WWW. I MMA C U L ATA . E D U
Since Mercita was so young when she first attended Immaculata, she
remembers, “I was terribly homesick and missed my mother more than anyone
will ever know. Sister DeLellis was my best friend and the one who was more
like a mother than a teacher to me. She helped me deal with my extraordinary
homesickness. She was the best, and I will never forget her!”
Some of Mercita’s earliest memories of Immaculata include bath nights and
music lessons. “Each week all of the girls would put on their bathrobes and go
to the basement of Villa Maria Hall for a bath. As I recall there were many
(about 20) bathtubs lined up, and a nun would supervise this activity. I never
liked bath night!”
“As a small child, I spent a lot of time in the Music Hall, since I started
playing violin at age 5. Sister Immaculée and Sister Michael Joseph, who
taught me violin, were the best part of Music Hall. They never chased
Mercita also had a mischievous side, and she remembers standing on a
chair once to change the hands of the clock so that violin practice would be
shorter. She also climbed up a ladder into the “little dome” in Nazareth Hall
to carve her initials, which are most likely still there.
Mercita grew up in Villa Maria Hall, attending high school and college
there as well. Her dorm room was on the second floor where administrative
offices are now located, and she roomed for a few years with her older
Mercita also has fond memories of Sister Donatus, who inspired her love of
the English language and theater. “Sister was wonderful at teaching dramatics
and English, and anything she taught became so interesting you loved it!
That’s how it was for me with Shakespeare. Over the years, I was the lead in
numerous productions, but Shakespeare was always my favorite.”
Another favorite for Mercita was being in the Chapel of Villa Maria Hall,
where she received her First Communion and where she was confirmed.
“I loved my home and parents in Philadelphia, but I also loved my ‘home
away from home’ for 17 years, and that was Immaculata.” Mercita calls her
time there “the happiest years of my life.”
After graduating from Immaculata with a Bachelor of Arts, Mercita
created the Brett School of Elocution in her home in Philadelphia, and worked
in radio at a local station there. She married John Kane and had three sons,
John, Michael, Peter and her daughter, Maryanna. She currently lives in her
home in Sicklerville, NJ with two of her sons.
Kane and Massey enjoyed the festivities of Villa Maria’s 100th anniversary,
as well as the Mass celebrated that day. To conclude the day’s events, the
University community sang the alma mater. Mercita sang every word and
insisted on rising from her wheelchair for the song, as she proudly stated,
“Some things you stand for!”
Attending the 100th anniversary of Villa Maria Hall, L to R: Pennsylvania State
Representative Duane Milne, Sister R. Patricia Fadden, IHM, Ed.D., and Pennsylvania
State Senator Andy Dinniman.
Oldest living alum joins celebration for 100th anniversary. Pictured during the ceremony
are, from L to R, back row: Sylvia Kane, Dolores Kane, Brian Kane, Maryanna Kane
Massey, John Kane, Millice Kane; L to R, front row: Anya Kane, Mercita Loyola Brett
Kane ’35, and Max Kane.