Sister M. St. Anthony Radzikowski, IHM

Sister M. St. Anthony Radzikowski, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Friday, January 24, 2020, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She was born on March 10, 1919, in Jermyn, PA, and given the name Mary Frances. She was the daughter of the late Anthony and Amelia Brzuchalski Radzikowski. She entered the IHM Congregation on July 2, 1942 and made her temporary profession of vows on May 8, 1945 and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1948.

Sister St. Anthony served as a teacher in the following schools: St. John the Evangelist High School in Pittston, PA, from 1945 to 1953; and at St. Mary of the Mount High School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1953 to 1955.

Sister served as dean of students at Marywood College in Scranton, PA, from 1955 to 1958; and an associate professor at Marywood College from 1961 to 1994.

She also served in the Communications Office at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 1994 to 2012.

From 2012 until the time of her death, Sister St. Anthony was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Art degree in Latin/mathematics from Marywood College; a Master of Science degree in chemistry; and a Ph.D. in chemistry both from the University of Notre Dame.

She is preceded in death by two brothers, Anthony and Alphonsus; and three sisters, Eleanor, Helen and Edna Kase.

She is survived by nieces, nephews, cousins; and the members of the IHM Congregation.

The funeral will be Tuesday, January 28, at 11:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Monday, January 27, between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Interment will follow Mass on Tuesday at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA.

Memorial contributions may be made to support the retired IHM Sisters c/o the IHM Sisters Retirement Fund, IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.



Reprinted from "In Memoriam" section of Journey, Spring 2020 issue 

Sister M. St. Anthony Radzikowski, IHM

Reflection given by Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM Congregation President, at Sister's funeral on January 28, 2020:

“Who is wise and understanding among you?
Let them show it by their good life,
by deeds done in the humility that
comes from wisdom.”
James 3:13

There are many words that come to mind when I think about St. Anthony: gracious, dedicated, compassionate, gifted, caring, deeply spiritual, and so many more, but I think this verse from St. James captures her best. She was one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, and also one of the most unassuming. In her congregation file, there are listed countless honors and awards earned by her, her service on many congregational and professional committees, and tributes written by colleagues and former students. But we would never know all that from any conversation with St. Anthony herself.
To know her was to know that she was never about herself, always about others. In fact, I’m a little nervous that she’s going to find a way to pull the plug on this mic from up in heaven to keep me from saying any more about her! Our sister, teacher, scientist, dean, colleague, mentor, and friend would much prefer, I think, that we remember her, not for all her accomplishments and honors, many though they are, but for who she was as a faithful and caring Sister, Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

For forty-six of her seventy-five years of religious life, St. Anthony dedicated herself to the art and profession of teaching with infinite passion and commitment. She taught science at high schools in Pittston and Pittsburgh, and at each of these schools, she left a tradition of excellence, caring, and generous commitment. Monsignor John Jordan, a good friend of the IHMs, emailed me this quote from his sister, Mary Claire, who was taught by St. Anthony in Pittston: “She was outstanding in her ability to relate to students and their needs and especially in teaching her subject matter. [She was] a teacher you never forgot.” St. Anthony brought those same qualities to Marywood College (now University), where she ministered for thirty-three years. Shortly after coming to Marywood as the dean of students, she was asked to pursue graduate studies in the field of science. At the University of Notre Dame, she earned first a master’s and then a doctoral degree in chemistry, becoming one of the first women to receive a doctorate in this field from
Notre Dame. She returned to teach at Marywood where she also served as chair of the Department of Science for almost two decades. A superb
educator, St. Anthony was praised throughout her career by students and teaching colleagues alike. After her retirement from Marywood, she received the distinction of having a Presidential Scholarship named in her honor.

Following her years at Marywood, St. Anthony served in the congregation’s communications office for eighteen years, and it was no surprise to anyone that she applied her skills in research, innovation, and organization to this new endeavor with the same passion she had for teaching. Her commitment and energy to the many projects entrusted to her were special gifts to those with whom she worked. When she moved to Our Lady of Peace in 2012, she continued to bring that same spirit to all of us as a prayer minister.

Throughout her life, St. Anthony was a gracious and gentle person, kind, unassuming, with a wonderful smile and a subtle but quick sense of humor, a true thinker and a woman of deep spirituality with great devotion to the Blessed Mother.

A pioneer in her academic field, she was also in the forefront of the move to create a congregation house of prayer in the early 1970s. She volunteered to serve on the original committee for this endeavor and even asked to be considered for the initial House of Prayer community. However, as she demonstrated throughout her life, her personal desire for this move was surrendered when Marywood asked her to pursue studies for the doctorate in chemistry. Always she put the needs of others before her own. During these last months, she faced her diagnosis of cancer and then her terrible ankle wound with courage, faith, and awareness that this journey is really what our life here on earth is all about. She never doubted God’s presence on the journey with her. While still able, she greeted her visitors with that beautiful smile and would always ask how they were, not dwelling on her own discomfort. Even in her dying, she was the consummate teacher.

We remember very specially today St. Anthony’s parents, Amelia and Anthony, her sisters, Eleanor, Helen, and Edna, her brothers, Anthony and Alphonsus, and other relatives and friends who have gone before her and with whom she celebrates a joyous reunion in heaven today.

We pray for those people whose lives were touched by St. Anthony’s compassion and dedication, especially A.J. and Kathy and their families, her cousins, her Marywood University colleagues, her IHM sisters, and all who lived and ministered with her, especially the sisters in Household 2C. We hold in our prayer, too, the administrators, sisters and staff at Our Lady of Peace and Sacred Heart Hospice.

In the ceremony announcing the awarding of the Marywood Presidential Scholarship named in St. Anthony’s honor, the following words were written for the presentation: “She remains part of the lives of hundreds of students. They continue to seek her wisdom…delight in her company…be inspired by her example.” This is, I believe, a beautiful summation of a life lived fully in dedication and service to others and to God. May we remember the lessons taught so faithfully by this wonderful woman and may she continue to inspire us to live our lives in the same way.

I now ask A. J. to place the scriptures on St. Anthony’s casket, for she heard the Word of God; indeed, she staked her life upon it, and received life to the full... the Word now beckons St. Anthony home.