Atrium & lounge dedicated in honor of Sr. Mary Raynald Blomer, SSNDSpringfield MO
‘Dear God, we thank you for all the gifts and talents bestowed upon Springfield Catholic High School by Sr. Mary Raynald Blomer,” said Bp. Edward Rice Feb. 1 to a packed gymnasium during Catholic Schools Week. “She was a faithful servant to You, showed true commitment to her students, and was passionate about Catholic education.”
In addition to Bp. Rice, Bp.-Emeritus John J. Leibrecht, and Central Pacific Provincial Leader for the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Sr. Maryann Owens, participated in the Mass and dedication of the Sr. Mary Raynald Blomer Atrium and Lounge, as did many area pastors, fellow School Sisters of Notre Dame, students, faculty, and administrators at Springfield Catholic High School (SCHS).
Devoted to Catholic education and the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Sr. Blomer served as principal of SCHS from 1979 to 1990. This was after she’d already served Notre Dame Regional High School (NDHS), Cape Girardeau, as principal for 12 years. Sr. Blomer later returned to NDHS as a geometry teacher from 1991-1993.
A beautifully appointed space, the Sr. Mary Raynald Blomer Atrium and Lounge will greet visitors to SCHS with a plaque and portrait heralding the legacy of the former administrator and educator.
“As we bless this plaque and dedicate our atrium and lounge, we ask that You bless the students who will use it,” said Bp. Rice. “May they be reminded of the joy that can be found in You. Grant that they may always use created things gratefully and share Your gifts with those in need, out of love for Christ our Lord.”
Capable administrator, woman of principle
An Illinois native, Sr. Blomer was born June 16, 1925, the youngest of three daughters to Edith (Frese) and John Blomer. She received the name Jeanette at her baptism at St. Francis Solanus Church in Quincy, IL. Sr. Blomer attended St. Francis Solanus and Notre Dame High School, where she was influenced by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Both parents died during her high school years.
In 1944, Jeanette Blomer entered the candidature for the School Sisters of Notre Dame. During her second year, she was missioned to St. Francis de Sales in St. Louis. She was received into the novitiate in 1946 and was given the name Mary Raynald. She professed first vows in 1947; final vows in 1953.
When Charles Helmsing was appointed the first Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in 1956, School Sisters of Notre Dame were already serving in many parish schools. In 1979, then-Bp. Bernard Law requested that Sr. Blomer, who was serving at the time as principal of Notre Dame High School in Cape Girardeau, come to Springfield to head the “faltering Springfield High.”*
An excellent science and mathematics teacher, Sr. Blomer was an extremely capable administrator. An educator who projected a strong, consistent presence, Sr. Blomer knew well the redemptive power of hard work and the singular courage it would take to revitalize SCHS, and she did so. Her leadership and support was instrumental in the foundation of the school’s current campus and the legacy of successful Christ-centered programming and curriculum that continues today at SCHS.
Sr. Blomer died in 2005, just one month shy of her 80th birthday, of complications from cancer. She is buried in Santa Maria Cemetery, at the Motherhouse, in St. Louis.
*History of the Church in Southern Missouri, by L. Pastva.