Remembering an IHM Sister


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Remembering: Sisters Eileen (Johnella) Clinton and Eunice Corcoran, IHM
Location: St. Ephrem's in Brooklyn, NY
Date: 1963-1964

Sr. Johnella (Eileen) Clinton  was my 1st. grade teacher, hence, my very first teacher since I never attended kindergarten. It was the beginning of the 1963-1964 school year at St. Ephrem's in Brooklyn, NY. It was obvious to see she was a very young lady even under the elaborate habit that was fashionable at the time. She had a rather large class to deal with (close to 50 students) and she did a remarkable job under the circumstances.

However, there is one memory of that initial year that is burned into my memory. One day in November of 1963, Sr. Johnella was visibly upset. In fact ALL the nuns and school staff were shaken. The school principal, Sr. Eunice Corcoran, spoke to all of us over the loudspeaker. She told the teachers to have the students take ALL their books and go home for the remainder of the day. Little did I know, they were reacting to the death of President Kennedy that fateful afternoon.

Some 35+ years later, I happened to be in St. Ephrem's building to pick up my daughter at religious instruction (CCD) I crossed the hall and entered room #4, the very classroom Sr. Johnella and I were both in that day. The teacher in the room (a young lady also about 30) asked if she could help me. I explained about the room's history to me and she was speechless. I thought of Sr. Johnella that day, and was glad that she was with all of us on that fateful day. I don't know if Sr. Johnella is still teaching, or if she is still with the order, but I hope she does read this, enjoys this memory and accepts my humble thanks.

Louis Corradi

Sister Eunice Corcoran passed away on April 24, 2017

Remembering: Sister M. Chrysta Lerhinan
Location: St. Mary of the Mount High School, Pittsburgh

Sister Chrysta was my math teacher from 7th grade through graduation. She was an inspiration to me and I eventually went to college to complete a math degree. I remember how often she used to tell me that it was okay for a girl to enjoy math so as I was a math tutor through college, I would encourage the young and older women that came to the Learning Center to put aside any negative thought regarding math. She was my friend not just my teacher. My mother was in a mental hospital through my senior year and it was Sister Chrysta who kept me motivated and gave me a reason to come to school. She was understanding and did not just tell me she would pray for me - even though I knew that she was - but asked daily what I needed at home and what she could do to help. When I married, I named our oldest daughter after Sister Chrysta and I have to say that my Chrysta Marie exhibits so many of the same qualities that made me fall in love with and respect Sister Chrysta as a nun, a teacher and a friend. I often wonder if she is still alive.

Rosemary Kappy Buchanan

Sister Chrysta Lerhinan passed away on May 23, 2018

Remembering: Sister M. St. Kenneth, Polley
Location: Bishop Klonowski High School, Scranton
Date: 1975 - 1977

I came to Bishop Klonowski High School in 1975 during the big “Strike of the Scranton Schools.” I had so many friends that went to BK and I knew so many of the priests and Sisters because my brother had graduated from South Catholic/BK so I would go back to the school each and every day, I started going earlier and earlier every day then I started going to Mass every morning. One day Sr St Kenneth said to me, “Kenny did you enroll here now.” I said “No, I just want to keep busy.” Well that opened a relationship that lasted till the day my dear friend closed her eyes and went to her eternal reward. The day I said I just wanted to stay busy gave Sister an open door she said “Come with me,” so I followed her to her classroom in the basement by the auditorium. I never in my life seen so much sheet music falling out of boxes. Well guess what she said to me, “I have just the thing to keep you busy.” Well I would go every day and if she had a class I sometimes worked on the music quietly in the back of the room or if it was a big job I moved to the auditorium.

We developed such a great and personal relationship. I had completely redid the cabinets in her classroom, and then Gene the cook, saw me one day in the hallway and said, “I was talking to Fr. Paul and he said if I see you and I needed help to grab you and you would be glad to help me.” But little did I know that Sister St Kenneth was coming down the hall and said wait a minute, I stopped going into the kitchen she said to Gene “are you stealing my help?”  He got all red in the face and said “I am sorry I didn’t know he was working for you.” She said “well for now he is caught up but I am going to be getting ready for the concert and I will be needing him.”  He said “well when you don’t need him can I use him” and I said, “Well don’t forget that when they settle the strike I will be leaving.” Well at this point I start something I was helping Sister, working in the kitchen and helping Mr. Poch clean the building. My mother said to me “you should not be bothering them back there. I told Fr. Paul that if you are in the way to send you home.” I said, “I never see Father Paul I am too busy.”  

Well there were a few days that if I was not doing anything Sr Mary Caljean let me sit in the classroom or Mr. Musto or Mr. Brennan and even one day Sr Loyola had a job for me. Well the one day Sr St Kenneth said to me, “do you think you might want to go to school here?" I said, “I would love to but my parents can’t afford to send me and my sisters.” There was no more said until I one day was cleaning the hallway by Sr Pat’s room, and Sr St Kenneth’s, and I was singing and she said we have to get you in the glee club. That was Thursday, Friday morning I went to the chapel and went to Mass after Mass Fr. Paul said to me, “When you are done putting everything away I want you to come directly to my office.” I turned to Sr St Kenneth well it sounds like he is going to tell me I can’t come here anymore. She said to me, “Don’t get upset until you talk to him.”  Well I was really worried I went up to the Office and Sr followed and she went to her mailbox and I was told to go right into his office, he had just hung up the phone and said close the door and sit down. I was really worried! He said to me, “You have been here almost every day of the strike so far and I just finished talking to your Mother.” I said, “My mother what did I do?”  He put a big smile on his face and said “you have put a wonderful impression on so many people in this school and I have made some phone calls and how would you like to start school here Monday morning?” I said, “I don’t know, I have to ask my parent.” He said, “I have already done that” and he said “I contacted Mgr. Demuth and he said that you work the Church picnic, the whole week before and every day of the picnic and since your family doesn’t have any one getting the school credit so he said he will figure out what they can pay.” On Wednesday, I asked the board of pastors if there was any way that we could offer you some help so you could go to school here and it was brought to my attention that you work all the church picnics and dinners so the board voted to give you your money to get you started and then you will continue to work after school cleaning the cafeteria and a few rooms to pay off the rest. And in your free time because for this year you will have extra free time and you can continue to do as you are. I started to cry he said, “Why are you crying?” I said “I can’t believe that this is happening” and he said “I just need a yes or no so I can get your classes set up for Monday.” I said “yes’ and I came out of his office, and who do you think was standing there. Sr St Kenneth she said “well, what’s new.” I gave her a hug and said “I am starting school here on Monday” she said, “I figured, so I will see you at glee club practice.”

She always had my back, she was my guardian Angel then and I know she is even today. I owed her so much. Her mother and her Aunt and her Sister were wonderful people as I also helped move them from Mulberry St to Clarks Green. May you Rest in Peace my dear Guardian Angel. – Kenneth Noll

Sister St. Kenneth Polley passed away on December 19, 2019

Remembering: Sister M. Rosalian Armbruster
Location: Epiphany School, Sayre, PA
Date: 1950s

This is not so much a story as it is an impact statement. Our class at Epiphany School was huge! And, of course, there was only one class per grade level. In the mid-50's there were (at least) 49 of us in our grade and classroom. Sr. Rosalian became our teacher in 4th grade. We were quite a group to handle! Back in the day, we didn't think in these terms, but we had a few Special Education kids, at least one non-English speaker, and several others with various forms of challenges. Many of us were just kids, of course. But 49 in all! We became Sister's "49-ers"! She did such an amazing joib with us during our 4th grade year, that she stayed with us for 5th and then for 6th grades as well. Truth be told, I suspect that nobody else wanted to handle such a large, raucus group. But she handled us with aplomb! And we all loved her. As kids, we didn't pay much attention to what happened after we finally changed teachers. But we all remembered her, and loved those 3 years we had together. Positive attitude. Great sense of humor. Patience. And amazing skills as a teacher! She was great!

Mike Donlin

Sister Rosalian Armbruster passed away on March 26, 2011

Remembering: Sister M. Elphege Lowry
Location: St. Paul's High School

Sr. Elphege was the business teacher - she was really good at what she taught; tough but fair. I did well in her class. In fact from the day I graduated, I began to work - all secretarial. I owe it all to her teaching. I was not only a secretary but an Executive Secretary.

-  Rita Carroll

Sister Elphege Lowry passed away on October 21, 1975

Remembering: Sister Mary (Assunta) Feldcamp
Location: Joseph F Connor
Date: 1961

Sister Mary Assunta, my 8 th grade teacher at St. Ephrem’s grammar school in 1961 wrote a “ letter of academic recommendation"  for me for a special entry test for Brooklyn Prep (Jesuit High school) that allowed me to be eligible to take this entry exam. (I didn’t pass the city wide Co-op which still is a mystery). Ten additional students of the 100 hundred who took this special B.P. Exam were admitted. I was one of them. Although I was a high performing student at St. Ephrem’s I found out that I didn’t do well on Co-op exam type tests. Sister Assunta was the best teacher I ever had in grammar school and she gave me the confidence to excell in my later studies at St. Peter’s College, J.C., NJ and later at N.Y.U. (B.S. Finance) I’ll always be indebted to Sister Assunta, IHM. I pray for Sister Mary Assunta regularly. I never would havebeen the husband and father to our two children and grandchildren that I am without her generous guidance and encouragement that I needed in 8th grade. I visited Sister at my St. Ephrem’s School as a freshman at B.P.Prep. Sister Assunta later taught at St.Dominick’s school in Oster Bay, Long Island, NY. ( I wish I had stayed in tough with her.) She made “ the difference “ in my life; my Jesuit education and affiliation with the Jesuits fathers today (I.V.C. in Philadelphia) - now that I am retired would never had happened!

Joseph F Connor

Sister Mary (formerly known as Sister Mary Assunta) Feldcamp passed away on February 4, 2002


Remembering: Sister St. Francis Lyons
Location: Our Lady Queen of Martyrs located in Forest HIlls, Queens, NYC

I believe that I had some of the best teachers of my life when I attended 8 years of school at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs located in Forest HIlls, Queens, NYC. I sadly realize that many of the IHM Sisters who taught me are now gone and I just found out that another favorite of mine, Sister St. Francis Lyons, passed away today (Feb. 6, 2018). She was a very sweet and gentle soul and I had the wonderful opportunity to see her again after many years about 2 years ago. I ventured to Scranton to visit another of my favorites, Sister Paula Gallagher and the 3 of us went out for a lovely lunch. I loved the IHM Sisters who taught me, inspired me, gave me a deep love of English, Music, History, Creative Writing, Piano. So here are the Sisters I remember with great fondness and gratitude: Sister Paula Gallagher; Sister Thaddeus Kelly; Sister St. Francis Lyons; Sister Stella Devers; Sister St. Leo (a/k/a Sister Joanne Madden); Sister Timothy Marie; and Sister Scholastica. I know I'm forgetting a few who I may have met briefly but I really am thankful for the education they provided me with and the kindness they showed to their students.

  • Lydia Lilli

Sister St. Francis Lyons passed away on February 6, 2018

Remembering: Sister Rosela McFadden
Location: Marywood University

My Aunt Rita, my precious Aunt Rita (Sister Rosela McFadden). She was always there as I grew up. She stayed with us most summers and holidays. When my mother, her sister passed in 2005 these times of joy also passed. Yet my Aunt never gave up on her family, and she continued to pray for us. Sister Rosela visited me in the hospital in NYC when I was in a very bad way in 1981. She pulled me through then and her prayers pulled me back to the Catholic Church several years so that today I believe in all of the teachings of the Church. I will be eternally grateful for her many years of prayers and can't wait to see her again. I know she is having a blast right now with her sister, my mother Rose Kearney. I thank God for them. Sister Rosela McFadden passed away to be with the Lord the day my father died, St Joseph's Day. God gave me the ability to be with my Aunt Rita as she breathed her last. I gave her a Rosary and Scapular that she was buried with. Please remember your prayers for others are powerful, just like my Aunt Rita's.

 - Joseph Kearney

Sister Rosela McFadden passed away on March 19, 2017

Remembering: Sister Sheila Reilly
Location: River Street Convent
Date: 1993

The day I entered the IHM community on November 10, 1993, I was greeted by the community of sisters at the River Street Convent and the IHM Leadership Team. Following a prayer for me and my family was a fabulous dinner prepared by Sister Sheila Reilly. It was perhaps the best dinner of my religious life because it was not only delicious but prepared with such love for me, a new member, and my family who were giving me that day to my new community of sisters. Thank you, Sheila, for loving me from the start.

Sister Fran Fasolka, IHM

Sister Sheila Reilly passed away on December 24, 2009

Remembering: Sister Maryla Farfour
Location: Marywood Seminary, Scranton, PA
Date: 1960-1962

January 3, 2011

Dear Sister Maryla Farfour,

I hope you remember me. I was your student in violin and piano in 1960-1962 at Marywood Seminary. There was some family turmoil and I had to leave Marywood at the beginning of my Junior year and was sent to Atlanta. My last memory of you was standing at the back door of the old Sem, waving good-bye.

It was a sad memory. For many years afterward and throughout my life, I dreamed of Marywood — walking the halls of the second floor — and you were always in those dreams, bouncy and exuberant, directing, explaining and encouraging me, as you always did when I was a student there. It has been a constant desire of mine to convey to you my deepest appreciation for all you did for me then. You have had a profound effect on my life. I always wanted to say — thank you, and to tell you how much of a blessing you were.

Several times here and there, I tried to reconnect with many from Marywood, the Sisters included, but to no avail. I heard of the fire somewhere along the way and gave up hope — even called the college at one point. Then, I tried on the internet and had a response from Maureen (Monteiro) Cawley. She was kind enough to give me your address.

The things I remember about you were such kind, encouraging words like "keep trying," "practice, practice," "stay with your music," and "you are a born accompanist." You saw in me some worth when others didn't. You have no idea how your belief in me, and that of the other IHM Sisters sustained me during rough periods in my life.

I was never again able to formally study music, (though I still play Moon River!) For a time in the 80's, I played both organ and piano in my Church — even started a small children's choir there. Though it was a Full Gospel Church, your influence was everywhere! (I found myself in trouble with the Pastor when I said a prayer for the Pope!)

After high school, I went directly to work at the phone company (and stayed with them until my retirement in 2003). Both of my parents were alcoholics, so the teen years were the most difficult. Without the spiritual guidance of Marywood and the Sisters there, the training and discipline hammered into me by my stepmother, I was able to get through high school with honors, but never had the time, stamina, or hours I needed for college.

I married in '69, divorced in '96. It was a long, wonderful marriage that went suddenly sour at the end, but not before producing two beautiful children. Even during these times, the words of all the IHM Sisters resonated — "Don't get bitter." I didn't. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger! It was during these rough times that I dreamed so often of Marywood and walking down the hall with you. I would awaken feeling as if we had a visit! God was with me.

I have a lovely daughter and a devoted son. This is something I always wanted to tell you — My daughter, now 40, is an accomplished musician, and teaches piano! She received a degree in flute performance and is quite gifted. As a child, she played violin for many years with her school orchestra, (because of the good memories I had of the process.) She performed in her marching band all through high school. She is married to a great man and has two children. My granddaughter is nine, my grandson five. They sometimes serenade me with duets on the piano. —And I think of you. And I realize that my dream has become a reality for my daughter.

My son (37) became an accomplished violinist, studying for 12 years. He also played clarinet, saxophone, and piano, winning talent contests all over the region. At one point, he was a member of the Georgia Tech Marching Band. At college, his major was music composition for a time....and I thought of you. He now shows little interest in playing or performing, but finds music is his life. He's a disc jockey in Manhatten!

My children often tell me that, through the growing years, music was the way our family communicated. "If all else fails, Mom," they would tell me, "You would start singing or playing the piano, and everybody would get along!" -And I would think of you.

About seven years ago, I moved my cousin in with me. He is 59 years old, has Down Syndrome, is legally blind, and is an innocent, marvelous blessing. (I took care of his mom until she died in 2006.) He's taught me all about country music, gospel music, and Lawrence Welk....and when I see Welk's orchestra start up, I think about you.

