Inez Marie Berger, SHCJ

Rosemont, Pennsylvania – Sister Inez Marie Berger, a Sister of the Holy Child Jesus for 71 years, died peacefully on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. She was 93.
Born and raised in California, Sister Inez – or more affectionately known to her family as “Inie” – came from a tightknit, loving family, whom she enjoyed immensely and visited as often as possible. She inherited her mother’s impressive dressmaking and crafting skills, which she shared with the Society and her family; and she learned calligraphy, which she put to good use in making posters, collages, and addressing invitations.
On her artistic talents, she reflected, “Sharing a gift of artistic composition always impresses me for the joy it brings to the receiver as well as a giver. As a Holy Child Sister, realizing Cornelia’s marvelous talents, I find that now in my retirement, using my artistic gifts has certainly shown me God’s constant love and presence. The rewards are never-ending. I feel God’s presence and help in every situation.”
Inie was a “lifer” of Mayfield School of the Holy Child, graduating from both the Junior and Senior Schools. She then entered the Society of the Holy Child Jesus and made her first and final vows in 1951 and 1956, respectively; and became known by her religious name Mother John Vianney. Inie earned a BA from Portland University in Portland, Oregon, in 1968; and later studied art under Sister Mary Corita Kent at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles.
Inie began her teaching ministry on the East Coast at Saint Edward School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1951-53), and at Holy Child Academy in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania (1953-56). In 1956, she returned to the West Coast, where she would live and serve for the next five decades. She taught first at Assumption School in Pasadena (1956-67 and 1972-75); at Saint Rita in Portland, Oregon (1967-72); then Saint Charles School in Portland, Oregon (1975-79); and finally – returning to her alma mater – at Mayfield Junior School (1980-2001). In 2001, Inie retired from full-time teaching but continued to help the Mayfield School community. She was a consummate “teacher” – someone whose biggest impact came by how she lived her life.
In 2015, Inie moved to Holy Child Center in Rosemont, where she made many friends with Sisters and staff. Her serene presence and sympathetic voice were a gift to all who knew her.
Sister Inez is predeceased by her parents, Paul and Inez Marie (Westfall); her sister, Maya Lynette Berger, IHM; and brothers and sisters-in-law, Paul and Gretchen, and Peter and Eliane. She is survived by 15 loving nieces/nephews, 30 grandnieces/nephews, and several more great-grandnieces/nephews; most of whom she babysat, taught to swim, gave haircuts to, and knit Christmas stockings and sweaters for; and all of whom she showered with her love, grace, and humility.
Her guileless and gentle nature will be forever remembered by her students, friends, family, and – indeed – by everyone she ever met.
Friends and family are invited to a service of remembrance on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at 11 a.m., at Holy Family Church in South Pasadena. All are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Society of the Holy Child Jesus – American Province, 1341 Montgomery Ave., Rosemont, PA 19010, or made online at