Obituary: Sister Eileen Bent, 85

Sister Eileen Bent, a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, died on Feb. 27, 2016. She was 85.
She was born Dec. 31, 1930 to John and Catherine Bent in Massachusetts. She entered the candidature of the School Sisters on Aug. 28, 1948, the feast of St. Augustine.

As a candidate, she taught for a year at St. Benedict in Baltimore and a year at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, in Camden, N.J., entering the novitiate on July 17, 1950. She received the name Mary Lidwina. She was professed on Aug. 4, 1951.

Sister Eileen served at schools in Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. In 2004, she became teacher assistant to special needs children at St. Catherine Academy in Fairfield, Conn., serving there until 2009 when she suffered a stroke. She then came to Villa Notre Dame in Wilton and soon afterwards, moved to Lourdes Health Care Center.

“Throughout her life, Eileen loved teaching,” Sister Julianna Poole wrote.  “Hers was a quiet presence. She called a person by name, and was loved by teachers and students. She was very patient and encouraging. Eileen possessed the beautiful skill of knowing how to create an environment of happiness. She liked mathematics and enjoyed helping those who needed assistance, be it for a class, an exam, or a budget.”

She was preceded in death by her brothers, George and John, and her sister, Gertrude Foster. She is survived by her sister, Mary O’Donnell, and her brother, Bob and his wife Eleanor, of Falmouth, Mass., by nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews, cousins, friends, and by her community, the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on March 3 by Father Thomas Elliott, CSC, Chaplain. Burial followed at St. Mary Cemetery in Bethel.

Memorial contributions may be made to the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Atlantic Midwest Province, c/o Development Office 345 Belden Hill Road, Wilton, CT 06897.