As a going-away gift in '63, you gave me a pamphlet "Smile." I run into it now and then. It is so precious to me, as are those last pictures of the girls — and the cake which said, "Good-bye, Julie, 'til we meet again." Well, as far as I'm concerned, God has hooked me up with my dear teacher again and again in my dreams. I have never forgotten all of the fun and hard work, kind words, teaching, wisdom, and life lessons you taught me.

I have never converted to Catholicism, but every day when I leave the house, I bless myself. If I am ever afraid at night, it is the rosary I cling to. And whenever I think of the great students and Sisters of Marywood, I have to "smile."

So, there's my story. I would truly love to hear from many thousands of students you must have had over the years. Please tell me how you are, how you have been, and if you are in touch with any of the other Sisters. I hope to hear from you soon.

You were truly one of the most precious blessings in my life. I am eternally grateful.

Julie O'Kelley Jones        

Sister Maryla Farfour passed away on June 20, 2020

Remembering: Sister Maryla Farfour

Sister Maryla Farfour,

At Penance, just a few days ago, the priest told me something that inspired me to write this letter to you. He said that I should openly offer complements to those who I saw worthy of receiving them, and, of course, every person has a beauty worth complimenting. He said if I did so, it would be contagious, and possibly inspires others. So, pondering his advice, I thought of all the people who I really respected. When you came to mind, I realized that you seemed to be a person of admirable character. Even though you have a very strict form of discipline, (which at times is a respectable quality), you always seem to possess a very kind-hearted, sympathetic, and friendly attitude toward your students. It also appears that you find sincere joy in seeing others happy. I noticed this at two specific occasions: first - at the talent show. When you came out on stage, your smile was sincere, and you radiated excitement. You looked so happy to be there, to entertain people, and make them happy, that is something that I really admired. I believe that you find enjoyment in seeing everyone else having a good time. I just want you to know that others notice and respect that such simplicities can make someone so happy. And, second, - it amazed me to see that as a teacher, you are still able to laugh along with the students. I noticed, (on more than one occasion), that even though you would try to hold back a smile, you found enjoyment, or at least amusement, in jokes or comments made by students, that normally would annoy a teacher. I found it very interesting that you, who also present yourself as a person who likes order and strict, hard, discipline, could be amused by what I thought was only humorous to kids. I also respected the open-mindedness in which you handled those situations.

You always seem to be sincere in your emotions. When you smile, it always looks so sincere; when you pray, you always use a tone of deep respect; and when you talk of death or great losses, you are always very humbled and hopeful. Being a teenager, it is sometimes hard to show my true opinions and emotions, and to see you, being so true to yourself, makes me idolize you for having courage to express your feelings and views without worry of what someone else may think.

Another thing that I have noticed is your concern for all humans. You take a lot of pride in being a top collector of mission money, but I don't think that it is because of a competitive spirit, but rather, concern for the poor, you also pray often for the families of those who recently passed away. That is a characteristic that I admire a lot. You always find time to remember those who need our prayers. That brings me to request a small favor. Recently I have been struggling with a question that so far, I have found no answer. I have been trying to set my life priorities and discover who I am. I want definite aspirations. I know that I am only in high school and have time to set goals and find myself, but my mind is not at ease, and my curiosity peaked as to what I can find out about myself. I am asking you to please say a quick and personal prayer that God can enlighten me, as to my purpose and identity.

I guess my main purpose for writing this letter, was just to let you know that you are a unique individual who is respected and admired. As the priest told me, it is good to compliment people, to let them know their efforts are not in vain, and I assure you, Sister, people do realize what a special person you are. I just figured maybe it would be nice to hear it.

In closing my letter, I want to wish you a Happy Easter, and I'm sure it will be for you; because I'm convinced you will find joy in the beauty of the season, if in nothing else. I hope that I brought you some happiness, letting you know that people do notice you're many qualities. I respect you, as I'm sure many others do, after all you are a woman who deserves it!

Once again, Happy Easter, and good-bye.

Sincerely, a Freshman Student

Sister Maryla Farfour passed away on June 20, 2020


Remembering: Sister Antoinette Bosak
Location: St Matthews, Wilmington, DE
Date: 1966

In 1966, I was in first grade, and my teacher was Sister Antoinette Bosak.  In mid-September, my Mother and her family rushed to be at the side of my Grandfather who was critically ill. There was much confusion, and I wasn't quite sure what was happening.  One day Sister Antoinette called me to the front of the class and out into the hallway.  She gently led me out the door and began to explain to me that my Grandfather had died.  I am sure I was upset and full of fear, but Sister gently hugged me and said "Everything is ok, he is with God." I remember feeling immediate relief and comfort. 

We walked back into the room, and Sister had everyone pray for my Grandfather and my family. What a gift of faith to pass on to a first grade child, and just as importantly the entire class.  These were the difficult issues that the all the Sisters of IHM tackled with grace and truth.  I see Sister quite often and remind her of that story, and she just smiles.  The amazing part is that she still teaches after all these years and passes on these simple messages of faith.  I had many fine teachers from the IHM community, but she made the biggest impact on me!

John Schaal

Sister Antoinette Bosak passed away on January 17, 2017

Remembering: Sister Monica Byrne
Location: St. Anthony's, Portland, Oregon
Date: 1966

I attended St. Anthony's School grades 2-8. I have very loving memories of Sister Monica Byrne. I'm not sure if she is still alive, and I would love to hear from her. She had a great impact on my life. My 7th and 8th grade years were difficult for me. She spent a lot of time with me after school mentoring me. Every day I would look forward to staying after school, walking her to the convent, carrying her bookbag. She was very kind to everyone. There was a young child with developmental disabilities. He asked her to ride on the back of his go-cart. She did and she flew off the go-cart smacked flat on the cement. I didn't know that nuns had red blood! And they could have tears in their eyes also. I felt so bad for her. She was more concerned that the little boy on the go-cart would feel bad, then she was for herself.

I loved her so much and I have never forgotten about her. 

Mary Williamson Klock    

Sister Monica Byrne passed away on September 14, 2019

Remembering: Sister Jamesella Mawhinney
Location: St. Ann's School, Nyack, NY
Date: app. 1954

Sometimes the smallest acts of kindness are the ones that have the biggest impact on us, especially when we are young children. I was in Sister Jamesella's 3rd grade class in 1954 in St. Ann's School in Nyack. Two incidents took place that year that shaped the way I have tried to treat others during my life.

One day a girl in the class threw up - all over the room and all over Sister herself. I will never forget how kind Sister Jamesella was to her despite the mess (who knew - she was a NURSE). Another situation later in the year typified the sensitivity Sister had for her students. One of the students had to be held back (in those days - it happened). Sister Jamesella let her sit by her desk the last day of school and made her the class helper, allowing her to pass out things to the others. I have always tried to emulate the kindness and sensitivity that Sister demonstrated in that situation and in many others.

It has been over fifty years since that long ago classroom. Sister went on to pursue her nursing career and when I saw her about a year ago I dont think she really remembered those two incidents. How could she really . But I do, Sister, and your kindness to those two students made a lasting impression on me.

Sister also picked up on one other thing - my increasing inability to see the board well before mandated yearly eye exams ("if you need glasses, Dorothy, tell us now"). How right she turned out to be.

You were only wrong about one thing, Sister. Today, my unique palmer pen/Dorothy handwriting is admired by everyone who sees it!

God bless the IHMs like Sister Jamesella who have given so much of themsleves. We are in your debt.

Dorothy Corbett McClafferty


Sister Jamesella Mawhinney passed away on May 2, 2018

Remembering: Sister Marianne Addy
Location: Maria Regina High School
Date: 1971-1975

Sister Marianne Addy scared the daylights out of me!! She actually expected me to do my best and I did. I was scared not to. By accident I got her when I was in tenth grade. Sister only taught juniors and seniors, she was not happy about having a tenth grade class either!! But we learned more, read more, studied harder than we did in any other class. 

I am now a high school Resource Room Teacher and I realize that she was the best teacher I ever saw.

She was a wonderful teacher. I hope she is well.

Maryann Dowling Crawford

Sister Marianne Addy passed away on January 31, 2018

Remembering: Sister Mary Martin Cawley
Location: Coeur d' Alene, Idaho
Date: 1962

Sister Mary Martin was my favorite teacher. She taught eighth grade in Coeur d' alene Idaho in 1962. I learned just today she has passed on to the Lord. Sister Mary Martin was so real. She used to regale us with her childhood antics in Brooklyn. Because of these stories I grew to respect and love Sister as a teacher and a friend. I even visited her at the convent after I started high school. I guess I needed her sage advice.

Rest in peace, Sister Mary Martin.

Marianne (Cieryca) Taylor, IHM Academy 1966

Sr Mary Martin Cawley died on March 1, 1952

Remembering: Sister M. Theodosia Matthews, IHM
Location: St. Mary’s School in Manhasset, NY
Date: class of 1969

Hi, Sister Gail Cabral!

I was a student at St Mary’s in Manhasset.

Sister Lucy McGrath was a former teacher who became a lifelong friend. I also recall Sister Joanne Barry, Sister Augustine, Sister Loyola, Sister Henry, Sister Gilmary, Sister Salvatore and Sister Barbara Jablonski.

In the late 1960s. Sister Theodosia substituted in one of our religion classes. She asked us to define “religion.” It generated a lot of good conversation. At the end, Sister gave us her definition:

“Religion is a search for an ideal and a means to attain that ideal.”

Her definition has stayed with me for over fifty years! I have used it frequently.

I quoted that definition to a childhood friend today, who immediately disputed and attacked it. Whoa! What’s to attack?

I have always thought it was such a great, and truly universal definition. I was surprised at my catholic friend’s negativity. She vehemently claimed her faith was already strong enough and she needed no further searching. Go figure? But she was not educated by the IHM sisters!

I found myself defending Sister Theodosia and her definition of religion. I then wondered what happened to Sister Theodosia? I Googled her name and learned she had died in 2008. “Requiescat in Pace.”

In reading her obituary I saw that you were her friend. So, I thought I would write to let you and the other IHM sisters know that your fine teaching still impacts my life every day.

I only had Sister Theodosia as a teacher one day when she substituted in a class, but her teaching on that day has lasted a lifetime.

Bravo to Sister Theodosia and all my IHM teachers! 

Hope you enjoy this memory of your friend.

Best regards,

Betsy Shea
St. Mary’s Manhasset, Class of 1969
Rosemont College, Class of 1973

Remembering: Sister Dorothy Ann Haney, IHM
Location: Marywood College

Due to a concentration on my nursing career, I received two degrees at Marywood later on in life. In those days the curriculum was nine credits in religion, nine in philosophy and classics. I must say my Liberal Arts has served me well.

My professor for Philosophy 101 was Sister Dorothy Haney. At the end of every class she would say “What are you going to do with your life to effectively make a better world?” Being older I was profoundly affected by that statement. This became my mantra. Nieces, nephews, and nurses under my supervision would hear that quote often.  Thousands of students would hear that statement and hopefully would change their lives.

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave became a friendly play on words between us. I would say, “I’m still in the cave.” Sr. Dorothy would laugh, and so it went every time we met.  As I became older, I emerged out of the cave and into the light.

My list of sisters to visit at OLP is long but Sister Dorothy was a high priority.  There was a sense of peace when I entered her room.  We would chat about what was going on in our lives and of course there was always a conversation about Maple. Sister Dorothy was a kind, gentle and holy woman. She deeply touched my heart and so many others during her lifetime.  It was my privilege to share my time with her. 

“What are you going to do with your live to effectively make a better world?”

--- Janet Corbett

Remembering: Sister M. St. Mel Wright, IHM
Location: Marian Convent, Scranton

I just want to tell the Sisters in the community how much I admired, respected, and loved Sister St. Mel. She was administrator of the Marian Convent during the 4 or 5 years that I played the organ there for Sunday Mass and Holydays. She was always so kind and supportive and always showed her appreciation for what I was doing. It was a special time for me and I will never forget her! She has earned her reward in Heaven!

God bless.

Karen Rainey

Remembering: Sister Marie Lourdes Vanston
Location: Our Lady of Mercy, Forest Hills NY
Date: 1986

It was a spring afternoon, and Jeff Conlon and I went to my house for lunch. Let me set the stage for you:.

I lived over 14 city blocks away from the school, and took a city bus to school and home each day. We were given a 45 minute lunch, were dismissed at 11:45 and had to be back at 12:30. Back meant in the class room and ready to learn. I usually never went home at lunch since it was far.

Jeff and I went to my house this one afternoon. By the time we were at my backdoor, we walked, it was 12:10. We went in and made a few sandwiches, and stared talking. Now my dad was there, and that was a surprise! He was a policeman, so was usually working. We talked for some time with him, and left to go back to school around 12:45 - 1:00 PM. We walked, time to play.

As we approached the school, we started talking about how late it was and how we missed the whole first period after lunch. We thought that was funny. We had to come up with a story...

Jeff had it all set. Here is what he came up with:
We went to my house for lunch, I had forgotten the keys, we had to go to a neighbors to borrow a ladder. We went in an upstairs window, and had lunch. When we were done, we had to climb out the window and use the ladder to get out since the deadbolt lock was locked. We then had to bring the ladder back to the neighbors, and then came to school.

This sounded great. As we came up the front stairs, approaching the two big wooden doors, Jeff said, "Whatever you do, just shut your mouth and let me do all the talking." See, I had a tendancy to laugh when I was lying, or screw the lies up.

We rang the bell, I can still hear it today. A buzzing sound. A moment passed and down came Mrs. Klaum, the principal's secretary.  "A little late boys!" We went up the stairs and into Sister Marie Lourdes (Vanston) waiting room. Out she came. Her wide shoulders, serious face, and a index finger that was a deadly weapon in mind warfare if she pointed it at you. "Gentlemen, you are a little late!". Jeff started, went thought the whole story, the ladder, the locked out thing, the returning of the ladder. I kept my head down and my mouth shut.

While Jeff was telling the story, Sister never looked up, she was writing the admission slips. I glanced up, thinking "just a few more moments, once my slip was written and I could get to class, I would be safe." She was just about to hand Jeff his slips and asked,"Keith, what was the matter, your Mom was not home?" I said. "No Sister, my Dad was!" Jeff's eyes went wide, and then his head sunk. I still did not realize that I not only tied the loop, but hung us.

She told Jeff to go to school, and me to get into her office.

I sat in this chair, cold wood, and a big seat. She went around the desk, not saying a word. She picked up the phone, it was a big black one that had a rotary dial. I still hear the ticking of the dial as she entered each number.

"Mr.McLiverty, I am here with Keith, ..." and she proceeded to tell him what happened, she turned away from me so I could not hear everything. Then she turned to me, and like a dream, to this day I still see it, this handset from the black phone being handed to me, in slow motion. It was getting larger with each inch it got closer to me. Ok, I will get Dad on the line, tell him Jeff made me do it, and then be home free. I put the phone to my ear, "Dad.." He wasn't letting me speak, he said " So, you are busted. I will tell you what I told Sister Maria Lourdes, you are all hers, have a good day!" My Dad, he sold me to the principal.

She hung up the phone, looked at me, and said "go to class." I spent each afternoon for the next two weeks cleaning erasers in the closet. And my buddy Jeff would every so often be outside the building and yell, " No sister, my father was!"

Sister Maria was the best, and I think of her often. We have crossed paths at some reunions. I do not believe that each of the IHM nuns realize how oftern we speak about you, and how much of an impact you had in our lives.

Thank you.

Keith McLiverty

P.S. Jeff and I are still best friends to this day.


Remembering: Sisters who were at Academia Cristo Rey in 1968
Location: Academia Cristo Rey, Ponce, Puerto Rico
Date: 1968 - 1970

It is amazing what age and maturity will do to your perspective on life and the past in general. My family was quite out of the ordinary. My dad was an oil man and we migrated to Puerto Rico from NYC in 1954. I don't remember that move since I was just 9 months old at the time. We started our education with Colegio San Conrado (Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, NY) and my sister and I moved over to Academia Cristo Rey in 1968. At the time the IHM Sisters were teaching at this school.

In 1970, they left the island and were replaced by the Order of Saint Francis from Buffalo, NY. I moved on in 1971 and began my university studies at that time in Puerto Rico. Transferred to Villanova University and ultimately moved back to the mainland USA. My youngest sister married a local man, stayed in PR and was a long term public school teacher in PR.

