In Memory

Sister Ellen Mullen, IHM

June 20, 1940 – August 13, 2009

Ellen Mullen, IHM

Sister Ellen Mullen, IHM, (formerly known as Sister Mary Fides) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Thursday, August 13, 2009 at the Mercy Hospital in Scranton, PA.

She was born on June 20, 1940 in Peckville, PA. She was the daughter of the late Charles J. and Kathleen Dean Mullen. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1959, made her temporary profession of vows on June 27, 1962, and her final profession of vows on June 27, 1967.

Sister Ellen taught junior high grades in the following schools: St. Patrick Elementary School in White Haven, PA, from 1964 to 1965; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Bellefonte, PA, from 1965 to 1967; St. Mary Elementary School in Manhasset, NY, from 1967 to 1973; St. Ann Elementary School in Nyack, NY, from 1973 to 1975; and St. Matthew Elementary School in Wilmington, DE, from 1977 to 1980. She also taught religion at Bishop Hannan High School in Scranton, PA, from 1986 to 1988, and at Holy Cross High School in Delran, NJ, from 1988 to 1989.

Sister Ellen served as a pastoral minister at St. Ambrose Parish in Bridgeport, CT, from 1985 to 1986, and at St. Ann Parish in Scranton, PA, from 1989 to 1992. She also served the coordinator of interparochial ministry at St. Basil Parish in Dushore, PA, for the Bradford-Sullivan Deanery from 1992 to 1994;and pastoral assistant at Most Holy Rosary Parish in Syracuse, NY, from 1994 to 2000.

From 2004 until the time of her death, Sister Ellen served as a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace Residence, both in Scranton.

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

She was preceded in death by five brothers, William J., Donald G., Dean, James, and Charles, and two sisters, Mary Lou Faliskie and Kathleen Toolan.

She is survived by two brothers, Thomas of Easton, PA, and Robert of Scotch Plains, NJ, and a sister, Sister Carolyn, IHM, of Delran, NJ, and many nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be Saturday, August 15, at 9:30 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, August 14, between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:30 p.m. Interment will be 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, Spring 2010 issue

To be the youngest in a family of eleven kids is a challenge, I suppose. However, it does have its advantages. There are ten others to protect you, as well as “teach you the ropes.” Ellen, our youngest, was a fast learner; she got away with her share of pranks, but there’s always a balance of power in a big family.

Ellen was twelve when I entered the convent in 1952, so I missed her teen and high school years. However, I was always caught up on her adventures on family visiting days. Then she entered the community in 1959 and made her own history here.

From students in the classroom to elderly patients in nursing homes, Ellen was the one they loved to see coming. She left her mark wherever she went, especially on those whose need seemed the greatest. She was all theirs when she was with them. And our family will never forget the care she gave to our mother and our sister, Kitty.

Ellen’s biggest asset was her sense of humor. She saw the funny side in everything and was quick to jump on any chance for a laugh. She instigated fun, and that served her well when her disease became so difficult. Even in her last days, she could come out with some humorous line that would lighten a heavy moment.

Ellen Mullen was close to God. I know that because of the time I spent with her. As her disease progressed, I watched her turn to God with a comfortableness that is found only in the holy of heart. She taught me, yet again, about the value of prayer and the acceptance of the difficult.

How do you measure a person’s impact on others? I miss Ellen— very much. There is emptiness because once there was fullness. Her laughter and her smile stay with me. There are classrooms, nursing homes, and parishes that are richer for having had her with them, if only for awhile.

I’m glad Ellen was my sister.

by Carolyn Mullen, IHM

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