In Memory

Sister Louise Connolly, IHM

April 21, 1926 – May 13, 2017

Sister Louise Connolly, IHM, (formerly known as Sister M. St. Louise) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Saturday, May 13, 2017, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on April 21, 1926, in Baltimore, MD and given the name Mary Jane. She was the daughter of the late John and Louise Dehne Connolly. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1948, made temporary profession of her vows on May 8, 1951, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1954.

Sister Louise served as a teacher at the following schools: Marywood Seminary High School in Scranton, PA, from 1951 to 1966; Cathedral High School in Scranton, PA, from 1966 to 1971; St. Mark’s High School in Wilmington, DE, from 1978 to 1982; Our Lady of Victory Elementary School in Floral Park, NY, from 2001 to 2005.

Sister was a choral director at the following schools: Maria Regina Diocesan High School in Uniondale, NY, from 1971 to 1972; St. Mary High School in Manhasset, NY, from 1972 to 1978; and Calvert Hall College High School in Baltimore, MD, from 1982 to 1986.

Sister Louise also served as a administrative assistant at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Baltimore, MD, from 1986 to 1988; secretary to the Vice- Chancellor in the Diocesan Chancery of Rockville Centre in NY, from 1988 to 2000; bookkeeper at Cure of Arts Parish in Merrick, NY, from 2000 to 2001; instructor at the IHM Educational Enrichment Institute at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 2005 to 2009; and a Telespond volunteer at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA, from 2009 to 2010.

From 2010 until the time of her death, Sister Louise served as a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree mathematics/philosophy from College of Notre Dame of Maryland, a Bachelor of Music degree from Marywood College, and a Master of Music degree in voice from DePaul University.

She is survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

The funeral will be Wednesday, May 17, 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 Tuesday, May 16, 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 Wednesday 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, Winter 2017 issue

Reflection given by Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM Congregation President

Sister Louise Connolly, Funeral 5/17/17

Good morning,

As we gather today to celebrate the wonderful gift of the life of Sister Louise Connolly, I want to welcome our sisters, many of whom lived or ministered with Louise, and two of her dear friends who are joining us via live-stream, Sister Carlann, a School Sister of Notre Dame and close friend, and Carol Jebailey, a Marywood Sem student who was taught by Louise in 1959 and who has remained friends with her ever since. For sixty-seven years, Louise faithfully served as an IHM before returning to her eternal home with the God who loved and strengthened her throughout her life. Our hearts are full of gratitude for her presence among us.

I want to take a moment to thank Monsignor Ward, who is with us this morning and who is such a faithful friend to all of us at the IHM Center and OLP.

We want to thank in a special way, Sisters Jean, Eleanor Mary, and Mary Kay, the administrators here at Our Lady of Peace and the wonderful staff here for the marvelous care and support Louise received every day. A special thank you to Sister Dio whose presence brought peace and comfort to Louise last Saturday.

Take the time to read; it is the source of wisdom.
Take the time to love and to be loved; it is a grace from God.
Take the time to make friends; it is the voice of happiness.
Take the time to laugh; it is the music of the soul.
Take the time to think; it is the source of action.
Take the time to give; life is too short to be selfish.
Take the time to work; it is the price of success.

This poem, entitled, “Take Time,” hung on the wall in Louise’s room, a gift to her many years ago from her dear friend, Salvator. Louise said the poem reminded her of Sal. After listening to the delightful stories shared about Louise during the wake service yesterday, the words of this poem are for me a summary of what Louise herself valued and how she lived her own life. I think she truly sought to “take the time,” or even better, to “make the time,” throughout her life: the time to be truly present to people, to listen, to enjoy friendship; the time to create laughter and joy for others; the time to really learn and develop her many gifts so she could be a better teacher, director, musician, person; the time to help students with their math, reading, vocal, or other artistic abilities; the time to give of herself for the sake of others – her family, her friends, her congregation. I think Louise never ‘settled’ for anything. She took, or made, the time to give fully of herself to whomever or wherever she was, and very many people are all the better for that.

So this morning we give thanks for the life of Louise, for the many ways she ‘took the time’ to touch our hearts and lives. Louise was ever faithful to her God, who called and led her to the IHMs, as Maria Rose recounted yesterday, through the bent-over laughter of a sister – an example of the mystery and humor of God’s Spirit at work. Louise wanted to enter religious life after high school, but, as an only child, her parents were reluctant to have her leave them, so she went to college near home and earned a degree in Math and Philosophy. Her persistence to enter religious life finally paid off after graduation, but only after her parents were assured that they were not losing their only child, but were, in fact, gaining a few hundred “step-daughters”! Louise’s care and concern for her parents was echoed in her kindness and interest in others throughout her life. She was an authentic person whose generous and joyous spirit was shared with all she met. She could be fearless and determined when pursuing a goal, but was always considerate and big-hearted toward others. She had a quick wit and mischievous sense of humor that lightened many a heart and circumstance.

A multi-gifted person, Louise’s first interest after entering was to teach Math, but she was asked to further develop her remarkable music talent, so she earned a second B.A. in music and later a master’s degree in voice. As her teaching career evolved, she continued to expand her horizons. Before long, Louise had received permanent certification in not one, but four, subject areas: Math, English, Music, and French.

As I noted yesterday, Louise had more ministry security than anyone I know. We rejoice in Louise’s abundant gifts and her generosity in sharing all that giftedness and inspiration in response to the needs of the congregation. We are forever grateful for her years of dedicated service as a teacher in several schools in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and Maryland, where her musical and other talents and skills inspired and enriched countless young lives. Her plays and choral performances were highly anticipated and always went beyond expectations. As someone said to me, when she was changed, she was a very tough act to follow. Students loved her ability to draw the best out of them and also to make it fun. She was a true teacher. Louise also served as a school administrative assistant, a secretary to the Vice Chancellor in the Rockville Centre diocese, a parish bookkeeper, an instructor at our IHM EEI, and a Telespond volunteer before coming to Our Lady of Peace as a prayer minister seven years ago. Wherever she was, Louise took the time to share her many gifts. We pray in gratitude for her selfless giving, for the countless lives she touched, and for all the good she did.

Louise had great love for her parents, Louise and John, and we rejoiced with them as they and her dear friend, Salvator, welcomed her into her eternal home last Saturday. I imagine Louise has already convinced the best heavenly voices to join her choral group and she won’t have to worry – she used to say that all concerts are either too long or too short. This concert will be neither too long nor too short, but eternally perfect!

We pray especially today for her friends, Sister Carlann and Carol, her many IHM sisters who lived and journeyed with her, her students and the faculty with whom she taught, the staff here at Our Lady of Peace, and all those whose lives were touched by Louise.

Louise rests now in the loving arms of God. We are forever grateful for her presence in our lives. Each time we think of her, let us remember her goodness, her joy, and that poem, and be reminded to take time to love and be loved, for it is, indeed, a grace from God. Rest in peace, Louise.

Leonnette will now place the scriptures on Louise’s casket, for indeed Louise 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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