Ursuline Sr. Claire O’Mara, a Massachusetts native who spent 17 years in Latin America with her order before later spending time in jail in protest of the School of the Americas, passed away Jan. 8, the feast of the Epiphany, in New York. She was 89.
O’Mara, who entered the Ursulines in 1945, was known for her dedication to the people of Mexico, Peru, and the Bronx, and to issues of social justice.
Compelled by the story of fellow Ursuline Sr. Dorothy Kazel, O’Mara was arrested at the gates of Fr. Benning, Ga., at the age of 74 in November, 1994, along with twelve others.
Asked on the eve of her trial for the action whether she was scared of possibly going to jail, O'Mara said in a 1996 interview with NCR that she was “too old to be nervous” about going to prison.
O’Mara also said it was partly the Kazel’s story that inspired her to make a 25-hour train ride to join the protest.