
Then they returned to Mount Loretto, the orphanage where the sisters grew up together. Here they taught orphans, who did not always have the opportunity to go to school.
Together, they state that they have not regretted for a moment the years they have been members of the church. They are very happy that they were able to enjoy the time they spent with God, together. Besides that, they have, of course, had a great time together at the church, and they continue to enjoy their time together.