Here I am...father of two young ladies and the grandfather of two exceptional girls...a youthful grandfather if I may say so! I received an excellent education in the private/parochial schools of PR. At that time, when there were many more religious members, our sisters were normally from the USA. Yes, there were some local and other Latin orders that came to the island (Spain, Cuba, Venezuela), but in the "roaring 40's, 50's, 60's" the NYC Archdiocese presence in PR was the greatest supplier of our Sisters. And that tradition with my children continued here in New kids were also educated in Parochial schools.

What did living in Puerto Rico and being educated by American Sisters did for me:
- complete English/Spanish bilinguality
- an excellent college preparatory education
- progressive opinions on life in general
- compassionate outlook on life

My two take aways...
- Sr. Joan who spent a whole class period discussing the value of "me time"...taking time for yourself in whatever activity
- Sr. Aquinas...whose sad reaction to the assassination of Martin Luther King resonates deeply with me and the cause of equality and Human Rights

THANK the many IHM sisters...Sr. Joan, Sr. Aquinas, Sr. Gloria Frank...and so many others who unselfishly gave of their time to come to Puerto Rico.

Alfred F. Aronson


Remembering: Sisters at St. Ephrem's in 1984
Location: St. Ephrem School, Brooklyn, NY
Date: 1984

I often wonder where the old sisters who taught us are and what they are up to. I specifically remember Sr. Joan McCusker,  my music teacher. Sr. Marie Imeldia my social studies and religion teacher amongst others. I visit the school from time to time to say hello, or often see other sisters and teachers at Sunday mass, but some have just disappeared. If they are still alive, I wanted to say hello and thanks for a great educuation.

The other sisters were:

Sr. Celeste Parry (1st grade at St. E's)
Sr. Patricia Woll (art)
Sr. Charles (librarian)
Sr. Joan McCusker (music teacher) 
Sr. Marie Imelda Callahan
Sr. Rita Ann

James Stawniczy

To read Sr Patricia's obituary:

To read Sr Marie Imelda's obituary:


Remembering: Sister Redempta Sweeney
Location: Bishop Hoban Wilkes-Barre, PA
Date: 1975-1976

Sister Redempta Sweeney was a wonderful, kind and patient person, who smiled often. I was a student at Bishop Hoban and Sister Redempta was very kind and really helped to educate me. I had her for Moral Guidance Class, and in addition to wanting to become a nun at the time, Sister cheerfully met with me once a week for an hour after school to talk, listen. She offered me great books to read, such as, "Hinds Feet on High Places."

Sister will be happy to know that I am a graduate of Kings College and Marywood University. I earned my Master of Science Degree from Marywood in 1990. I have been a teacher for the past 24 years.

Thanks to Sister Redempta Sweeney for the time she spent with me, her love, kindness and educational encouragement! If Sister is still with the Congregation, please forward this message of gratitude.

Karen Corcoran (Block )
1976 Graduate of Hoban
1984 King's College
1990 Marywood University


Remembering: Sister Susan Hadzima
Location: St. Dominic's High School Oyster Bay, NY
Date: 1973-1977

I happened upon your website and saw Sister Susan Hadzima's picture. It's been 32 years since I saw her last, but her kind smile still shines as brightly today as it did then. Sister Susan was a settling and peaceful influence for a very shy and rather awkward boy. She probably never realized the positive influence she had on me, but as I approach my 50th birthday I thought it might be a good idea to let her know. I married a girl from St. Dominic's and have three sons, I've been truly blessed.

God Bless Sister Susan and all the great ladies who have served as IHM Sisters.

Gerry Smith

Remembering: Sister M. Gracette Baker
Location: St. Rosalia School, Pittsburgh, PA
Date: Late 1970's / early 1980's

I was a teacher's aide for Sr. Gracette Baker when she taught 8th grade at St. Rosalia Elementary School in Pittsburgh. I remember her smile and her sense of humor with great fondness, but the time I remember best is at a Halloween party for the class. The students were bobbing for apples, and, after some urging, Sr. Gracette turned to me and said, "Hold my bonnet back," after which she proceeded to bob and grab the biggest apple in the tub, much to the delight of all of her students.

We have stayed in touch through many moves ever since those years.

Anne McRae

Remembering: Sr. Sandy Grieco and Sr. Donna Korba
Location: Holy Cross HS, Delran, NJ
Date: 1992

Sr. Donna Korba was my art teacher at Holy Cross. I was rather annoyed I had to take an art class my freshman year, not because I dislike art but because I can't draw a straight line with a ruler. I was convinced sister was going to laugh at my sad exucse for an art project...but she didn't. Instead, she took extra time to help me and nurture a sense of confidence in myself.

It was the same with Sr. Sandy Grieco. She never let me get away with feeling bad for myself or making excuses when I didn't perform to my abilities. Back then I had no confidence in myself or my abilities but Sr. Sandy and Sr. Donna changed that. They taught me to believe in myself and if I fail, it didn't mean I was stupid, it just meant I needed to work harder.

That's exactly what I did Srs. Sandy and Donna. I never stopped trying, I never gave up. I went to college and worked my way to a Ph.D in Anthropology. I don't think I could have done it without the foundation you gave me. I'll never forget either of you.

Dominic Imperiale, PhD


Remembering: Sister Daria McGinn
Location: St. Ann's School, Nyack NY
Date: 1952

I was a first grade student in St. Ann's in 1952 and I was lucky enough to have had Sister Daria McGinn as my teacher. I remember her so well as she drilled us each day in phonics by pointing to an alphabet chart with what at that time at least seemed like a very big pointer. I remember how she would smile as Father Murphy, our pastor, tapped on the window of the two room schoolhouse that housed the kindergarten and first grade and would keep smiling as we were all running to him to tell him jokes.I most especially will never forget how she prepared us for our First Communion. Images of our souls being like beautiful white christening gowns have remained with me throughout my life.

I owe the IHMs a lot- and I am especially grateful to you, Sister, for the lifelong love of reading, learning and faith that you instilled in me and
in all of your students in that long ago classroom. Your classroom is a happy memory for me-full of learning and love.

My regret is that my daughters have not had the advantage of an IHM education. May God bless you all

Dorothy Corbett McClafferty

Remembering: Sister Felice Hickey
Location: St. Mary's, Manhasset

Another one of our dear St. Mary's Sisters (Sister Felice Hickey) has gone to the Lord. We all have fond memories of a religious woman who had a great sense of humor. She told us many times that John Barry and not John Paul Jones was the Father of the American Navy! May she rest in peace.

Pat Sanford Tierney

To read Sr Felice's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Francis Rose Lapitino
Location: Forest Hills, NY
Date: 1991-1998

Just remembering what a fine teacher 'Frannie Rose' was. We taught together at OLM from 1991 through 1998. She was always there for me and extremely compassionate.

Thank you, Sister Francis Rose.

Linda Gargiulo

Remembering: Sisters who taught at St. Mary of the Mount in Pittsburgh, PA
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Date: 1963-1967

Never a day goes by that I don't think of one of the caring, loving remarkable women of the IHM Sisters. They taught us at St. Mary of the Mount in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I was saddened to hear that of another of those Beloved Nuns passed away last week. Sister Salvator exemplified what all teachers should be: kind, loving, supportive while always asking you to raise the bar & think outside the box. I took French because I loved Sister Salvatore Cramer!  I also took more French classes in college because of her. My 1st grade teacher was Sister Adele Mari. Followed by Sister Mary Margaret, Sister Mary Patrick, Sister Thomaseta (she was tall & beautiful ) and I was fortunate to be in her home room in grade school & again as a sophomore.  There was Sister Faith Brown and Sister Mary Freddo (we were in her class 50 years ago) when president  Kennedy was shot in Dallas. Sister Joann and Sister Xavier for Latin and of course, Sister Paul Joseph was our principle when I graduated in 1967. I loved all of them then and still do. I tell everyone what a great education & life experience Catholic school provided me. The amazing work you do is measured year after year in our successes!

Merry Christmas to all & a very Happy New Year as you all deserve the best life has to offer.

Mike Laughlin

To read Sr Salvator's obituary:

To read Sr Thomasita's obituary:

To read Sr Faith's obituary:

To read Sr  Xavier's obituary:

Remembering: Sisters who taught at St. Ambrose Elementary School, Bridgeport, CT
Location: Saint Ambrose Elementary School in Bridgeport, CT
Date: 1960 - 1968

Dear Sisters,
I recently purchased a book from your community that I will use in my last semester of formation prior to ordination into the permanent diaconate in the Archdiocese of Hartford CT, on June 7th of this year. When I saw the IHM sisters selling the book via the Amazon community, I was happy to purchase it because I was a student at Saint Ambrose elementary school in Bridgeport CT, 1960 - 1968, which was staffed by the IHM Sisters. If not for the influence of the wonderful nuns who staffed that school when I was there, I don't believe I would have been led to this vocation. Unlike some of the horror stories others experienced in Catholic schools, my 8 years and those of a number of Saint Ambrose alumni, were replete with graces and blessings. The sisters were most caring, nurturing and loving. I can still remember my first day of 1st grade, when Sister Theresa Mary came walking in, with rosaries swinging about her waist. She was young, beautiful, kind and she smelled good too! I felt like I was in the presence of the Virgin Mary. She and the vast majority of the nuns who were there at the time are people you should be proud of. They formed my spirituality. Lovely women. Your community will always be dear to me, and I will be eternally grateful to the following sisters (at least those I can remember).

Sister Theresa Mary (Sally Curry) - 1st Grade; Sister Marcia - 2nd Grade; Sister ? - Third Grade; Sister Mary Mark Carnes - 6th Grade; Sister Regina Mary - 7th Grade; Sister Dolores Marie - 7th Grade; Sister Elizabeth Marie - 8th Grade; Sister Francesca - 8th Grade; Sister Andre Devoren(Principal)

Ernest (Ernie) Scrivani

PS - Please keep me in your prayers, I will keep you in mine.

To read Sr Andre's obituary:

To read Sr Mary Mark's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Eileen (M. Theodora) Egan, IHM
Location: St. Mary's School

Sr. Theodora (Egan) came into my life in 1966 as my 3rd grade teacher. I came from a large family and school was an escape for me from the sadness and trauma I experienced. I often think of you all these years later. You were an angel for me and I often wonder if my wonderful father, who died when I was only 6 months old, had sent you into my life. His name was Theodore. One day you pulled me over to the new girl who you told me moved in next to my house. You put our hands in each others and you said that you knew we would be great buddies. Her name is Maria Alvarez. I would grow up in her house and love her mom like she was my own. Maria and I are still best friends and are truly sisters. I cried when Facebook brought me to this page. I married a man from Peru, you see. How is that for divine intervention my dear Sr . Theodora. Thank you for coming into my life. You are always in my heart.

God bless you. You are loved.
Gabrielle Gordon Rios

Remembering: Sisters who taught at St. Ambrose in the 1950's and 1960's
Location: St. Ambrose School in Bridgeport, CT
Date: 1956 to 1968

My name is Ernest (Ernie) Scrivani.  I am a graduate of St. Ambrose School in Bridgeport CT (1968). The reason for contacting you is to express a collective thanks for the contributions and dedications of the good sisters with whom I had the privilege of spending eight formative years. I am now 58 years old and approaching the day of my ordination to the Order of Deacons in the Archdiocese of Hartford, CT. If not for the kindness and love I experienced from your sisters in St. Ambrose, I honestly do not believe I would be at this amazing juncture in my life.

The sisters whose names I remember are as follows - Sr. Therese Mary; Sr. Marcia; Sr. Mary Mark; Sr. Regina Mary; Sr. Dolores Marie; Sr. Elizabeth Marie;  Sr. Francesca, and our principle Sr. Andre - the others I cannot recall. I remember vividly my first day of school, when Sr. Theresa Mary greeted us. She was young, she was beautiful, her rosary beads made a calming sound as she walked and she smelled sweet. I know that she left the order long ago - her secular name is Sally Currie. As a 6 year old boy, I felt like Sister Theresa Mary was a manifestation of the Virgin Mary herself, so tender and loving was she. Without getting imposingly verbose, I just wanted to let you know the impact these sisters had on me, the fruit of which has been growing for a long time.

Please extend to any or all who are still with us, my deepest gratitude. I know and believe that their witness and their love was providential in forming my faith and has led me to this most blessed vocation. With profound and sincere gratitude, I am your son in Christ.

Ernest (Ernie) Scrivani

Remembering: Sister M. Verena O'Callahan
Location: St. Mary's, Manhasset

A group of St. Mary's graduates get together each year and we have reminisced so much about our years at St. Mary's.  We have fond memories of the sisters.  Sr. Verena taught Geometry to all of us. There are some Geometry facts we took with us. Some were better at math than others. I am in the latter group.  However I'd do remember "the shortest distance from one point to another is a straight line.”

May she rest in peace.

Pat Sanford Tierney

To read Sr Verena's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Neumann Murray
Location: St. Mary's, Manhasset, NY
Date: 1947

Sr. Neumann was incredible!  Everyone loved her so much that, when she wanted us to clean the classroom at the end of the school year, we scrubbed the floors so well that they had to be refinished.  Years later, after three of my children were born,  I visited Sister at Canal St. in NYC with my husband, three children and my Mom. It was like going to see Grandma and Sister was so thrilled when we gave her a statue of the Infant of Prague with all the colored vestments for her classroom.

Kay Gumm Albrecht Daniels

Remembering: Sister M. Joan (Ann) Minahan
Location: Marywood College Scranton, Pa.

She was known to me as Aunt Ann. She was my paternal grandmother's sister. When I was growing up she would come and visit us in South Carolina. When I got older, I would write her letters and she would correct my english and send them back. Some might have taken offense at this, but she and I enjoyed it. I attended her funeral mass, I believe in 1966.  It's been a long time since 1966 and I have lost contact with a lot of the family on that side, but I've thought of "Aunt Ann" often. 

Beth McLean

Remembering: Sister Gonzaga Walton
Location: St. Ephrem's, Brooklyn, NY
Date: 1960's

This may sound negative at first, but bear with me; it doesn't end that way. It is unlikely that anyone from St. Ephrem's will post any good memories about Sr. Gonzaga: Everyone was afraid of her, even some of the lay teachers!

Sr. Gonzaga was quite elderly, and people gave Room 6 a wide birth. It occurred to me a few years ago that Sr. Gonzaga wasn't always old and that there had to be more to her story. So I wrote and asked about her. I was surprised to learn that she was not the first member of the Walton family to become an IHM Sister. She was also not the first Sr. Gonzaga Walton. There have been three, all born in the 19th century. Our Sr. Gonzaga was the last, and lived into her late 90's. She also had a niece, Sr. Justa Walton. The contribution of all the Waltons’ to IHM, and in turn, to all those they served, cannot be overlooked. While I didn't learn anything about Sr. Gonzaga's early years as a Sister, I did learn that she was continuing a proud tradition of service, and for that, I honor her memory.

I would be interested in learning more about her early life, if anyone has any memories or records or photos.

Bill Carey

To read Sr Gonzaga's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Basil McLane
Location: St. Leo's School, Ashley, PA
Date: 1957

Sister Basil, who died at the age of 103, last year, became the principal at St. Leo’s in the fall of 1957. Known then as "Mother" Basil, she stood ramrod-straight and wore pince-nez, giving her quite an authoritative air in her starched wimple and impeccably pressed habit. Soon after arriving, she visited our fifth-grade classroom to hear us practice the hymns for the children's Mass the following Sunday. The hymn we sang for her was "Soul of Our Saviour," which included the words "wash me, ye waters, gushing from His side."

When Mother Basil heard us sing that line, she winced noticeably and adjusted her pince-nez with deliberation. She asked one of the pupils to copy the words to the hymn on the blackboard. When he had done so, she picked up an eraser and first rubbed out the "u" from the word "Saviour," explaining to us that we were in America and the correct spelling was "Savior."  Then, in a great cloud of chalk dust, she erased the word "gushing" quite thoroughly--eradicating it, really--and replaced it with "streaming" in her perfect Spenserian handwriting.

Wincing again, and speaking like Queen Elizabeth addressing Parliament, she solemnly intoned, BUT with a hint of a smile, "Boys and girls, one should never gush."

