Sister Claire Jane Brill, 86, a parochial-school teacher who later served as a hospital chaplain, died Friday, Nov. 29, of lung disease at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood.
Sister Claire Jane, who also had the religious name Sister Genevieve Mary, graduated from John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School in 1944, and worked as a secretary before entering the Sisters of Mercy in September 1946. She professed her vows in 1949.
She taught elementary school for several years in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and then joined the faculty of West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Girls in 1953, where for 12 years she taught religion and Latin.
She taught religion at Cardinal O'Hara School, then religion and Latin at Cardinal Dougherty High School.
In 1958, she earned a bachelor's degree in Latin from Villanova University and in 1974 a master's degree in religion from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
In 1980, Sister Claire Jane decided to pursue a career in pastoral ministry. She completed clinical pastoral education studies at St. Joseph Hospital in Lancaster and at Mercy Catholic Medical Center.
She worked both at Mercy Catholic's Fitzgerald Division in Darby Borough and at the former Misericordia, now the Mercy Philadelphia Division in West Philadelphia.
In 1983, she became certified by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, a qualification she maintained for years. In 1989, she began a four-year chaplaincy at St. Anthony's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. She returned to Misericordia as a patient representative in 1993.
Even as her health failed, Sister Claire Jane worked as support staff for Mercy Health Hospice and Vitas Hospice at Mercy Fitzgerald until 2006. She remained at Vitas as a volunteer until 2012 when she retired to the Convent of Mercy in Merion.
Surviving are a sister and nephews and nieces.
A 6 p.m. viewing Wednesday, Dec. 4, will be followed by a 7 p.m. Funeral Mass at the Convent of Mercy Chapel, 515 Montgomery Ave., Merion. Burial will be Thursday, Dec. 5, at 10 a.m. in the Community Cemetery.
Contributions may be made to the Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic Community, 515 Montgomery Ave., Merion, Pa. 19066.