In Memory

Sister Carol Ann Lubas, IHM

May 31, 1947 – January 9, 2021

Sister Carol Ann Lubas, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Saturday, January 9, 2021, at Regional Hospital in Scranton.

She was born on May 31, 1947, in Scranton, PA. She was the daughter of the late Joseph and Emma Evanko Lubas. She entered the IHM Congregation on August 24, 1969, and made her temporary profession of vows on June 6, 1971, and her final profession of vows on August 7, 1975.

Sister Carol served as a teacher in the following schools: St. Mary of Mount Carmel Elementary School in Dunmore, PA, from 1969 to 1970; St. Thomas Elementary School in Providence, RI, from 1970 to 1974; Our Lady of Mount Carmel Elementary School in Asbury Park, NJ, from 1974 to 1975 and 1987 to 1988; St. Rose Elementary School in Carbondale, PA, from 1975 to 1980; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Silver Spring, MD, from 1980 to 1985; St. Dominic Elementary School in Oyster Bay, NY, from 1985 to 1987; and Notre Dame Jr./­Sr. High School in East Stroudsburg, PA, from 1988 to 2005 and 2010 to 2011.

Sister also served as coordinator of religious education at Notre Dame Middle School in East Stroudsburg, PA, from 2005 to 2010; as office assistant in the financial aid office at Marywood University in Scranton, PA, from 2012 to 2016; as instructor in the IHM Educational Enrichment Institute at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 2012 to 2020; and in support services at the IHM Center and Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA, from 2018 to 2020.

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

She is preceded in death by a brother-in-law, Michael Raniella.

She is survived by a brother, Joseph of Archbald, PA, two sisters, Betsy Raniella of Dunmore, PA, and Jeanne Marie Waznak of Scranton, PA, nieces and nephews; and grandnieces and grandnephews. 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.


Combined Vespers Prayer Service:

Reprinted from “In Memoriam” section of Journey, Spring 2021 issue

Sister Carol Lubas, IHM

Reflection given by Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM Congregation President, at Sister’s funeral on Wednesday, January 13, 2021:

American novelist and theologian Frederick Buechner wrote: “Whatever you do with your life – whatever you end up achieving or not achieving – the great gift you have in you to give to the world is the gift of who you alone are . . . that is like nobody else. If so much as a single one of you were missing, there would be an empty place at the great feast of life that nobody else in all creation could fill.” I love this quote and used it frequently when I taught high school students as a motivational tool. Buechner’s statement is true about every single person, for sure, but what brings us here this morning is how we experienced the truth of these words in the life of Carol. During these past few days, we have had time to reflect on the special gift she was and have heard stories of how she impacted so many other lives too.

The gift of life Carol shared with the world during her fifty years as an IHM was a reflection of her deep faith and compassion for all of God’s creation. Her ministry to elementary school children brought her to five states and several schools. She was a great Math teacher and her quick, dry sense of humor caught on quickly with her students and fellow teachers. Carol also served as coordinator of religious education at Notre Dame Middle School in East Stroudsburg, an office assistant at Marywood University’s financial aid office, an instructor at our IHM Educational Enrichment Institute, and a volunteer in our Development Office and other support services at OLP and the IHM Center. She was a dedicated member of the congregation Election
Committee for over twenty-five years and rarely missed a meeting. Her gifts were many and wherever Carol ministered, whatever she did, underlying all was an abiding love of God, her family, and her congregation, and that love and commitment was unwavering.

Carol was a woman of great faith and trust in God. Her gentle smile and kind and quiet compassion and graciousness touched all she met. She had a great love for the poor and was a staunch supporter of our IHM efforts towards peace and justice. She loved history – for many years, until most recently, she attended the annual historical tour of the Dunmore cemetery. She was passionate about reading the newspaper from cover to cover every day and then discussing the latest happenings after the evening news. Of course, those discussions ended when Jeopardy came on. I’m told that when no one else knew an answer, Carol would quietly say it and she was usually right. In fact, her Trinity sisters kept urging her to try out to be on the show. Always Carol remained a true Dunmorean, staying in touch with her classmates from grade school days and keeping up with the latest happenings on the local scene and family through social media. It was her greatest joy to share photos of her family, especially the younger members, with the sisters
with whom she lived and talk about the latest family happenings. Carol, or ‘Aunt Carrot,” as she was affectionately called by the younger children,
truly cherished those holiday and vacation times she shared with family and made a point to attend as many events as possible.

We bring thoughts of Carol’s goodness to our prayer today as we also remember very specially her parents, Emma and Joseph, and brother-in-law, Michael, who welcomed her home last Saturday to the eternal, all-encompassing love of her God.

We pray in a special way for those who will miss her dearly, especially her sisters, Jeanne Marie and Betsy, her brother, Joseph, and their extended families, her friends in our IHM community, especially those in Holy Trinity Community, and all who knew and loved her. We ask the God of all consolation to comfort all of us at this time of loss.

So today we gather to celebrate the memory of Carol whose quiet, unassuming manner made a difference in the lives of all of us and so many others. She, more than most of us, I think, profoundly understood that gentle compassion, kindness, and understanding of others is a source of God’s healing and light in our world. She brought those gifts to those with whom she lived and ministered. May her goodness continue to bless us and challenge us to be the face of God’s love and kindness to those we meet. I want to say this now especially to the younger children here today, who loved Carol so much. Carol will continue to live in your hearts and memories and the best way you can honor her is to follow her example of kindness and generosity and understanding toward the people you meet each day. I think that would be the best gift you can give her. There is indeed an empty place not only at
Frederick Buechner’s great feast of life, but also at the many smaller tables around which we often shared life’s joys and sorrows with Carol. We thank God for the years she spent among us and pray our faith may ease our sorrow at her passing from this life.

Emma and Joey will now place Carol’s Bible on her casket, for indeed Carol 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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