In Memory

Sister Barbara Nogiewich, IHM

February 22, 1939 – December 18, 2021

Sister Barbara Nogiewich, IHM, (formerly known as Sister M. St. Barbara) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Saturday, December 18, 2021, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on February 22, 1939, in Huntington Station, NY, and given the name Margaret Ann. She was the daughter of the late John and Josephine Burcyk Nogiewich. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 7, 1956, and made her temporary profession of vows on March 12, 1959, and her final profession of vows on March 12, 1964.

Sister Barbara served as a teacher in the following schools: St. Joseph Elementary School in Danville, PA, from 1959 to 1960 and 1962 to 1966; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Pittston, PA, from 1966 to 1974; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Clinton, MD, from 1974 to 1980; Our Lady of Mercy Elementary School in Forest Hills, NY, from 1980 to 1982; St. Raymond Elementary School in East Rockaway, NY, from 1982 to 1988; Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School in, Forest Hills, NY, from 1988 to 1991; Epiphany Elementary School in Sayre, PA, from 1991 to 1994; Monsignor McHugh Elementary School in Cresco, PA, from 1994 to 1995; and St. Ambrose Elementary School in Bridgeport, CT, from 1996 to 1999.

Sister also served in child care at St. Mary’s Home in Cresson, PA, from 1960 to 1962; lovingly cared for her mother in the family home in Huntington Station, NY, from 1999 to 2012; instructor in the Educational Enrichment Institute at the IHM Center in Scranton, from 2012 to 2019; and support services at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 2014 to 2019.

From 2019 until the time of her death, Sister Barbara was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

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

She was preceded in death by a brother, John.

She is survived by a sister, Barbara Ann of Huntington Station, NY, a niece and cousins. She is also survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

Interment will be at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA. Due to restrictions related to the coronavirus, the funeral mass and graveside service are private.

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.

Remembrance Prayer and Funeral Mass:

Sister Barbara Nogiewich, IHM
Funeral Eulogy, Wednesday, December 22, 2021
by Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM, Congregation President

Clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Colossians 3:12

When I started to think about what I wanted to say about Barbara today, these words from St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians quickly came to mind. Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience – these qualities speak to me of the true foundation of Barbara’s goodness and deep spirituality and define how she lived every day of her life – well, except maybe I’d put an asterisk after patience because while Barbara was usually pretty easygoing with others, not so much with herself. Her quiet, humble, and warm spirit came from her deep inner trust and faith in a God she truly loved and trusted and who, she knew, loved her. Barbara gave joy to others through her selflessness while at the same time revealing her own inner goodness and beauty, as we heard in the sharing at our wake service this morning. She was a person of strong faith and trust. We were recipients of her gentle kindness and concern, her generosity and compassion, her gentle humor and willing availability.

Barbara was a creative and enthusiastic elementary school teacher for over forty years in schools in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and Connecticut. She really loved teaching her young students and her creative art projects were a real hit with her students. Her calm, gentle way encouraged them to keep tying in spite of mistakes, and taught lessons about acceptance, understanding, and respect far better than any lecture could. Barbara also ministered at St. Mary’s Child Care Home in Cresson, where she helped care for the resident children for two years, which I think probably helped her learn something about that patience with others I talked about. When her parents became ill and needed assistance, Barbara returned home and lovingly cared for them until their deaths. She was a support for her sister Barbara Ann and brother John during this time as well, and became the #1 spoiler of the stray cat Barbara Ann brought home one day. In 2012, Barbara came to the IHM Center where she was an instructor for young students in the Educational Enrichment Institute, She also helped with various duties in support services during this time, always with a welcoming smile and warm hospitality that made others feel at home even as she herself dealt with some personal physical difficulties. From 2019 until the present Barbara served as a prayer minister here at OLP.

Today we celebrate and give thanks for the life of Barbara, for her unwavering love of God and her great gratitude for all that life gave her, the rejoicings as well as the sorrows. She was a generous giver – of her time, her creative gifts, her presence. She frequently received large boxes of snacks from her family and friends, and she would immediately put them out for the other sisters and staff to enjoy. Although I’m told she did have a very big sweet tooth, so she did manage to enjoy some treats herself. I understand from Marie Lourdes that whipped cream was a special favorite – the more, the better. Barbara was always ready with a word or act of kindness or support whenever needed and her generosity was never-ending. She was a faithful communicator when anyone requested prayers. She wrote cards and letters with messages and poems of encouragement to them, usually followed up by regular phone calls to make sure they were doing okay. She was a great decorator and brought much joy to others with her creative crafts and decorations.

We surely will miss Barbara, but we rejoice that she is now at home with her God and enjoying eternal life with her parents, Josephine and John, and her brother, John, who are now reunited with her as she is welcomed into the great joy of eternal life by the God she loved and served so well.

Our prayers are with her family, Barbara Ann, Eileen, Stanley, and Evelyn, and Barbara’s niece and cousins. We pray too for her many friends, her IHM sisters, especially those who lived with her in 2B here at OLP, her Band members, and all who knew and loved her. We ask the God of all consolation to comfort us all at this time of loss.

Barbara blessed us and befriended all of us. She lived the true meaning of these words from a quote I found: May the hand of a friend always be near you and may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you. Barbara, as you gave your hand in friendship to so many during your life among us, may your heart now overflow with the abundance of gladness in God’s loving embrace for all eternity.

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

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