We ten-year-olds had no idea what she was trying to accomplish, but we knew from her royal demeanor--oops, demeanor--that attention had to be paid.

Years later, after I had found my calling as a writer and editor, I remembered that incident and had my "aha" moment. Mother Basil had given us a valuable lesson about the nuances of language: how one must always choose the precise word to express one's thoughts, and that some words are inappropriate in certain contexts. Obviously, the thought of waters "gushing" from the side of Christ was just too informal and tasteless for her refined sensibility.

It seemed like a minor incident, but it only served to heighten my awareness of the unique powers of every word in the language. I think I became a better writer and editor as a result of that object lesson by Mother Basil wincing in pince-nez one autumn afternoon half a century ago.

Edward Moran

To read Sr Basil's obituary:

Remembering: Sisters Petrina Maher, Ida McDonnell, Hortense O'Boyle
Location: Most Holy Rosary, Syracuse, NY
Date: 1959

Sisters of the IHM taught me at Most Holy Rosary, but, gave me the gift of direction in life. I am very, very grateful.

Sister Petrina, Sister Ida, Sister Hortense and many others! God Bless and Thank You!

Bob Casey, 1959

Most Holy Rosary, Syracuse, NY

To read Sr Petrina's obituary:

To read Sr Ida's obituary:

To read Sr Hortense's obituary:

Remembering: Sister M. Benedicta Berendes
Location: Holy Rosary High School
Date: 1961

Thanks for letting us know about Sister Benedicta. I remember her fondly. She actually influenced me to become an English major in college, although she never knew that. I used to love the way she read poetry to us in 11th and 12th grades. Her cadence and rhythm as she read was superb. She distilled a love of poetry in me. Funny how life is. It wasn't even her field. She probably didn't even want to be teaching us English. But she influenced me. I pray she had a full, rewarding, and happy life. 


To read Sr Benedicta's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Coletta (Jeanne Marie) Kearney
Location: St. Matthew School - Wilmington, Delaware
Date: 1959

I was trained by the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart Of Mary at St. Matthew School in Wilmington, Delaware from 1956 to 1964.

The sister that impressed me the most was Sister Coletta my fourth grade teacher. She always reinterated at that time, "things we do today affect tomorrow and we must make the most of every moment we have in life".

I will say this about Sister Coletta and all of the good sisters that taught at St. Matthew School. We were trained on how to face life along with our schoolwork. As a result of all of that instruction I have tried to lead my life as a credit to the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and my parents.

Sister Coletta ran a fair but firm classroom but was always willing to help any student should they stumble.

We learned mental math, we learned how to read effectivly, write proficiently and communicate proerly. We learned the disciplines of the Catholic religion along with Geography, History and English.

Most importantly, everything she and the other good sisters taught then, carried us into our adult life today.

My thanks to Sister Coletta and the good sisters of the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for all they have done to influence me.

Today, St. Matthew School is closed a victim of the severe recession that closed down the neighboring General Motors and Chrysler Automobile plants in Delaware but the memories remain.

From time to time students who knew Sister Coletta at St. Matthew School in Wilmington, Delaware get together and remember our times at that school.

Sister Coletta always comes up first in our conversations as the nun who impressed us all for her efforts and getting all of us in gear with our studues and life's lessons.

My thanks to everyone including Sister Coletta as I have stayed a practicing Catholic, member of the Knights of Columbus and I also direct traffic after the 5:00 P. M. Saturday mass st St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Bear, Delaware where I belong.

Francis Jackowski

To read Sr Jeanne Marie's (Coletta) obituary:

Remembering: Sister Mary Cephas Ryan
Location: Poconos, Atlantic Ocean, NYC

Sister Cephas was one of the dearest members of our family (although not related by blood). When I was a kid, she took us fishing in the mountains and deep-sea and took us to NYC to see our first broadway shows. Her smile and laughter will always be remembered.

Noreen Davish

To read Sr Mary's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Lothaire (Ruth) Saunders
Location: South Catholic High School, Scranton, PA
Date: Late 1950's to Early 1960's

Sister Lothaire was our sophomore history teacher at South Catholic. She was an excellent teacher. I later became a history teacher also. Moreover, although she was terminally ill at the time and had missed several weeks of teaching, she never complained or made us feel sorry for her. Ruth Saunders was an outstanding example of a kind, decent person who loved life, children, and her God. She died too soon -- early 40's. I still think of her and miss her presence in my life. Thanks, Ruth.

Dr. David Wren

Remembering: Sister Joan (Moya) Ciraula
Location: Saint John the Evangelist School, Silver Spring, Maryland
Date: 1960-1961

When I was in the 4th grade, my friends and I were crazy about baseball, even though the hometown team was our beloved Washington Senators. The mantra for the city of Washington at that time was "first in war, first in peace, and last in the America League." On many mornings as we waited for the bell to ring, we could be found flipping baseball cards against the wall of the school in the hopes that someone would mistakenly flip a "special card (e.g., Mickey Mantle Rookie)" that we could add to our already impressive collections. One crsip October morning, Sister Moya (I never knew her "given name") bounded out of the convent and rushed past us into our classroom, which was on the other side of the wall against which we were flipping our cards. Within minutes, she was on the playground--sleeves pinned back, rosary tucked in--flipping cards with us (using the cards we had forfeited to her during class). If memory serves me correctly, she definitely added to her collection that morning! We 9 and 10 year olds were awestruck at her ability to compete with "pros" like us. After lunch that same day, we were greeted by a B&W television set in the corner of the classroom. After all, it was the fall of 1960, when baseball still played day games, and her beloved Pittsburgh Pirates were in the World Series. In a class of 60+ kids, Sister Moya was one of those loving, tough but fair teachers we've all had in school. She also loved "the game," and that made her OK in our scorebook.

John Everett

To read Sr Joan's  (Moya) obituary:

Remembering: Sister deRicci Baker
Location: St. Ambrose, Bridgeport, Ct.
Date: 1961

Sister taught an all boys class for this one year at St. Ambrose. It was our sixth grade class and she was very influential in keeping me and a small group of friends on the straight and narrow. I never forgot her.
Thank You, Bob Kelly

To read Sr deRicci's obituary:

Remembering: Sister M. Imelda, Sister Theresa Clare, Sr. Cecilius, etc.
Location: St. John's School, Silver Spring, MD
Date: 1955-1959

As a kid, I felt that those nuns are out to get me! No! They taught me. I was taught by the IHMs throughout elementary school. It was a family tradition. My parents were taught by IHMs and my children were taught by IHMs at St. Agnes School in Catonsville, MD. You all were the best teachers anyone could have. 50 years ago I could not imagine committing this to words, but we all learn with time. The grammar and composition I was taught and the math I was forced to endure got me through college. God bless you all.

To read Sr Imelda' s obituary:

To read Sr Cecilius' obituary:

Remembering: All who educated me from 1954-1966
Location: St. Mary of the Mount in Pittsburgh, PA
Date: 1954-1966

I cannot single out just one of the many excellent teachers who taught at St. Mary of the Mount. The nuns who taught me and my 7 brothers and sisters gave us an excellent academic education but more importantly, taught us the spiritual values that have stayed with us throughout our lives. Throughout the course of life, and I am now in my early 60's, these have been a rock solid foundation with which to confront life's adversities as well as life's successes. I would just like to thank our sisters for giving so much and imparting to us that which is REALLY important.

Dan Fagan

Remembering: All of the IHM Sisters who formed my life
Location: St. Ambrose School, Bridgeport, CT
Date: 1959-1968

Too many stories come to mind. I just thought it was time to say "thank you" to all the sisters who had such an important part in my formation. We had a tremendous group of nuns at the time --Sr. Theresa Mary, Sr. Marcia, Sr. St. Mel Wright, Sr. Conrad Schaefer , Sr. Alphonus Mary, Sr. Paulinus, and not to forget Mother Joel and Sr. Andre. I received a wonderful education. God bless them all!

Johanna O'Connell Reilly

To read Sr Conrad's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Mary Peter Doran
Location: St. Mary's, Manhasset, NY
Date: 1970's

When I lived at St. Mary's in Manhasset in the 70's, Sr. Mary Peter was our Superior for a time and also a good friend. Her friendliness, sense of humor, caring, faith, storytelling, and concern for her Sisters was evident on a daily basis not only in the convent, but also reflected in the way she taught and treated the students at school. The memory of her twinkling eyes will always bring a smile to my face.

Jeannine (Morin) Ayres

To read Sr Mary Peter's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Robert Ann von Ahnen
Location: Marywood College, Scranton, PA

Sister Robert Ann was a professor of Mathematics at Marywood College when I graduated from there in 1988. Since I received my B.S. in Math, I took many classes with Sister and knew her very well since she also moderated the Math club to which I belonged for three years. She was a ton of fun - always laughing and joking and made learning math an exciting adventure. She was a great encourager, and was a very brave woman in fighting her diabetes and bearing the amputation of both legs in recent years. I just found out that Sister passed away 2 weeks ago and am heartbroken. We remained in close touch and I will miss her dearly. Just knowing she is no longer on this earth makes it a little sadder place to be. I pray she is enjoying the peace and light of Christ in her eternal home.

I'll miss you Sister - thank you for everything.

Karen Snyder

 To read Sr Robert Ann's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Edith Halligan
Location: Maria Regina Diocesan High School, Uniondale, NY
Date: 1967-1971

I am an alumnus of the 2nd graduating class (class of 1971) at Maria Regina Diocesan High School (now Bishop Kellenburg) located in Uniondale, New York.

My favorite teacher, whom I remember now and will never forget, was Sister Edith Halligan, IHM. She was our high school's music teacher, and in my case, the conductor of the Concert Choir, which I was part of, as a member of its baritone section.

I recall fondly how once when we were practicing the Hallelujah chorus, I was not singing, but instead was "miming". Sister Edith, with her finely attuned ears (even under that restrictive veil), suspected as much, and smiling, waved her conductor's wand, signalling for all to stop singing. She then walked up to my section, and pointing me out, said, "Mr. Cammarata, will you please sing your part so that everyone else can hear?" I did so with bravado, and afterwards she smiled and addressed the choir, exclaiming, "Now THAT is how I want the rest of you to sing... with vibrance!" She then winked at me as she shook her head and we continued practicing, but with much more gusto!

Oh no! There was NO pulling the woolover Sister Edith's eyes! And because of that, and so much more, I absolutely adored her. We were more than just teacher and student. We were friends! She actually allowed myself and 4 of my friends to practice with our personal band right there at the school, when our own parents would not at home.

For approximately 10 years after my graduation in 1971, I would always receive a yearly Holiday card from Sister Edith, just prior to Christmas, inviting me to come back as alumnus and participate in the Christmas Concert. She would always write in the card how "vibrant" my voice always was and how she looked forward to my being there and singing with them.

I feel badly that I never took her up on her offer, thinking now that Sister Edith is most likely no longer with us here on earth (I assume this because I'm 58 years old myself now). But I guarantee you this... if Sister Edith Halligan is in fact no longer here with us, she CERTAINLY is most-favored in Heaven and sits beside God!

Sister Edith... I miss you! My memory of those years may be failing in other respects now, but YOU will be in my thoughts and heart forever, remembered most fondly.

Tom Cammarata

To read Sr Edith's obituary:


Remembering: Sister Mary Peter Doran
Location: St Mary's, Manhasset, NY
Date: 1970

First, Happy Anniversary Sr Mary Peter! I understand that this year was your 70th Anniversary with the IHM's. What a wonderful accomplishment!

I guess my story really begins with you. You were my math teacher during my junior and senior years at St Mary's. In addition, after leaving St Dominics you also started Mathletes at St Mary's, too. I was one of the students who joined. My recollections of math class was they were never a bore and always full of lessons to learn as well as many conversations.

In May of my senior year, a friend of mine spoke to Sr Catherine who worked in the library and said she would like to go to the prom however she did not have a date. As it turns out neither did I. Sr Catherine told Linda to speak to you. She said "you knew plenty of boys at St Dominics" Linda and I spoke to you and that evening you called a former student. He was not at home but his younger brother was. You asked him how old he was and he replied he was a senior at St Dominics. You asked him if he and a friend might be interested in going to the St Mary's prom. He said sure! He called his friend Art who lived down the block then returned your call. He said who should go with whom? You replied "the taller of you should go with Kathy and the shorter one with Linda".

Well, Art and I have been married for 36 years. We have 2 sons. In addition as a result of that love of math that you nurtured in me, I discovered that I had a talent for analysis. After working my way through school and earning my degree in business, I became a CPA. I later went back to school and earned a Masters in information systems. That love of learning that you as well as all my other teachers gave to me still exists and I hope it always will. There is not a moment when I manipulate an Excel spreadsheet that I don't say Thank You and Bless You Sr Mary Peter. Where would I be without you!

Kathy Murphy

To view Sr Maria Peter's obituary:


Remembering: Sister M. Emerita Gasper, IHM

I am so happy you have e-mail! Mom forwarded to me your beautiful note about the Cookie Sister. Sr. Emerita was one of my all-time favorites at Our Lady of Grace. While attending various meetings in the convent, we moms were often drawn by the aromas wafting from the kitchen. Sister Emerita was always gracious, slipping cookies to any children who accompanied us, but always apologizing that she couldn't give us the cookie recipes, as she used the contents of her legendary "all-purpose crumb jar," into which every leftover bread, cookie, cake, and pie-crust crumb went. When it was full, she added to its contents "a little of this and a little of that," to produce the most heavenly cookies on earth. I'm not a big cookie fan, but we ALL drooled over hers!

I posted news of her death on my Facebook page. Keelan remembered her well, Drew vaguely (which surprised me, as she was hugely captivated by him when he was a toddler and often gave him "one extra cookie for later!"); sadly, though, Devon and Conor didn't know her in her capacity as Cookie Sister. The late Sr. Jeanne Drummond's sister, Eileen, shared lovely memories of Sr. Emerita, as did Chris Jablonski (Sr. Barbara's sister), and some of the OLG moms with whom I've kept in touch over the years.

What a wonderfully long life she lived in the service of God! I can't tell you how happy I am that she was given such a loving and largely attended going-home celebration. If there are baked goods in Heaven, I know who will be cheerfully and humbly presenting them at the Lord's table!

We who knew Sr. Emerita were blessed, and not just because she was so talented in the kitchen. She was simply -- well -- lovable by her very presence in a room and valuable contributions to any conversation.

Cara Sheridan O'Donnell

To read Sr Emerita's obituary:


Remembering: Sister M. Emerita Gasper, IHM

One of my fondest memories of Sister Emerita was after my great-grandmother passed away. I was in the third grade and absolutely devastated. Sister Emerita, being the saint that she was, must have had a hunch that I was having a difficult time, because one day in the mail I received a manila envelope filled with books on the saints, prayer cards, rosary beads and Bibles to help console me.

I began writing to Sister Emerita to let her know what was going on in my life and to see how she was doing. She always wrote back, stressing the importance of prayer and always reminding me to pray for a happy death. My family moved to Georgia when I was 8 years old and when we would travel home to Martinsburg, West Virginia, we would often drive up to visit Sister. Those were some of the most memorable trips for me. Just being in her presence and hearing all of her fascinating stories and learning about which saint to pray to is something that I will never forget. I remember the first time Sister Emerita saw a computer and a credit card. She was 103 years old. She looked at the computer in awe and when my mom showed her what a credit card was, Sister held it in her hands looking at the front and back of it and told my mom, "you'd better keep an eye on that and not lose it!"

My letters to Sister continued well into my adulthood and at the end of each one I would always ask her to pray for me. Even though she could no longer respond, I knew, without a doubt, that she was sending prayers up for me each and every day. About a month and half before she passed away, my parents went to visit. My mom read my last letter to her and showed her pictures of our new baby girl. I am excited to be able to one day tell my daughter about her amazing Great-Great-Great Aunt and how inspirational and influential she was in my life.

Sister Emerita touched so many lives in her 107 years and certainly instilled in me what the important things in life truly are. My family is so blessed to have our own special guardian angel and I find solace in knowing that Sister Emerita is home at last!

