In Memory

Sister Anne Fulwiler, IHM

October 14, 1924 – May 4, 2012

Anne Fulwiler, IHM

Sister Anne Fulwiler, IHM, (also known as Sister M. Albertus) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Friday, May 4, 2012, at Geisinger-Community Medical Center in Scranton, PA.

She was born on October 14, 1924, in Williamsport, PA. She was the daughter of the late Harold and Joann White Fulwiler. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1944, made temporary profession of her vows on May 8, 1947, and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1950.

Sister Anne served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Dominic High School in Oyster Bay, NY, in 1947 and from 1968 to 1970; Mt. Holly Regional Catholic High School in Mt. Holly, NJ, from 1947 to 1956; St. Leo Elementary School in Ashley, PA, from 1956 to 1965; and Dunmore Central Catholic High School in Dunmore, PA, from 1965 to 1968.

Sister also served as Coordinator of Apostolic Works for the IHM Congregation, from 1970 to 1974. She was elected Superior General of the IHM Congregation in 1974, and served a four year term. She was instrumental in initiating throughout the communal and ministerial life of the IHM Congregation many of the changes called for by Vatican II.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Marywood College; a Master of Arts degree in mathematics from St. John’s University; a Masters degree in church administration from Catholic University; and Juris Canonici Licentate from Catholic University.

Sister Anne served as judge on Marriage Tribunal in the Archdiocese of Washington and as a canon law consultant for the Archdiocese of Washington from 1981 to 1988. She was the vicar for religious in the Trenton Diocesan from 1988 to 1997, and the Vice Chancellor in the Trenton Diocese from 1997 to 2003.

From 2003 until the time of her death, Sister Anne served as a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, Robert Samuel and John Edward.

She is survived by nieces, nephews, and great nieces and great nephews.

The funeral will be Saturday, May 12, at 10:00 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 Friday, May 11, 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 Saturday at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA.

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

Reprinted from “In Memoriam” section of Journey, Summer 2012 issue

Succeeding Mother Beata Wertz (1962-74), Sister Anne Fulwiler was elected by the 1974 General Chapter delegates as superior general of the Scranton IHM Congregation. Her opening address acknowledged Mother Beata’s enormous imprint on the congregation, saying “there are very large footprints to fill.”

Having served as director of apostolic works, Sister Anne knew the needs of the IHM ministries and could have been filled with great trepidation. She knew also that the Chapter of 1974 called for changes in accord with the decrees of Vatican II which would be her responsibility to implement, often in the midst of tension from her beloved sisters. Sister Anne would nevertheless say, “I do not fear what lies ahead; we will do it, and do it together.”

This tribute to Sister Anne is written from the perspective of one who has studied her life as an historian does through letters, talks, and decisions made. There is ample evidence of her persevering effort to obtain approval for our revised constitutions. Her openness to new prayer forms, to small group community living, to new ministries beyond formal education in the schools, and her grasp of the possibilities for serving the poor in the hills of Sicuani, Peru, are all recorded. She researched canon law resources to formulate a process for the admission of transfer sisters to the IHM Congregation and championed the cause for increased stipends and benefits for Sisters.

There was a simple peace about Sister Anne, whose patient listening to bishops, pastors, and sisters was her hallmark. In retirement, she continued her prayerful interest in all things related to the congregation. She has been called “a woman of the Church,” because of her work in the various Church tribunals as a canon lawyer. The Church now expresses our parting with Sister Anne Fulwiler, “Requiescat in pace.”

by Michel Keenan, IHM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *