In Memory

Sister Angela Miller, IHM

February 19, 1942 – April 28, 2018

Sister Angela Marie Miller, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Saturday, April 28, 2018, during an act of domestic violence.

She was born on February 19, 1942, in Scranton, PA. She was the daughter of the late Alec and Clare Koshinski Miller. She entered the Poor Sisters of Jesus Crucified and the Sorrowful Mother on September 8, 1961 and made her temporary profession of vows on August 2, 1964 and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1967. She joined the IHM Congregation in Scranton, PA, on June 15, 1983 and was incorporated May 31, 1986.

From 1963 to 1983, as a Sister of Jesus Crucified, Sister Angela (formerly known as Sister M. Alexa) taught in schools in East Hartford, CT; South Boston, MA; Ashland, Carbondale, Frackville, Girardville, and Tamaqua, PA.

As a Sister of IHM, Sister Angela served as a teacher in the following schools: St. Rita Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1983 to 1986; St. Clare Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1995 to 2008; and St. Clare/St. Paul Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 2008 to 2012.

Sister Angela also served as director of religious education at Most Holy Rosary Parish in Syracuse, NY, from 1986 to 1988; counselor internship and medical records clerk at Marian Community Hospital in Carbondale, PA, from 1988 to 1989; pastoral associate at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Baltimore, MD, from 1989 to 1992; counselor and resident manager at St. Joseph’s Center/Manor in Scranton, PA, from 1992 to 1995; Confirmation coordinator at St. Clare’s Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1995 to 2008; community support professional at St. Joseph’s Center in Scranton, PA, from 2012 until the time of her death.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in education/English, a Master of Science degree in religious education/theology, and a Master of Arts degree in counseling from Marywood College.

Sister Angela died the same day and in the same manner with her sister, Rosemary Smith. Sister Angela was declared dead in February 2021. Her body was never found.

She is survived by two sisters, Helen Douglass, and Theresa Scaccia both of Scranton, PA, nieces and nephews. She is also survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

A memorial mass was held for Sister Angela and her sister, Rosemary Smith on May 21, 2018 at the IHM Center in Scranton.

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

Remembering our Sister Angela

News Articles:

Reflection given by Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM Congregation President

Memorial Mass on May 21, 2018 for Sister Angela Marie Miller (February 19, 1942 – April 28, 2018) and her sister, IHM Employee Rosemary Smith (February 23, 1946- April 28, 2018)

The poet, John O’Donohue, wrote the following: Though we need to weep your loss, you dwell in that safe place in our hearts where no storm or night or pain can reach you.

We gather this morning in faith yet with hearts heavy with sadness and uncertainty. We look for answers and we find more questions. We have experienced the horror of domestic violence perhaps in a way never imagined before. Yet, in the midst of this darkness, we do gather in hope because our faith and the lives of these two women show us how.

Yesterday at the memorial prayer for Angela and Rose, many friends and neighbors shared some wonderful moments about how these two women touched their lives: their joy, their kindness, their spirit, their generosity, their simple goodness. That prayer drew our individual memories into a new collective one that comforted and strengthened us, yes, but also gave us a window to see beyond our own pain, anger, and sorrow to the beauty and inspiration that Angela and Rose were for us. Their example serves to encourage us to practice with deeper awareness those simple acts of kindness and love that can make such a difference in one another’s life.

I noted yesterday at the memorial prayer that I was struck by the variety and number of connections Rose and Angela had in their lives. Their relationships with so many tells us the story. They were bright lights in our lives. They were givers and doers who were joyful and caring, warm and friendly, generous and resilient, and, oh yes, did I mention that they could talk forever – even at the same time! They both had the knack of engaging anyone, friend or stranger, in conversation, and after 10 or 15 minutes, could tell you the entire history of that person. Their circle of relationships just kept getting wider every day and they treasured their connections for the life and joy they both gave and received. They taught us about the deep value of love for others not just by words, but by the way they lived their lives each day.

As I look around this chapel, I think that is what this community of believers is for one another during this time of our own sorrow and uncertainty. We come together, Angela’s and Rose’s family of origin, their IHM family, the family from St. Clare’s-St. Paul’s, their diocesan family, and their community of friends, to offer support as we seek to understand the sudden and tragic loss of such vibrant people in our lives. As a faith community, our heads assure us that they are with their God enjoying the fullness of eternal life and we rejoice in that certitude. Our hearts, however, are broken and we struggle with our loss. We come together this day to share our faith, our support, and we pray for an increase in our own deep trust in the God who calls us before we are even born, who loves and cares for us no matter what, and who sent his Son to overcome death and fulfill his promise of resurrection for all of us.

Angela and Rose were resurrection people. Their relationship with God was drawn from a deep trust and love. Both spoke easily about their own spirituality and their love and trust in God in a way that invited that same faith in us. Rose was always the first to say, “I’ll say a prayer for that,” whenever something was going on with the sisters, or her family, or especially some tragedy in the world. Angela was the same, whether in the classroom or with those to whom she ministered. From their own inner pain and sorrow, they perhaps understood suffering and need in others better than most of us, and through their own experience, were able to reach out to others and to each other. Their love of and trust in God is what sustained and carried them each day and enabled them to live the mystery of that deep faith with a strength that continues to sustain each of us during this time. “A blessing,” wrote author Jan Richardson, “meets us in the place of our deepest loss. . . offers us a glimpse of wholeness and claims that wholeness here and now.” This is her “Blessing of Hope” for each of us today:

So may we know the hope that is not just for someday but for this day – here, now, in this moment that opens to us:

hope not made of wishes but of substance . . .
hope that has breath and a beating heart,
hope that will not keep quiet and be polite,
hope that knows how to holler when it is called for,
hope that knows how to sing when there seems little cause,
hope that raises us from the dead – not someday but this day, every day, again and again and again.

So as we gather around this table today, may we resolve to be examples of God’s love and care for others and may we be blessed by our own faith and hope in the resurrected Jesus and rejoice in the same God who today enfolds Angela and Rose in loving arms of eternal peace and joy.

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