In Memory

Sister Ann Grayeski, IHM

October 6, 1942 – November 17, 2017

Ann Grayeski, iHM

Sister Ann Grayeski, IHM, (formerly known as Sister Ann Dolora) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Friday, November 17, 2017, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on October 6, 1942, in Scranton, PA, and given the name Mary. She was the daughter of the late John J. and Mary Plopa Grayeski. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1961, made temporary profession of her vows on June 26, 1964 and final profession of her vows on June 26, 1969.

Sister Ann served as a teacher in the following schools: St. Raymond Elementary School in East Rockaway, NY, from 1966 to 1970; St. Rose Elementary School in Carbondale, PA, from 1970 to 1973; St. Mary Elementary School in Avoca, PA, from 1973 to 1974; Little Flower Elementary School in Bethesda, MD, from 1974 to 1975; St. Mary of the Assumption Elementary School in Upper Marlboro, MD, from 1975 to 1977; St. Rita Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1977 to 1980; St. Dominic Elementary School in Oyster Bay, NY, from 1980 to 1982; St. Ambrose Elementary School in Bridgeport, CT, from 1982 to 1984; Sacred Heart High School in Carbondale, PA, from 1984 to 1989; Monsignor McHugh Elementary School in Cresco, PA, from 1989 to 1991; and St. Patrick Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1991 to 1992.

Sister also served as business manager at St. Ann Parish in Scranton, PA, from 1992 to 1997; computer analyst at MetLife Insurance Company in Clarks Summit, PA, from 1997 to 2010; clerical worker for the U.S. Census Bureau office in Scranton, PA, in 2010; accounting clerk at Friends of the Poor in Scranton, PA, from 2011 to 2015; and support staff for the Friends of the Poor Experience Works program in Carbondale, PA, from 2015 to 2016.

From March until the time of her death, Sister Ann served as a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and mathematics, and a Master of Science degree in mathematics education, both from Marywood College.

She was preceded in death by several aunts and uncles.

She is survived by a brother, John, of Scranton, PA; a sister, Reverend Dr. Joanne G. Weiss and brother-in-law Thomas C. Kulesza, of Lake Ariel, PA; and several cousins. She is also survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

The question that Sister Ann always asked was, “How can I help?” Uncomfortable with being the center of attention, Sister Ann was a woman who was deeply devoted to helping others, especially the poor or those who were suffering in some way. She was her mother’s tireless caregiver for seven years and was fiercely loyal to family and friends. Her work with Friends of the Poor was dear to her heart. Her lifelong devotion to St. Ann and her extensive involvement in St. Ann’s Basilica throughout her life touched numerous people. Hospital visits, taking communion to nursing home residents and visiting shut-ins gave her great joy. Her passion for and involvement with social justice issues as well as her knowledge of local politics were a constant in her life. Unknown to many, Sister Ann was a talented artist whose oil paintings, watercolors, calligraphy, and string art will be cherished by her family. Sister Ann truly lived a life of service and her vows as a Sister, Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Sister Ann’s family would like to extend their deep gratitude to the sisters and staff of Our Lady of Peace Residence for the excellent care given to Sister Ann and the loving and grace-filled attentiveness extended to them. Her family is also most grateful to her medical doctors and especially to Dr. Mario Sebastianelli, her nephrologist, whose devoted work on her behalf will always be remembered.

The funeral will be Tuesday, November 21, at 11:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Monday, November 20, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Interment will follow Mass on Tuesday at Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton, PA.

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



Reprinted from “In Memoriam” section of Journey, Spring 2018 issue

Reflection given by Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM Congregation President

Sister Ann Grayeski, funeral date November 21, 2017

Your acts of kindness are iridescent wings of divine love, which linger and continue to uplift others long after your sharing.” (Rumi)

There is no greater testament to the truth of these words than the wonderful sharing yesterday at the wake service for Ann. We heard about the special gift of presence and caring she was to so many people, how she loved reaching out to visit an elderly or sick member of her parish or bring communion to a homebound person or to make a run to pick up a donation for Friends of the Poor. Of course, I think she enjoyed these occasions as much for the opportunity to share the latest information and stories with others as to fulfill any particular deed. She was never at a loss for words in any conversation! I have no doubt that she is already making the rounds in heaven, visiting people, those she knows and even some she didn’t know, and she probably knows as much or more of what’s going on there as God!

The gift of life Ann shared with the world during her fifty-three years as an IHM was a reflection of her deep faith and love for God’s vibrant presence in the world. Her ministry to elementary school children brought her to four states and several schools. She later served as business manager at St. Ann’s parish in Scranton, a computer analyst at MetLife in Clarks Summit, a clerical assistant at the U.S. Census Bureau office in Scranton, and an accounting clerk and support staff for Friends of the Poor. She was also a loving caregiver to her mother for many years, a privilege she deeply treasured. Always Ann remained ever faithful to her beloved St. Ann’s parish and community, participating in almost every activity and celebration held there. Wherever she ministered, whatever she did, underlying all was an abiding love of God, her family, and her congregation, and her love and commitment never wavered.

Ann’s gifts were many, though she never wanted or liked being in the limelight. She preferred staying under the radar, as she once said, but that never stopped her from reaching out in kindness to anyone she met who needed something done. Perhaps that is Ann’s consummate gift to us and our world: she seemed to approach life always with a “How can I help?” stance. She was the best at doing countless good deeds that our ego-centered world might count as small. Yet, through her persistent though unassuming manner, she made a difference in the life of all of us here and so many others. Her kindness, generosity, loyalty, quick quips, and, yes, even her impatience for getting things done are gifts that will be greatly missed. I think it safe to say that Ann was an original who inspired her family and friends because she saw life as a gift from God and she was not about to leave that gift unopened or even half opened, despite her health concerns. She truly lived her life to the full, no excuses.

We pause to remember Ann’s parents, Mary and John, and her aunts and uncles, with whom she is rejoicing and celebrating today in heaven. We pray for all those who will miss her caring presence, especially her sister, Joanne, her brother, John, her brother-in-law, Tom, and all her family members. Our prayers are also with her many friends: Sister Carlita, her Band members, the sisters with whom she lived in Queen of Peace community at the Center and in Household 3C here at OLP, the administrators and staff here at Our Lady of Peace, her many friends at St. Ann’s parish, and all who knew and loved her.

Joanne will now place the scriptures on Ann’s casket, for indeed Ann heard the Word of God, she staked her life upon it and received life to the full… the Word now beckons Ann home.

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