In Memory

Sister Eileen M. Palma, IHM

July 5, 1928 – March 8, 2017

Eileen Palma, IHM

Sister Eileen M. Palma, IHM, (formerly known as Sister M. Virginis) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on July 5, 1928, in Staten Island, NY, and given the name Eileen Mae. She was the daughter of the late Joseph Andrea and Marie Moore Palma. She entered the IHM Congregation on February 1, 1948, made temporary profession of her vows on August 2, 1950, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1953.

Sister Eileen served as a teacher in the following schools: Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School in Forest Hills, NY, from 1950 to 1953; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Binghamton, NY, from 1953 to 1955; St. Rosalia Elementary School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1955 to 1956; Most Holy Rosary Elementary School in Syracuse, NY, from 1956 to 1966; and Holy Trinity Elementary School in Poughkeepsie, NY, from 1966 to 1969.

Sister also served as purchasing agent at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Carbondale, PA, from 1969 to 1981; receptionist in academic records at Marywood College in Scranton, PA, from 1981 to 1986; purchasing agent at Marywood College in Scranton, PA, from 1986 to 1999; and receptionist at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 1999 to 2008.

From 2008 until the time of her death, Sister Eileen was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

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

She is preceded in death by eight brothers, George, Joseph, Jr., Robert, Richard, Reverend Gregory, OFM, James, Raymond, and David, and two sisters, Marie and Alice Wilcken.

She is survived by nieces and nephews and the members of the IHM Congregation.

The funeral will be Tuesday, March 14, 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, March 13, between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Interment will follow Mass on Tuesday 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, Spring 2017 issue

Reflection given by Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM Congregation President

Sister Eileen M. Palma, IHM, funeral 3/14/17

“Who is wise and understanding among you?
Let them show it by their good life,
by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”
James 3:13

We gather today with hearts filled with gratitude for the life and goodness of our Sister Eileen. In this sixty-seventh year of her profession, we thank you for calling her to our IHM Congregation and for gracing us, our church, and your people with many years of faith-filled and generous service.

Eileen’s life was dedicated to helping others—as a teacher in schools in New York and Pennsylvania, as a purchasing agent for St. Joseph’s Hospital in Carbondale and later at Marywood, as a receptionist at Marywood and at the IHM Center, and as a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace. Whatever Eileen did, it was done in unassuming ways. Her words were soft spoken but her resolve was strong, rooted in her determination to do all in service to others and to her God. She always gave her best, and her kindness, generosity, and peaceful grace deeply touched those she met. Her gentle and beautiful smile was always there for everyone, and for sure she is smiling down on all of us today.

Eileen cherished the members of her family. We are grateful today for her parents, Marie and Joseph, her first teachers who passed on to her their deep faith in God. They no doubt led the great welcome for her in heaven last Wednesday, joined by her eight brothers, George, Joseph, Robert, Richard, Father Gregory, OFM, James, Raymond, and David, and her two sisters, Marie and Alice. What a wonderful reception that surely was for Eileen! We pray for all who have been touched by Eileen’s life. We ask you to comfort her nieces and nephews, her IHM sisters, especially the sisters at OLP, and all those who were part of her journey here on earth.

Eileen trusted her God throughout her life. May she exult forever in the fullness of God’s eternal light and love, and may she now intercede for us.

Her niece, Laurie, will now place the scriptures on Eileen’s casket, for Eileen 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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