Annie Domenico Kaigler (Sister Emerita's Great-Great Niece)

To read Sr Emerita's obituary:


Remembering: Sister M. Emerita Gasper, IHM

I am sitting here reading Sister Emerita's obituary and watching her touching pie video made by Sister Fran. May God bless all of you for the wonderful care she received over the years. My brother and his wife stopped to see her on Friday and Sunday before her passing, and they were so touched by the care Sister was receiving during her brief illness. As sad as it made me feel when I got the phone call, I could still find happiness and peace that Sister's prayers were answered and St. Michael was taking her straight to the gates of Heaven. I know she waited and patiently prayed for many years to be with her Saviour and Lord.

Sister Emerita was one in a million. I know all will truly miss her wisdom, her knowledge of the Saints and her insurmountable faith in God. I, for one, will always cherish those road trips to Scranton  to visit with her while coming away with a renewed sense of faith from just spending time in her presence.  I have many fond childhood memories of Sister coming home to West Virginia by bus to spend a week with us. Our family was blessed in so many ways.

Please send my regards and thank yous to all the staff, Sisters and wonderful IHM family who so lovingly made Sister part of their family. She loved all of you so much.

My Aunt Gertrude Frye and I were talking this week and we commented on Sister's unbelievable memory even in her later years. We decided she is our Saint to pray to for " one's memory".

Sister Emerita is home now and I would almost bet she is cranking out the pies and joyfully singing praise and thanksgiving to God.

Debbie Crowell Domenico (Sister Emerita's Great Niece)

To read Sr Emerita's obituary:

Remembering: Sister M. Grata (Barbara) Brow
Location: Chapel School, Scranton PA
Date: Early 1940s

Sr. Grata was my kindergarten teacher at Chapel School and although I can't quite remember what she looked like (except she seemed very tall) I certainly remember her wonderful voice.

Kindergarten in those days was called a socialization program and I certainly can attest to that. Sister played the piano and sang. And so did we. There was a rhythm band and our little class marched around the room with the girls playing the tambourines, triangles and the boys the drums. We sat around a table on little chairs drinking our little bottles of milk. "No elbows on the table," Sister said. The table then became a sandbox. We made a playhouse or two with those large cardboard boxes that tissues came in. Sister probably cut out the windows and then we painted windows and doors. School seemed a bit magical. And then we had graduation with graduation caps made out of cardboard. And I believe there was a little ceremony for our mothers in the classroom. It was a wonderful preparation for First Grade.

Several years later I participated in a radio program on a Scranton station that was sponsored, I believe, by the Catholic Light newspaper. The program was a test of catechism questions and the weekly winner then met at a later date with other weekly winners. A kind of early Jeopardy. A week or so after my appearance (only one) I received a beautiful letter from Sister Grata complimenting me on my participation. I was about eleven then and was overwhelmed. She had the most beautiful handwriting and her note was very affecting. I treasure it to this day.

Suzanne Harding Kramer

To read Sr Grata's obituary:


Remembering: Sister Carol Bender
Location: Pocono Central Catholic
Date: 1976

I am a 1977 graduate of Pocono Central Catholic High School. I started at that school as a first grader in 1965 and have many fond memories of my years with the IHM sisters.

One of the sisters in particular sticks out in my mind because she unlocked the world for me. You see, I couldn't read and from the time that I first learned to read I would probably be considered a functioning illiterate. I maintained a low C or D average throughout my school years. I don't think they put a name to dyslexia at that time, but I sure did have a learning disability. From the time that I was in third grade I can remember going to special classes for reading help and even as a junior in high school, I was in a 'reading lab'. Every week of my junior year I'd report to Sister Carol. She sat me in the AV room with a little projector that had a lighted section hat moved across the words of a story projected on the screen. She seemed to know that my eyes and my brain weren't working in unison during reading. Those hours spent in a lonely, dark room training my eyes and brain to work together did the trick. It is because of her patience that I can read. From that point on, I excelled in every thing I've attempted in my life. In my senior year I won the "Most Improved Senior Girl" award upon graduation. Since then my grade averages in any classes that I've taken were 3.89 to 4.0. It's all because of Sister Carol Bender and I thank God for sending her to me.

Jean M. (Palermo) Neal 

To read Sr Carol's obituary:

Remembering: Mother Seraphia, Sister Cosmas, Sister Matthew
Location: Immaculata H.S. NYC
Date: 1947

Mother Seraphia was the Principal and I was blessed to have her in my life, When I was leaving school she gave me her own Missal and inscribed it for me. Sr. Cosmas was also a very kind and patient teacher despite boys antics at times. Sr. Mathew was both teacher and social director who put on dances and plays getting everyone involved. I did not realize at the time what great teachers and mentors the Sisters were. But, I do now so long afterwards and Thank God for them. I believe they are still looking after me.

Patrick FitzSimons

Remembering: Sister Mary Charistas
Location: Marywood
Date: 1957-1958

She was my Mother's first cousin. We had many good times together, many fond memories.

Bridget Smith

Remembering: Sister Alphonsus Mary
Location: St. Ambrose Bridgeport, CT
Date: 1962-1963

I've often thought of Sr. Alphonsus Mary. I was lucky to have her for 6th and 7th grade. She was affectionately known as Sister "SAM." I was fairly shy at that time and Sister seemed to go out of her way to make me feel special. I was chosen for special assignments. She helped me become more confident and I always wished I could say thank you. If anyone knows if she's still around, I would love to know! I'd like her to know she made a difference in my life.

Jan Fischer

Remembering: Sister Raymond Rafferty
Location: St. Paul's School, Scranton, PA
Date: 1971 and continuing

Watching the IHM videos and reading the IHM remembrances, instantly reminds me of why I have always loved and respected the IHMs. The influence they have had on my life is profound. My deepest desire has always been to be for others the way so many of the sisters have been for me. My gratitude is inexpressible. I knew from the time I was a little girl that there was something different about them and I just had to know what it was. I learned quickly. From the moment they entered my life - to this very second - to eternity, I will forever feel love for the community. Knowing the IHM sisters and growing up with them was like living a storybook. My love for God and Our Blessed Mother was nurtured and I was taught how to pray.

I was the hyperactive student who couldn't sit still, but the moment Sr. Raymond began her sacred stories at 1:45, I was transformed. I can remember sitting right in front of her, chin on hands, and captivated by her every word. I would carry her stories with me and would try to live them the best I could - I was the character living the story. She was filled with delight, knowing I enjoyed and responded so fervently; but then 2:00 came and she insisted that I put the story aside for now and remain after school to learn all my prepositions. She was determined in every way and I was delighted and obliged. When I think of my experiences of my younger days with the IHMs, I smile with great pride.

The snow days and our meetings on Kingsbury were just one of the many memories. My friends and I would pile on our sleds and race down the hill, crashing right into the front steps of St. Paul's Convent. "But sister, it was the ice sickles on my eyelashes - I couldn't see." They would just smile. I have been blessed with the company of many wonderful IHM Sisters throughout my life. It was their prayer and love for God's people that changed me. I love the IHM sisters and I always look forward to going back home. Oh, and Sr. Francis Xavier Grieb, THANKS!

Angela Brigido

To read Sr Raymond's obituary:


Remembering: Sister Maria Voorneveld
Location: St. Stephen School, New York City, NY
Date: 1973

I will always remember the kindness and sensitivity that Sister Maria Voorneveld, my 8th grade teacher, showed me. I attended St. Stephen's school in New York City along with my older sister and younger brother. I grew up in a loving family where both parents had to work to make ends meet and they sacrificed what little salaries they earned so that we could have a good catholic education. Sister Maria was a wonderful teacher who made learning interesting. She was a pleasant, happy and warm person. While in her claass I was expected to give a quarter every Tuesday when class dues were collected by a student. The problem was that my mother could not afford to give me that quarter since money was so limted. Every Tuesday I would tell the student who collected the dues that I forgot and left my quarter at home.I was embarrassed and felt terrible about lying but I did not want to tell Sister that we could not afford a quarter. Finally,the day came when the student who collected dues told me "you never have money and I'm telling Sister Maria." I was so scared, humiliated and nervous. Sister asked to see me privately in the library. I was crying not knowing what she would say. Sister Maria spoke to me in a gentle tone and asked me if my parents were unable to give me the quarter. I answered yes, stunned that she understood my plight without any explanation from me. She suggested that from then on I would collect the class dues therefore no one else would know I would not pay. Only she and I would know. She smiled at me and told me not to say anything to the other children, and reaassured me that all would be fine. She never brought it up again.

I will always remember her kindness, understanding and help to me as a child.I have often told this story and I would like to thank Sister now as an adult. I am a Registered Nurse and I work with children.I have tried to imitate her kindness and sensitivity in my life. She made a big difference in the life of a scared little girl who went on to do good and care for others in life.

Thank You And God Bless You Sister Maria Wherever You Are!!

Nancy Vidal


Remembering: Sister Veronice C. Hennigan
Location: Claremont, CA (our home)
Date: 1964 or 1965

Sister Veronice was my Aunt, and when she came to California to visit, she left a special impression on me. She was a wounderful person. I know she had played a special part in helping my Dad finish college (she worked to help Dad through Manhattan College). After he graduated she joined the convent and that certainly showes how fantastic she was.

John Hennigan

To read Sr Veronice's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Herberta
Location: Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church and Immaculata High School in NYC
Date: Christmas Eve 1954

I played the organ for the children's choir at Sacred Hearts when I was in grammar school. This particular Christmas Eve all the lights in the church went out. However, all the candles were lit and it was a beautiful sight. Sister Herberta came over to the organ and put her rosary upon it and said "Okay Blessed Mother, now do your stuff". And to the amazement of all of us -- the lights came on.

Rosemary (Monteleone) Lowe Grande

To read Sr Herberta's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Honor Lenihan
Location: Our Lady of Perpetual Help-Rocky Mount, NC
Date: 1956-1963

Sister Honor is now in heaven with our Lord. I bawled like a small child crying when I read of her death in the NC Catholic. I had just spoken with her about a month earlier. She was my first and second grade teacher. She was always kind and gentle and instilled in me a love for our Lord. I became a Catholic in 1997, almost 34 years after left O.L.P.H. I wish you could have heard the happiness in her voice when I told her.

I was always in her prayers. I regret I never got to see her face to face before she passed on. I deeply miss her. She always took the time to listen and encourage me and to lift my spirit up when I was so down. She was very elated when I told her my daughter was going to receive her First Communion, the last time I spoke with her. I chose Mothers Day 2007 as Michell's First Communion because of a picture that was taken in 1959 on the front steps of the old convent in Rocky Mount with all of the sisters who were there that year.

During my years at O.L.P.H., my father and mother would always gladly drive the nuns out of town and on trips whenever there was a need. I do remember telling her that if the Lord didn't have the plans for me that He did, that I would have chosen to be a Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I do try now to live by the example, all my teachers taught and instilled in me.

Sister Donelda Fox was my principal and I know she has also passed on.

I still keep in touch with Sister Melissa Hester and Sister Rosemaron Rynn. When I was confirmed I chose the name Honor Rosemaron. Sister Melissa was there at St. Thomas More in Chapel Hill, NC when I received my First Communion. I am now and have been for 3 years a Eucharistic Minister. I still keep in touch with my piano teacher Sister Rita Mary, who is no longer a nun.

Sister Melissa Hester also spent a weekend in my home. I just wish I could see them once again before they pass on.

In Our Savior's Name
Peace be with all of you.

Nell U. Hadnot

To read Sr Honor's obituary:


Remembering: Sister Marie Lawrence
Location: Marywood College
Date: 1950s

In the 1950s, my father Dr. John Corbett, frequently drove the sisters from Nyack to the motherhouse at Marywood for various functions. I often accompanied him on these long trips (at that time there was not a Route 80 or a Route 84) through the windy back roads from Nyack to Scranton. One of my earliest memories of Marywood involves my father who would disappear to visit Sister Marie Lawrence in the old Science Building. Since Sister had her Ph.D in the same field as my father they spent many hours trading "laboratory stories" and sharing plant cuttings, etc. To be honest I HATED the smell of that old building with its bunson burners but my father always said the smell made him feel at home.

This sister is long gone to God as has my father and I doubt many people really remember her -she was an intelligent, unassuming soul whose interests were her community, science and the plant world - much like my father.

Here's hoping that both of them are enjoying their "science" chats in heaven and that there are lots of interesting plants for them to discuss.

Dorothy Corbett McClafferty

Remembering: Sister Jeannine Parry
Location: St. Mary's Elementary School, Manhasset, NY
Date: 1981

Sister Jeannine (and all the wonderful sisters who taught at St. Mary's Elementary School in Manhasset, NY),

God Bless all of the wonderful sisters who taught at St. Mary's Elementary School in Manhasset!

In particular, I would like to honor Sister Jeannine who was my second grade teacher in 1981. Although I was too young to appreciate it at the time, she had an amazing impact on my life. At the end of the year, she gave me a chain with an IHM pendant on it. I can still remember beaming as she placed it around my neck. She told me it should serve as a reminder to always act in a way that would make her proud. I wore it every day without fail until eventually the chain broke and, sadly, the pendant was lost. I never forgot it, though.

Now, almost three decades later, I can still feel that pendant's phantom weight around my neck. And it still is a reminder to act in a way that would make Sister Jeannine and all the IHM sisters proud.

Thank you, Sister Jeannine, I am a better person because of you.

A. Ciampa

To read Sr Jeannine's obituary:


Remembering: IHMs who served at St. Matthew's
Location: St. Matthew's School Wilmington, DE
Date: 1964-1973

My name is Richard Hart. I am presently in my 25th year of Catholic education. I am in my 15th year as a Catholic School principal. As I reflect over the past 25 years I am so grateful to the wonderful foundation I received from the IHMs. What I believe Catholic Education is, how it is lived out, and what it looks like is based on my experiences at St. Matthew's and the wonderful example of the Sisters.

Sr. Rose Irma was my fourth grade teacher, she is by far my favorite teacher. She is why I am a teacher today. I will always remember Sr. fondly. My love for music, art, and history were fostered by her. I vividly remember piano lessons at the convent, classroom art on Fridays, and the unending stories of American History. She was a master storyteller. Her sense of prayer and devotion inspired me and filled our classroom. I contribute a part of my devotion to Mary because of Sister's devotion. Rosaries, May altar, and May Crownings were the sum of our May devotions.

Other Sisters come to mind when I look back. Namely, Sr. Antoinette Bosak, Sr. Mary Martin, Sr. Ruth Marie and my 8th grade teacher Sr. Robert Mary Murphy. She too continued to foster my great love for music and the written word. Many of the lessons taught to me by these Sisters are still used today on a daily basis. They are part of the daily activity of St. Thomas the Apostle School were I am now principal.

After I graduated from St. Matthew's I had the good fortune to return to St. Matthew's during my junior and senior year of college to fulfill practical teaching experience needed for graduation. I had the great fortune to work under several outstanding teachers who helped me develop my teaching skills and develop my appreciation for Catholic Education. Sr. Mary Martin O'Dea, principal of the school, allowed me access to this wonderful experience. She too was a guiding force in my life.

Sister Elizabeth Bushman, Sr. Beth, Sr. Mary Mercy Gilbart were all great role models and helped me. I was completing my senior year of college when Sr. Elizabeth was battling her cancer and went to her reward. To this day her monthly hand made alphabets have adorned every classroom I have had and now proudly hang in the Library Wing of St. Thomas the Apostle School. She and all the IHMs are remembered monthly when I change the alphabets. I would be remiss if I did not remember Sr. Jane Snyder. Jane walked me through my first years as a principal at St. Hedwigs School while she was at St. Matthew's. She was a good friend and an outstanding mentor. I could always go to Jane for advice, and a good laugh. She never judged, just understood and gave good advice. What a great listener.

In closing, I just want to say thank you to all the IHM Sisters for their great work and presence in the church. I for one will never forget what they have done and what they will continue to do.
Richard D. Hart

To read Sr Rose Irma's obituary:


Remembering: All of the IHM Sisters who formed my life
Location: St. Dominic's grade and High School K-12
Date: 1943-1955

Most of the Sisters who taught me during those years are probably home with God. I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for the education, caring, and Faith development that you gave to me during those years.May God continue to bless your Community and bring you many vocations.

