Sister Genevra Baer was a Sister of Mercy for 70 years. She entered the Sisters of Mercy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from St. Pius Parish, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, in February 1952 and made her final vows in August 1957.
Sister Genevra earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Mount Mercy (Carlow University), and taught for 15 years at area schools before entering the nursing profession. Sister Genevra became a Licensed Practical Nurse, became a Registered Nurse, and did a further study to earn a certificate as a certified enterostomal therapist. She ministered at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she provided education on ostomy, and skin care needs to patients and families on an inpatient and outpatient basis.
In October 1994, Sister Genevra visited the people’s Republic of China with a group of 20 Ostomy and Continence Nurses. This group was organized by the Citizens’ Ambassador Program, which has its roots back to 1956, when President Eisenhower founded the organization. “People to People” brings Americans together with their counterparts in 33 countries worldwide.
The delegation spent time with Chinese nurses, students, and others and visited various hospitals and medical universities, explaining the care given in the United States to people with ostomies.
In October 2003, the Enterostomal Therapy and Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses in the Southeast region honored Sister Genevra by naming 2003’s scholarship after her.
Sister Genevra’s life was grounded in prayer and in Catherine McAuley, our Foundress. In the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy, Sister Genevra was active in lobbying and community involvement for the rights of poor persons. She organized and ran the annual Craft Fair at Holy Cross, an event to raise money for persons in need.