Thank you and God Bless

Peggy Robinson Nelson


Remembering: Sr. Raymond Rafferty
Location: St. Paul's School
Date: 1974-1976

I happened upon this site accidently while doing a google search on Chapel School. I saw a "remembering a sister" story about Sr. Raymond Rafferty at St. Paul's School. I went to St. Paul's at the same time, 1974-76, a fondly remember Sr. Raymond as my 5th and 6th grade English teacher. I'm writing to find out if she is still alive, and if so, can you forward this message to her.

My name is Carol Mangan. I don't know if she'll remember, but I'm the girl who looked just like Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie. I remember reciting the Nancy Hanks poem at our 5th grade assembly, and learning the ZIP code poem and the September Poem. Lines from these poems still reverberate in me, and every September I find myself muttering "Asters are purple, a grasshopper's call; today it is summer, tomorrow it's fall."

I loved diagramming sentences and went on to get the highest score on the English section of Prep entrance exam (I owe that to Sr. Raymond). I'm a teacher today and constantly bemoan the lack of grammar instruction in schools.

Carol Mangan

To read Sr Raymond's obituary:


Remembering: Sister Raymond Rafferty
Location: St Paul's School Scranton PA
Date: Mid 1970's

When I recite poetry like Trees by Joyce Kilmer--I remember my fifth grade classroom at St. Paul's school and fondly remember Sister Raymond encouraging us to recite and how excited I felt when she told us about Longfellow's poem Evangeline and I had looked forward to reading it. I still like diagramming sentences. I owe a debt to Sr. Raymond --when today I can share a poem with my children or teach a classroom of children. In a gentle way--Sister Raymond inspired me. So thank you for being a warm teacher who could even join in for a game of jumprope. Each time I walk by the vacant spot where the convent stood on Penn Avenue--I feel sad at the loss. Thanks and God bless and please share this with Sister Raymond.

Rachel Powers

To read Sr Raymond's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Jeanne Marie (Coletta) Kearney
Location: St. Matthew School - Wilmington, Delaware
Date: 1956-1964

I was trained by the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at St. Matthew School located in Wilmington, Delaware from 1956-1964. I was not the greatest of students at St. Matthews School and maybe even lazy but I wanted to convey this message to those sisters who are still alive from those years.

I wanted to say thank you for eight years of religious training at St.Matthews in Wilmington, Delaware.

I often wondered how everyone was. I remembered everything I learned in Catholic School really helped me out in public school where I want to high school. It also was a great help in college also.

In everyday life I tried to live as I was taught by the good sisters. It was not easy but you can count me as one individual who does not drink, smoke or take drugs but loves sports, collecting trains and accounting.

In fact, I call the bible the playbook of life. I route for the University of Notre Dame and pride my self as the #1 Notre Dame fan in Delaware. I also root for the Phladelphia sports teams.

Many times when I was in the Wilkes-Barre and Scranton area, as I have relatives located in that area, I wondered how everyone was.

Since 1964, it seemed like everyone lost contact with each other. I have managed to find some of my old classmates around town in Wilmington, Delaware but we often wondered how everyone was and would the nuns who taught us remember any of us.

I belong to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Bear, Delaware.

In closing, thanks again for everything and I wish I understood better then than now. You can use this letter as an instructional tool to teach students that need to become good listeners, to become good students and become great people.

God bless.

Francis Jackowski

To view Sr Jeanne Marie's (Coletta) obituary:


Remembering: Sister Mercille Schneider
Location: Our Lady of Grace, Greensboro, NC
Date: 1977-78

Sr Mercille will always be such an inspiration to me. She always brought warmth and love into her teaching. She not only taught us the academics but also how to love life. I wish that I could express how she touched my life. She created such a big part of me. I hope that in my life time that I can touch someone the way that she touched me. I wish that she could know how much she means to me even after 30 years have passed. She created some of the best memories from my childhood. I will always remember her dancing out from behind a wall in the classroom to greet us singing "New Life" which she also taught us the dance to the song. I value her patience and kindness with me as I struggled to learn my multiplication facts. I don't think that she ever had a bad day. She inspired me at a young age to want to teach. I now teach students with special needs and love what I do as much as she did. If I could talk to her now, I'd want to thank her for all that she has done in my life. She is my hero.

Kimberly (Engle) Etheridge

Remembering: Sister Joan Coyne, IHM
Location: Novitiate
Date: 1970s

Sister Joan Coyne met all 12 of us at the door of the Novitiate the day we entered. The 12 apostles they called us (or the 12 fruits!)

Sister Kathleen Mary Burns, was called the mother of the band, since she stepped foot in the door first on entrance day. We had sing alongs many times down in the rec room. This one particular time, Sister Joan got up and began to sing the song from West side story... The most beautiful sound I ever heard. When she sang "MARIA" all of us chimbed in "PACIS" !! It was hilarious watching her ravel up and fold up in laughter as she had done in her characteristic way !! ( much like she did during her "WIND UP DOLL" song!!!

Karen A Clark

To read Sr Joan's obituary:

Remembering: Sister M. Edith Halligan, IHM
Location: Maria Regina D.H.S.,Uniondale, NY
Date: 1974

Sister Edith was a wonderful person. I joined the band and learned to play Clarinet and Tenor sax. I still play both as well as Soprano Sax and guitar. Music has been a part of my life ever since I met her. She had the patience to teach me when others did not.

Thank you Sister Edith. I will never forget you.

Julio Pajaro Mercado

To read Sr Edith's obituary:


Remembering: Sister Joan Coyne, IHM
Location: St. Mary School, Goldsboro, NC
Date: 1966 and years previous

How blessed we here at St. Mary School were to have shared some of Sr. Joan's years! At the time, she was known only as Sister Maria Pacis and what a big secret (and mystery) it was to the students here to know anything about the Sisters that taught us. We were always trying to get little bits of information about our teachers before they entered the convent. We had a "storage room" in our school that was strictly for the Sister's trunks~and of course we were "forbidden" to go anywhere near them. My dearest friends at the time were twins, Jo Marie and Joan. We were so devoted to the school and the sisters that we spent most of our weekends hanging around the school doing any jobs that needed to be done. This one particular weekend, Jo, Joan and I were alone in the school waiting for Sr. Joan and Sr. Ann to come over to "put us to work". Oops, they had left the trunk room open! What an opportunity for three mischievious and curious girls! We made a B-line for the trunk room and found Sr. Joan's. Upon opening it we found her High School year book which told us her name and that she had been a high school cheerleader! Wow, a real person! We were so impressed with how "popular" she'd been and did all the silly little things that middle school girls do to let her know we knew something we weren't supposed to know. She didn't catch on and never found out until not many years ago when she came back down to St. Mary School, where I now work and I told her. We had a great laugh over it. Joan was someone that could always make you laugh (even during Latin class) when we weren't supposed to be laughing. Her smile brightened up every room she entered and brought a ray of God's love and hope to all she met. Thank you Sisters, each and everyone one of you for sharing Sr. Joan with us down here in the South. We are all better people for having been a part of her life.

Pam Scimeca Hammond

To read Sr Joan's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Noreen Falvey
Location: St. Ann's School, Nyack NY
Date: 1959

Unlike most of my teachers, my memory of Sister Noreen is somewhat faded. I had her in seventh grade and she was a very quiet gentle person, always concerned with her students, but she was ill a good deal that year as I recall. She will, however, always be remembered by me and my family because my youngest sister is named after her - Noreen Bernadette, after Sister Noreen and Mother Bernadette Carmody.

My hope is that both of these gentle sisters- Sister Noreen and Mother Bernadette- are with Our Lord and enjoying their well deserved reward.

Dorothy Corbett McClafferty

To read Sr Noreen's obituary:

To read Sr Bernadette's obituary:


Remembering: Sister Mary Albertus (Anne Marie) Fulwiler
Location: Williamsport, PA

Sister Anne served as Mother Generalate of the Sisters of IHM order. She is currently living in Marian Convent. She is my Lil Sister.

Robert S. Fulwiler

To read Sr Anne's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Mary Ellen Downing
Location: Upper Marlboro, MD
Date: 1978-1985

I was a student at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School in Upper Marlboro, MD from 1978-1985 and had the pleasure of being taught by several wonderful IHM sisters. I have such fond memories of those times. During my time there, our principal was Sr. Victoire (I cannot remember her last name). My 1st grade teacher was Sr. Mary Ellen Downing, my 2nd grade teacher was Sr. Johnice Grand (I believe) and my 4th grade teacher was Sr. Lorraine Sinn.

I was so sad to learn of Sr. Mary Ellen's passing. She was my first grade teacher and I remember so much of my time in her class: sitting Indian-style on the blue circle, sounding out vowels and consonants in our little phonics books, and going with her to a Montessori workshop as a "guest" student. Those are wonderful memories. My own daughter is a student at Our Lady of Hope Catholic School in Cascades, VA, and sadly there are not any sisters in the entire school. Although we are very pleased with her school, I know she is missing something special I had in my years at St. Mary's.

Bob Venezia

To read Sr Mary Ellen's obituary:


Remembering: Sister Lothaire (Ruth) Saunders
Location: Scranton, PA
Date: 1950s-1960s

As Sr. Lothaire's niece, I have many, many memories of my beloved aunt... her dragging my father to the pet store to buy fish for her tank at school; drinking Manhattans out of coffee cups out of defference to onlookers at Blue Shutters restaurant; pushing her in her wheelchair at the World's Fair (how much pain she must have been in!); her waving to me from the hospital window because I was too young to be allowed in to hug her; her wonderful caretakers, Sr. Benigna and Sr. "Em" Emmerencia... so many stories, so much love.

Rest well, Aunt Ruth. You are missed. I love you.

Diane Saunders Sternbach

Remembering: Sister Mary Peter Doran
Location: St Dominic High School, Oyster Bay, New York
Date: 1964-1968

My four years at Saint Dominic High School in Oyster Bay, NY greatly influenced the remaining years of my life. The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary not only taught us "book stuff", but how to prepare for what life would demand from us. They were strict but fair, dominating but caring and always willing to walk the extra mile with you. My mother wanted me to get a good education so that I would be better prepared for the even tougher road ahead, college. Well, I received more than what she so dearly wanted for me.

During my early years at high school I discovered that I enjoyed mathematics. I especially enjoyed one particular math teacher. Sister Mary Peter was my trigonometry and calculus instructor in my junior and senior years respectively. Her classes were tough; she had high expectations, but was always willing to give you any extra help you required to understand the material.

Sister Mary Peter also led an after school activity called Mathletes. This was a group of "math crazy" students competing against students of other schools trying to solve advanced mathematical problems faster than their competition. Not too cool if you are trying to impress a girl, but sure looks good on your college resume.

I guess I did impress someone on the college entrance committee; I was accepted into college and later attended graduate school. At both of these fine universities I pursued my love of mathematics, attaining two degrees in engineering. The success that I have achieved in my career is largely due to that mathematical foundation that Sister Mary Peter built within me.

For the past year or so, I have been communicating with Sister Mary Peter. I have even visited her at the Marian Convent in Scranton, PA. The experience
of talking to her now that I am an adult is humbling. I wish that I had pursued this years ago. I encourage others to search out teachers in their past that have made a difference in their life and personally thank them.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you Sister Mary Peter for your dedication in teaching mathematics and the inspiration you have had on my life.

 Edward Kowalski

To read Sr Mary Peter's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Alberta Lovett, IHM
Location: St. Ephrem's, Brooklyn, NY
Date: 1964

Sr. Alberta was my first grade teacher. I remember her sense of humor, which she used to cope with the more difficult-to-handle kids. Two incidents I recall involved the same boy, who was a bit of a handful, to say the least.

On one occasion, having had about all she could take of him, she told him she would have no choice but to put his head through the blackboard. Then, lest anyone take her too seriously, she went on to say, "and then when Sister Julia next door opens up her cupboard, there will be Thomas B.'s head!"

Another time, the voice of the principal, Sr. Eunice, came over the loudspeaker. She needed Thomas B. in the office, so she asked, "Sister Alberta, will you please excuse Thomas B.?" Sr. Alberta didn't miss a beat: She turned around and looked up at the loudspeaker, and said, "Sister Eunice, there IS no excuse for Thomas B.!"

Little things like this made life more bearable for Sister Alberta and the kids, and all these years later, I still share these anecdotes with friends.

Bill Carey

To read Sr Alberta's obituary:


Remembering: Sisters Terrence, Trinita, Cornelius, Robert Mary and Ruthanne
Location: Our Lady of Mercy, Forest Hills NY
Date: 1985

There are many sisters that I recall during my time at Our Lady of Mercy in Forest Hills NY. From the day I arrived in first grade with Sister Trinita, to Sister Cornelius, Sister Robert Mary, Sister Ruthanne, there was a level of fear instilled in us about the nuns.

You were to respect them, you were to be afraid of them,(mind you this was in the eyes of a boy who needed periodic discipline) and you were to always tell them the truth.

My brother was ahead of me by three years, and in my opinion needed a little more motivation and discipline than I did. He had Sister Terrence, and she took care of both of those things. This was a time when a "crack" or two was needed, and was allowed, and in fact welcomed by our parents. How times have changed, not for the good.

Well, it was my second or third day in class, and Sister Terrence had all the tall boys in the back of the room. That meant that I was right with my boys. Mat Flood, Greg Ganley, and me. This was great. We were all writing, and we thought that we saw Sister sleeping, her eyes were closed, her head was bouncing, and I thought I heard a grunt or two.

So being boys, we started shooting spit balls, crawling over to the girls seat that we liked (but we treated them like we didn't, the boy hood cruch thing) and pinching their legs.

Well Sister started to move, and we stopped. Home free, we did our thing and she was sleeping for the whole time. So we thought.

It was dismissal time, and when we were getting ready to leave and putting our sport coats on (they were required, and in fact the one I had on was a checkered one that I had for three years) Sister asked that Matt, Greg, Tom Tommasso and I stay behind for a moment.

She sat us all in the front, in a box. She stood right in the middle, and I believe started talking about respect, and in what I believe to this day was one motion, connected with each of our heads, and like a rotor of a helicopter, spun two or three times, and connected with each one of us. While doing that, she was talking about respect for her while she was busy, and "don't get out of our seats, spit spit balls, and touch the girls."

"Busy", that was a new term for sleeping. But, we forwever remember her and what he taught us.

Each of the IHM nuns made us who we are today. They taught us respect, love, caring for others, and a love for God. There is no doubt in my mind that who I am today is a combination of the nuturing and love that I received from my parents, and the nuns in school.

We talk about each of the nuns we had to this day. And after the funny stories, and laughs, we always say that growing up in Forest Hills and going to school at OLM, was the best childhood we could have ever had.

We also always say that it is a shame that our kids can not have that kind of schooling. This generation needs a few "cracks", as well as love for each other, respect and caring.

Good bless each of the IHM sisters, and Thank You, and we miss you all.

Keith McLiverty

To read Sr Terence's obituary:

To read Sr Trinita's obituary:

To read Sr Mary Cornelius's obituary:


Remembering: Sister Mary Patrina
Location: Most Holy Rosary, Syracuse, NY
Date: 1955 - 1959

Sister Patrina - Changed my life! She taught - but more importantly - She cared - and - I got it! I was a poor student at best - this wonderful Sister taught - pursuaded - led, and no question prayed for me.

Sister Patrina, "Thank you" and all the wonderful dedicated women of the "IHM"

Bob Casey.

Remembering: Sister Ignatia Murphy
Location: Carbondale, PA

Sister Ignatia, was a cousin of my mother, Kathryn Loughney of Carbondale, PA. The last time that I saw Sister was in the late 60's. Sister Ignatia was close to my mother, aunt and uncle. Her mother, Marie Murphy was from Carbondale and kept in touch with the family. My mother passed away in 1971.

Rosamond Rudy

To read Sr Ignatia's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Margaret Russell
Location: St. Ambrose School, Bridgeport , CT
Date: 1955

Dearest Sisters,

I was a student at St Ambrose during the 1950s and I loved all the Sisters, but especially Sister Margaret, my third grade teacher. Sister was also the music teacher, and she took a shy, music loving little girl to her heart! How I loved our music lessons..she taught not only singing and simple sight reading but the JOY of music. She started me on the, I am a soloist in a church, and cannot imagine my life without music!

I also remember Mother Elizabeth...a marvelous woman, who radiated joy and kindness! She was principal for about five years. She was strict about the rules, but always had that twinkle in her eye and we kids just adored her.

I read that dear Sister Margaret passed away last year. I am currently out of work and will send a donation in her memory as soon as I am back on my feet. Please pray with me that God leads me to the right job where I can use the gifts and talents he gave me to serve him and help others. In return, I promise to support your ministries on a monthly basis!

Thank you and God bless you,

Lorraine Papa

To read Sr Margaret's obituary:


Remembering: Sister M. Maura, IHM
Location: St. Leo's School, Ashley, Pennsylvania
Date: 1959-1960

I have many fond memories of the IHM sisters at St. Leo's, which I attended from 1953 to 1965. Sister Maura, my seventh-grade teacher, was one of my favorites. She was one of the first people who noticed that I had a flair for writing, and always encouraged me to develop my literary talents. One day, after reading one of my "paragraphs," she said, "Edward, I hope I'll be reading one of your books someday." In the little coal town that Ashley was back then, such a thing hardly seemed realistic, but her words stuck with me as I made my way to New York and to a career in writing and publishing that has since taken me around the world, from Brazil to India, from Italy to Japan, and to many places in between. I credit Sister Maura with opening up the possibility that even a youngster from a modest parochial school could become a writer.

I suspect that Sister Maura has long since departed this life, but I hope that my books are deemed worthy of inclusion in some heavenly library where this dear nun can enjoy the fruits of the seeds that she once planted.

Edward Moran

To read Sr Maura's obituary:


Remembering: Sister Maria Thomas and Sister Carlita
Location: St. Raymond, East Rockaway, NY
Date: 1962-1970

Sr. Maria Thomas taught me the joy of singing in harmony in the boys' choir at St. Raymond's. She was greatly admired in town for her direction of musical productions at St. Raymond's, and most of all for directing the beautiful singing by the boys choir at Christmas Midnight Mass, and during Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Sister Carlita was my 6th grade teacher. She was, like so many of the sisters, a fine teacher. She radiated beauty, love and joy. She was very witty, and had a great sense of humor - and I was particularly fond of her. I remember her one day talking to us about how some things just seemed to go together perfectly, and the example she used was pizza and beer! I hated the taste of beer, but hearing that from Sr. Carlita made me think it had real possibilities. As usual - she was right!

God rained blessings down on me by putting my education in the loving hands of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I would be interested about any information you might have about Sister Carlita and Sister Maria Thomas.

God bless you and protect you.

Chris Boegel

To read Sr Maria Thomas' obituary:

Remembering: Sister Timothea Driscoll and Sister Matthew O'Connor
Location: St. Peter's Chapel School, Scranton, PA
Date: 1952-1953

Sister Timothea was my eighth grade teacher, and I was one of the "bad" ones. It's true, we were the bullies and the bad guys; never did homework, talked in class and, worst of all, were sabotaging our own educations. Like most boys in the school, I loved sports, especially football. We played everyday in the autumn on the field above the playground across from the school. One afternoon we had scheduled a really big game with the public school kids from Audobon Elementary up on Colfax Ave. But I, one of the "stars" sat desconsolately in Sr. Timothea's after school detention for a multiplicity of offenses.

I was desperate. The game started at 4:00 and here I was sitting in the back of the row near the cloak room doing some silly exercises in a book about which I had no interest whatsoever. Instead, I cogitated on a solution to my dilemna.

Sister sat at her desk way up in the front of the room doing paperwork and only infrequently observing her miscreants. I struck on a plan; no doubt conjured up by some World War II movie I'd seen. I would wait until the beacon light of her glance had surveyed the room and returned to her papers. Then, crawling on the floor, I would crawl into the cloak room and make my escape into the main hallway.

With great stealth, I made it safely all the way to the outer door of the cloak room, I was within three feet of freedom! Then, I heard from above, like an impending voice of doom, "What are you doing, John?" She had me.

I must have looked pathetic on my hands and knees. "Sister, I gotta go. I gotta play football today."

Sr.Timothea could never seem to surpress her natural love for us children and perhaps especially for me, the bratty one. She actually laughed! Whenever sister laughed, her face would get red and she could never keep back the merriment in her heart. "All right, John. You can go."

She may have added a caveat of some sort, but all I heard were those magic words that "set the captives free". She would never know the relief and appreciation I felt. Then, I was off like, as the sailors say, "...the last shot in the locker".

I'm sixty-five now; a former junior high, senior high and, now, college teacher of English. A former baseball, football, and drama coach. A certified principal, I live now in Los Angeles and actually worked in movies and television for a short time doing small parts.

I often look back at all the influence the IHM nuns had on me from the old Chapel School to South Catholic High as a formation that helped counter the devil's work in me. I can name all the nuns I studied under from IHM in those Scranton schools, but there were two whom I shall never forget for their love; Sister Timothea and Sister Matthew O'Connor from South Catholic. As my mother used to say to me, "...they'll have a star in their eternal crowns for dealing with you."

To read Sr Jane's (Timothea) obituary:

To read Sr Matthew's obituary:


Remembering: Sister M. Virgine Maurer
Location: Most Holy Rosary in Syracuse, New York
Date: 1947 -1948

Sr. Virgine was my Kindergarten teacher and piano teacher. She taught 65 kids in the AM and 65 in the PM! She was wonderful! She was a warm and marvelous teacher.

After school, Sister had to teach piano lessons until it was time for chapel and dinner. Then, she had to sit in the community room and be sociable!

On Saturday mornings, my mother would drive Sr. Virgine to the farmers' market where she would have to buy the fruits and vegetables for the week to feed the 26 Sisters in the convent.

I have been a Kindergarten teacher for 19 years and I am sure Sr. Virgine had a lot to do with that.

I would also like to say that all of the Sisters I had back at Rosary were wonderful. They worked hard and always had a smile.

I went back to teach at Rosary when I graduated from college and stayed for three years. I know I would have been there longer, but I had to take care of my mother who had a stroke and financially, I needed to go to the public school.

None of us whoever attended an IHM school will ever be able to repay those marvelous women who gave their all to us.

Peggy Burke Gunn

To read Sr Virgine's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Edith Halligan
Location: Maria Regina High School
Date: 1967 - 1971

Sister Edith Halligan was my music teacher at Maria Regina High School in Uniondale, New York (class of 1971).

Sister Edith selected me to be the first Drum Major in the brand new marching band. We participated in several parades on Long Island and at the football games from 1967 to 1971.

My favorite memories are from the Saint Patrick's Day parade up 5th Avenue in Manhattan in 1970. Sister Edith had a special "marching" uniform with white shoes and walked proudly with our group. (I have the pictures to prove it)

Sister Edith was a wonderful teacher and friend. She would spend time talking with me and the other students in my class. I wanted to let her know that I turned out okay!!!

I think about those days often.

Francis J. Teevan

To read Sr Edith's obituary:


Remembering: Sister M. Leon McConnell
Location: St Mary of the Mount Pittsburgh PA

This isn't really a story but what I remember most about Sr. Leon was her deep devotion to the Mother of God. She would always extol saying the Rosary and especially honoring Mary during the months of May and October. As a result she strengthened my devotion to Mary. I try to say the rosary everyday. Also, she was very big on being a daily communicant. I am ashamed to admit that much to my chagrin I haven't achieved this goal yet but I am trying.

Mary Catherine Hight

To read Sr Leon's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Marge Caulson
Location: Hospice Care Network, Woodbury, NY
Date: August 2002-present time

Sr. Marge has served our hospice patients, families, and staff in many ways during the 10 years she has been at Hospice Care Network on lovely Long Island.  She visits our dying patients whether they be at home, in hospitals or nursing home settings, offers spiritual comfort and moral support to their caregivers, and has been a wonderful coworker to the Hospice Staff.  Sr. Marge has shared her singing talents with the patients and has been the best of sports to act in our Christmas Party skits each year. 

Even her voice mail messages offer comfort to those who call her-she changes them with the seasons and each message helps us visualize the beauties of God's earth and His many blessings to us.  Now, as Sr. Marge celebrates her 50th year in service to God and man, I would like to take the opportunity on behalf of all those she has helped to thank her for the comfort and care she gives to all.  We have a 91 year old Jewish volunteer who firmly believes Sr. Marge has a "hot line to heaven".  May Our Lady continue to bless her and her mission for many, many years to come.

Diane C. Hunter

To read Sr Marge's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Mary Hugh Placilla
Location: St. Thomas School, Coeur d'Alene Idaho
Date: 1957 - 1959

Sister Mary Hugh was my first and fifth grade teacher.  I remember her as a very young sister.  At that time, our classes were large...fifty plus children in each classroom.  I admired her and have thought of her many times over the years.

Josephine Kelley

To read Sr Mary Hugh's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Gonzaga Walton
Location: Nyack, NY

I am responding to a recent post concerning Sister Gonzaga - she was my fifth grade teacher at St. Ann's in Nyack. However I did get to know her in another capacity during my time with the IHM community. She was quite elderly at the time she taught us - little did we know then that she was losing her hearing. It could not have been easy to teach a class of 50 ( yes 50) children during that time of her life. As someone I knew when I was a young woman I found her gracious - an exemplary religious woman. Sometimes things are not what they seem in life.

Dorothy Corbett McClafferty

To read Sr Gonzaga's obituary:

Remembering: Sisters Herberta, Sheila, Marionette, Charles, Athanasius, Basil, Electa, Alma Marie, Cosmas
Location: Immaculata High School, NYC
Date: 1959-1963

What a wonderful education and life lessons learned from some of the most dedicated and caring women in my life. I will never forget them and what they did for me.

William Dilluvio

To read Sr Herberta's obituary:

To read Sr Sheila's obituary:

To read Sr Barbara's (Athanasius) obituary:

To read Sr Basil's obituary:

To read Sr Alma Marie's obituary:

Remembering: Sisters Thaddeus, St. Leo, Rosario, Patricia, Maria Thomas, Stella, Paula, Mary Brian, Timothy Marie, Scholastica, and Mary Bride
Location: Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School, Forest Hills, New York

I have such fond memories of my 8 years attending Our Lady Queen of Martyrs school in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. A beautiful church and a beautiful school made even more beautiful by the nuns who taught me. I especially have fond memories of Sister Thaddeus Kelly, one of my teachers in the 7th and 8th grades. She was one of the kindest human beings I have ever known and I loved learning so much from Sister Thaddeus. I often thought about her through the years - her kindness, compassion, knowledge and her encouraging me to pursue songwriting and music studies. I am forever grateful for Sister Thaddeus having been in my life and for sharing so much of her goodness. She is always in my thoughts and prayers!

In lasting gratefulness and thanks to the wonderful nuns who taught me from the years 1965-1973 - you are always remembered and in my thoughts and prayers. Sister St. Leo (First Grade), Sister Rosarii (Second Grade), Sister Patricia, Sister Maria Thomas (our principal), Sister Stella Devers (our 2nd principal), Sister Paula Gallagher (my favorite piano/music teacher,) Sister Mary Brian Greene, Sister Timothy Marie, Sister Scholastica, Sister Thaddeus Kelly, Sister Mary Bride, and to all the other Sisters who taught at OLQM - thank you for setting a great example and for sharing your knowledge and wisdom! Every child should receive the education that I did from these wonderful Sisters.

Lydia Lilli

To read Sr Thaddeus'  obituary:

To read Sr Maria Thomas' obituary:

To read Sr Stella's obituary:

To read Sr Mary Brian's obituary:

To read Sr Jane's (Timothy Marie) obituary:

To read Sr Thaddeus' obituary:

To read Sr Mary Bride's obituary:


Remembering: Sister Gabriel Kane
Location: Saint Bernardine's School, West Baltimore, MD
Date: 1945 - 1946

Dear Sister Mary Alice Kane, IHM:

I am Richard Buschman an alumnus of Sister Gabriel's second grade at Saint Bernardine's school in West Baltimore. Even though it was during the school year of 1945-46, I will never forget dear Sister Gabriel. How lucky was I?? Sister also taught me in grade seven. After being taught by "tall" Sister Jane in first grade, on the first day of school in second grade into the classroom came a beautiful, young, smiling and "short" sister. It was as If she was one of us. Don't let this fool you. Sister expected a lot from us and she got it. She knew that most young boys could not sit still very long. How smart was she?? She just gave us more work to do so we would not finish first and disrupt the class. Sister told my mom there is no such thing as a bad boy. They are just full of energy and mischief and all one needs to do is point them in the right direction.

A few years ago I saw Sisters Sheila and Gabriel at the cathedral in downtown Baltimore. Sister Gabriel remembered teaching us about the civil war in grade seven. We had a grand time talking about this event in history. When I was stationed in the south during my time in the Army I discovered that Sister had it all wrong. The conflict was not over it is just on hold. What fun this was. Sister being from Pennsylvania and all of us living south of the Mason-Dixon line.

No matter how hard the Sisters tried, they could not change the way people in Baltimore speak. Do you know that that the word "water" has no letter "d" (wader), "sink" has no letter "z" (zink), Baltimore sometimes has the "tl" missing or the "ti" Is replaced by a "d" and Little Italy is not "Little Itly" as we said it.

Most of all I want you to know that, without the Sisters of St. B's I would not have the great love of God and His mother in my heart that I have. (My wife Claire has strengthened my faith very much, a good Sisters of Mercy educated girl from South Jersey). St. B's was full of good learning, discipline, the will not to fail and the love of God. Even after we left grade school the school playground was the place to play touch football, hand ball and basketball. What fun us guys has on one hot summer day when two young Sisters, who we did not know, pinned up their habits and shot baskets with us. WOW

Then we had the dreaded school recitals and accompanying skits, us guys knew that Sisters Sheila, Gabriel and the music teacher Sister Marcia would eventually trap us into being in the skits. We would always plead our case against the skits. So, when we would say, I do not want to do this, we would hear OK I will ask your mothers. Case closed,

Who will ever forget the Christmas plays, the loud singing at the 9am Sunday school mass ( you must sing loud so the people in the church next to us could hear us), the great buns at the Mount Holly bakery we ate after first Friday mass and how the May procession and the crowning of Mary in front of church closed U.S. Route 40 for a couple of hours.

I know you miss your sisters who went home to the Lord. I still miss my sister, Sister Elizabeth Buschman IHM, who went home to the lord 32 years ago on August 19. We now have saints in heaven watching over us. Sister Theresa Frere IHM is in ministry in my parish, St. Peter's Waldorf, Maryland. She is a wonderful person and she keeps me well Informed of the happenings at Marywood. My sister and I would talk about sitting on the porch at the old mother house when we got old together and rock in the big chairs. God had other plans.

I had a few of my childhood friends write a few lines about St. B's which I have enclosed. I am also sending along a copy of my second grade report card.

Thank you, Immaculate Heart of Mary sisters may God and His mother bless you and keep you forever.

Regina Caell, ora pro nobis,

Richard and Claire Buschman

August 22, 2013

To read Sr Gabriel's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Gilmary Speirs, IHM
Location: Peru
Date: 2000

In the year 2000 a young man from the USA was found delirious and wandering in the Andes Mountains near Sicuani.  He was shouting and paranoid about eating and was taken to the hospital in Sicuani.  A nurse who knew that I spoke English asked me to try and find out what ailed him.  He was locked in a room since he was incoherent and violent.  I told him to sit down, to stop shouting and to tell me what was wrong with him. He said he'd been to a “Wizard’s of the World” conference in Chile, organized for the Harry Potter fans and that he's ditched his friends and wanted to welcome the new millennium in Mach u Picchu, the lost city of the Incas near here.  He'd come by land over the Peruvian border and had been fasting as a part of his esoteric experience.  As a result, he was having hallucinations of animals lying to attack him and he was afraid that there were people trying to poison him.  I asked him if he'd eat a pizza and some Coke if I got it for him.  He said okay so, that was the first step in getting him back to normal.  The police had his Passport and I suggested that we call his parents.  He replied that they were lawyers and were in a case against the U.S. Government regarding some drug smuggling that involved the U.S. Navy in California so, he didn't have their phone number since they were out of town but, that he did have the phone number of a friend of theirs.  I e-mailed Sister Gilmary and asked her to get in touch with the woman and to tell his parents to call him at the hospital.  In the meantime I also contacted the U.S. Consul in Cusco.  The next day his Mom called him and insisted that he begin eating again and made arrangements for him to get back to the States.  Contacting the Consul in Cusco, the agent asked me how I got to his family before the U.S. Government.  My only answer with a smile was, “You don't know Gilmary.”  She beat the U.S. Government to the draw. 

One thing I forgot to add is that Gilmary came to Peru twice with the Marywood service trips and was a wonderful presence among us. She visited the small elementary schools in the outlying villages and helped them organize their little libraries with books we'd received as donations. 

Eileen of the Andes
October 7, 2014
(Sr Eileen Egan, IHM)

To read Sr Gilmary's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Helene Fee, IHM

All of you reading this are well aware Helene's  love, kindness, work ethic, and of course her sense of humor. She was my sister and I loved her as sisters do. She has gone Home now and is no longer trapped in her sickly body. As with all things she dealt with it with Grace and with humility. In 1983, we were on a Cruise to Bermuda and had so... much luggage we were forced to the balcony. Just then we passed the Statue of Liberty and remembrances of when our grandparents had gone by it as well in the early 1900's arriving in the United States. So now again full circle Helene has gone Home to Him. She will always be beloved by us all. And I will sign this note as we always did,  Love to # 1 from # 4 Margot

To read Sr Helene's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Teresa O'Malley, IHM
Location: Bishop Klonowski High School
Date: 1975 - 1979

Sister Teresa was a very special person. She would always tell me that I could achieve anything I wanted to. I knew in my heart that I wanted to be a nurse but I didn't think academically I could achieve this. Sister Teresa taught the business courses at our high school. I did extremely well in her classes because she really made me see and do the best that I could. Upon my graduation in 1979 I was engaged to be married and she was very happy for me. Sister Teresa entered my name for the National Business Honor Society and because my grade average was well overall she believed that I was should also be entered into regular national society. Due my engagement I had a part-time job and was not able to participate in the glee club which I had to drop so I could work and earn money in preparation for my marriage. The instructor of the glee club denied me entrance into the regular National Honor Society and while Sister Teresa went to bat for me and tried very hard to get this back for me I was denied but she still made sure that I did get the Business Honor Society. I have married for the 35 years now and have been a nurse for 25 years (the first 10 years of my marriage I traveled with my husband who was in the U.S. Air Force and had three beautiful children). I truly believe I was able to achieve my dreams because of the encouragement given to me by Sister Teresa. She was a wonderful Sister, teacher, and person. I know she has found happiness in the arms of our Savior.

Allison Eibach

To read Sr Teresa's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Margaret Mary (Mary Ronan) Caulson, IHM
Location: Our Lady Queen of Martyrs
Date: 1968

Sr Mary Ronan helped nurture the curiosity of an 8th grader.. She is perhaps the most important figure in guiding me to my eventual career as a journalist and media executive. Her current events class (which was way ahead of its time) focused on sophisticated news events in 1968 such as politics, assassinations and US Foreign policy.. I reconnected with her in 1999 but would love to know how she is doing today.

God Bless
John Stack

To view Sr Marge's (Mary Ronan) obituary:

Remembering: Sister Patricia (Padraic) Burke and Sister M. Eustace Hanley
Location: St Mary's High School, Manhasset

Just a short little quip - Sister Padraic, IHM made studying Latin FUN!! Where it was required in those days (1965 - 67), not too many of us were too thrilled with having to take Latin, but I ended up loving it (it was probably one of my most favorite subjects!) because it was taught by Sister Padraic! Ok, I do need to also give credit to Sr. Eustace, IHM, who taught me Latin 1. But for Latin 2 and 3, Sister Padraic has us entering every sight translation contest within a 100 mile radius of NY!! And we did GREAT! What a team the SMHS girls were --- we made her proud. I have always wondered about her over the years. I did not keep in touch with her, but I cannot see the word 'Latin' without smiling in my heart with memories of Sr. Padraic.

Madeline Nazzaro Cannon

To read Sr Patricia's (Padraic):

To read Sr Eustace's obituary:

Remembering: Sisters M. Hilarion and M. St. Helen Sullivan

I read with interest the "Impacting Our World" article and recognized in the photos the former habit of my aunts, Srs. M. Hilarion and M. St. Helen Sullivan.

I knew Sister St Helen into my adulthood, I was familiar with most of the info about her.  Sr. St Helen was a regular guest in our house everywhere I lived (except London).  She loved being with our four kids and employed her teaching techniques on all of them!!!  I attended her funeral in Scranton with my parents.  She and I lived nearby each other in Pittsburgh and I taught in the district next to her.  She helped me get that first teaching job!  

Sr. Hilarion died when I was only 8, so I don't remember much about her.  I'm sorry to hear little is recorded about this amazing and creative woman!  Her legend lives on in our  large extended family of cousins.  We know through family stories of her dedication to unwed mothers and their babies.  When no one else was able to pry the name of the father from the lips of the girls, Sr. Hilarion could do it.  She embodied Christ's compassion.

Both of my aunts have influenced my own spiritual path tremendously.  I often feel they are with me in ministry, discernment, pastoral visits and sermon prep.  Sr St Helen was my cheerleader.  Her encouragement and our many discussions continue to offer me support. 

Rev. Deacon Brigid Waszczak

To read Sr St. Helen's obituary:

To read Sr Hilarion's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Michlyn Grella

I am so saddened to hear of the loss of Sr. Michlyn Grella. Sr. Mickey is my first cousin. Sr. Mickey will always hold a special place in my heart. I will always remember her laughter when my Dad (her Uncle Carmen) shared a joke or two. She was his best audience. Sr. Mickey was a very kind, loving and caring woman. I will always remember her fondly with a warm smile on her face. Rest in Peace Sr. Mickey and know that you were loved!

Ellen McDonell

To read Sr Michlyn's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Mary Hugh Placilla

My name is Katie Quigley Theberge. My husband Bob and I live in Ottawa, Canada. We are the parents of "Baby Mary Theberge" that Aunt Trudy (Sr. Mary Hugh) prayed for so consistently.  We heard from our cousin Tom of Aunt Trudy's passing today. We are grieving, as well as celebrating her life. She was one of the most beautiful people we ever knew.   My cousin Pamela, (husband Tom Horn) were her direct relations. To us, she was always our "Aunt Trudy".  

Thank you for all of your kindness and all who helped take care of Aunt Trudy and make it such a special place for her to live. We know that it was truly home to her.   Please be assured of our ongoing prayers, not only for Aunt Trudy's soul, but for all of you as well.   Sending all our love from Ottawa, Canada.
Much love to you,  
Katie Quigley Theberge and Bob Theberge, son John Theberge and Baby Mary Theberge 

To read Sr Mary Hugh's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Mary Hugh Placilla

We lost a very special person in our lives. She is with her brothers and sister which gives me comfort; but its still hard knowing I can't talk to her anymore. I've been going through a rough time this past year and the talks I had with her gave me hope and love. She always knew her nieces and nephews and knew just what to say. I will miss her dearly. She's definitely getting the last chuckle with a blizzard on her Ascension. I love you, Sister.

Rich Placilla

To read Sr Mary Hugh's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Mary Hugh Placilla

God has called a very special angel to be by his side. As I mourn the loss of my dear Aunt Trudy, her memory and the memories we made together will be forever with me. Aunt Trudy was my mother's sister which made her more of a mom than an Aunt to me. Our family loves to talk about the "Trudyisms" that she spoke: "Goes round your heart like velvet"; "I said to myself...self"; "It was just a thought, it will be gone in a minute"; "It's the first mistake I made today"...are just a few. She had the love of her convent family and her birth family and always gave of herself completely to both.

She will forever be in my heart.

Diane McPartland (niece)

To read Sr Mary Hugh's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Mary Hugh Placilla

Aunt Trudy was one of my very favorite people in the whole world. As one of her grandnieces, I always felt a special bond with her as both a spiritual advisor, she was my confirmation sponsor, and as a fellow teacher. As I began teaching myself, she would always ask me if I was doing good things. She is one of the reasons I have always tried to do better as a teacher and a mentor to my students. Her stories about working with the Native Americans in Mississippi as a kid helped me to understand the blessings I had been given growing up.

I remember one event in particular that is true Trudy. After I first moved to NC, Trudy was working with Sister Kieran in Williamston, NC. She invited me with my husband to pay a visit. She said, please bring your instruments (I am a violist and my now ex-husband is a trumpet player) so that Sister Kieran can hear you. She is a musician, too. So, we dutifully brought our instruments. We were quickly put to work at the Easter Vespers service to play that evening. After all, you cannot say no to a nun, particularly Aunt Trudy! We played the service and had a grand time.

I will miss Trudy and her wit, her sarcasm, her calling me her little Chickadee....

Chrissie Placilla

To read Sr Mary Hugh's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Mary Hugh Placilla

There are so many memories ... and as one of my cousins said Aunt Trudy tried to make everyone of us feel special in some way. Here are some of my fondest memories of my Aunt aka my 'Aunt the Nun' aka Aunt Trudy or Sister Mary Hugh or as my brother Tim called her when he was little-- 'Sister Mary Me'. I remember the parties with lots of family, the tea, the beer, the card games and the political debates....

When I was little I remember the gifts that came at Christmas for my grandmother from Idaho and the year Buzzy (our dog) ate the mink hat that she sent. I remember receiving the nun doll completely dressed in habit. Later I remember her coming home in the summer and being shocked when my mom was sitting in the kitchen cutting her hair (she really did have hair under the habit). Through the years the stories my dad told of taking her for her driving test - in his police uniform - the man giving the test said how can I fail a nun with a cop? And when she took me for my driving test during the gas rationing years and thought we had no gas (after we panicked we realized that Ford gas gauges are only accurate when the car is turned on).

And when I found myself alone with a 14 month and 3 year old all my family stepped in to help. Aunt Trudy came and helped me organize my house and left me a 100 bill in my jewelry box with a note that said - use this 'just in case'. And my parents health began to fail she was there to again to offer support to us. And now she is at the party again - with all the brothers and sisters, grandma and grandpa - everyone at the table - playing cards, pulling up another chair and debating the politics of the day. God Bless until we meet again.

Charlotte Placilla (niece)

To read Sr Mary Hugh's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Mary Hugh Placilla

In memory of dear Aunt Trudy, She was a dear friend, a mother, and someone in which you could always confide. She joined us for many holidays over the years and we enjoyed many conversations with her on the phone since we didn't live close by. Her extended family in Florida will miss her very much.

Loretta and James Clune

To read Sr Mary Hugh's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Mary Hugh Placilla

I will miss Aunt Trudy very much. My daughters Emily and Olivia always said she was so cute and little they wanted to take her home in their pocket. My fondest memories are on vacation with Aunt Trudy, when she lost her bathing suit in the bathroom while camping in Montauk and when she let go of the boat when we were at the lake in Maine. We laughed. Aunt Trudy always talked about how us cousins should always stay together, family was very important to her, we need to do this for her.

Nancy Gimplin

To read Sr Mary Hugh's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Mary Hugh Placilla

We were lucky enough to have Aunt Trudy in our extended family and she joined us for many holiday celebrations over the years. She was truly such a beautiful and peaceful person to be around with such a great sense of humor. We always appreciated her wisdom and her company. She will be missed by her Florida Family.

Laura and Emilio Balius (Pam Horn's sister)

To read Sr Mary Hugh's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Mary Hugh Placilla
Location: Patel Retina Institute, Clarks Summit, PA

My name is Kelsey and I am a technician/assistant here at Patel Retina Institute. I saw Sister Mary about every four weeks for her appointments here at the eye doctor. I immediately fell in love with Sister Mary and grew to have a huge appreciation for members of the I.H.M. I went to Catholic School all my life but something about Sister Mary stuck out unlike all the other Sisters who taught me or guided me during my education. The way she talked about her adventures with her I.H.M crew traveling and helping others it actually had me interested in becomming a member also. She was such a sweet lady with a huge heart and amazing personality. She will always be my favorite patient here at the office and I can't wait to see her again in heaven. Until then I'll be thinking you my angel, Sister Mary Hugh Placilla.

Kelsey Parchinski
(Technician and Assistant @ Patel Retina Institute)

To read Sr Mary Hugh's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Mary Hugh Placilla
Location: Oyster Bay, New York

Sister Trudy was my mothers best friend growing up in Oyster Bay, Long Island. They both went to St. Dominics High School. She was a very special person to my family. My mother always told me how surprised she was of her wanting to join the order. She told my mother of her finding "a calling". I remember hearing that as a child and learning for the first time what a vocation meant. I have not seen Sister Trudy in many years but will allways love her. I'm sorry for IHM loss but I'm happy my mother has her best friend back in heaven. RIP

Brian McCaffery

To read Sr Mary Hugh's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Marge Caulson
Location: Hospice and ongoing friendship

I remember the day she walked into the Hospice Offices to begin her chaplaincy position. As I watched her weave through the "cubical farm" she commanded a presence of peace and of the holy. There was no doubt that she was of God and the God worked through her. After my resignation from hospice, she continued to include me in a circle of prayer with others from Jerusalem House. It became my real church to commune with these sisters through our brief time together. The last time I saw Marge was the day she was admitted to the Inpatient Unit at Franklin Hospital. I thought that she had already been admitted, but I was wrong. The staff were waiting for her to arrive by ambulance. I tried to wait but decided to leave because we were not sure of her time of arrival. As I headed to the exit of the hospital, Marge arrived. She was accompanied by her sisters. The ambulance attendants were already "friends" from the ride from her home to the hospital. She looked amazing as her stretcher became her chariot. We said our goodbyes on the short walk to the unit. She was given over to the people who had been with her on the incredible journey of her ministry with Hospice and who were now there to provide their ministry of care to her. What an incredible blessing to have known her.

--Rev. Karen Pickler

To read Sr Marge's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Katherine (formerly Raphael) Sugrue
Location: Marywood College

t has been 20 years since my friend died. There's not a day goes by that I don't remember her and think of her. She helped me through Father Kevin Mckluskys death. She has a wisdom and understanding paralleled by no other.

Karen A. Clark

To read Sr Katherine's obituary:

Remembering: Sister Jeanne Marie (Coletta) Kearney
Location: Peru

My sincere condolences to you and all the sisters on the death of our dear Sr. Colet.

I have known and worked with Colet since my arrival in Peru 27 years ago. And on behalf of all the Holy Name Province Franciscans who have have worked with Colet we are grateful for the love and dedication of this IHM sister. She has ministered with Joe Nangle, Karl Koenig, Charley Rowley, Donald Stellpflug, Declan McCabe, Chris Dunn, Paul Breslin, Dan Murray, and myself among many others. This alone should testify to her sanctity or at least sense of humor.

What really stands out in Colet for me were her loyalty and perserverence to the friars and her ministry through all obstacles and changes up to the very end when the friars finally left Mateo Pumachahua. That and her dedication to to the poor and marginalized women in of Peru who she served both at the Vespertina, educating domestic workers, all immigrants from the mountains, and at the 'guarderia' or pre-school at Mateo where she served the poor mothers in the barriadas, providing the means that they could obtain work to be able to sustain their families.

And of course her lovely, humorous, engaging personality. She was always supportive with encouragement but also on target with humorous, honest and at times uncomfortable observations.

There is a saying in Peru that the people respect priests but they love the sisters and with people like Colet one can see where this observation comes from.

May there be many more religious like Colet.

Tony Wilson, OFM
Holy Name Province Franciscans 

To read Sr Jeanne Marie's obituary:

Remembering: Sr. Jeanne Marie (Coletta) Kearney
Location: Peru

The news of S. Colet's death was quite sad for me. Colet has been a wonderful, faithful friend to me over many years in Peru. A weekly highlight was having Sunday lunch together.

I am sure that many of you remember her as I do: a very prayerful woman, made free by living her truth.

I will miss her humor, her sharing's, her fidelity to your IHM spirit and her presence with the children and folks at Mateo.

With this note I send my prayerful sympathy to all of you and I join you in spirit as you remember her and celebrate her new life. Alleluia!

Love, prayer,

Sr. Carmen Foley SC

To read Sr. Jeanne Marie's obituary: