In Memory

Sister M. Alphonsus McEvilla, IHM

June 13, 1873 – April 1, 1915

Sister M. Alphonsus McEvilla, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Thursday, April 1, 1915 at St. Mary’s of the Mount Convent in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

She was born on June 13, 1873 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and given the name Mary. She was the daughter of David and Mary Connelly McEvilla. She entered the IHM Congregation on July 1, 1891, received the religious habit on December 28, 1891, and made profession of her vows on December 28, 1893.

Sister Alphonsus was an accomplished musician. She served as a music teacher at St. Cecilia Academy and at Marywood Seminary, both in Scranton, PA, and later was the music department director at St. Mary of the Mount School in Pittsburgh, PA.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, Wiliam and Francis.

In addition to her parents, David and Mary McEvilla of Williamsport, PA, she is also survived by three brothers, Walter, Joseph and Louis, and a sister Helen Monks; nieces and nephews.

The funeral mass will be at Mount St. Mary’s Chapel on Monday, April 5 with a Requiem Mass at 9:00 am. Interment will follow at Marywood College Cemetery, on the grounds of Marywood College in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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.

“Sister Alphonsus, Formerly of Mt. St. Mary’s, Is Dead

Sister M. Alphonsus of St. Mary’s of the Mount, Pittsburgh, died at that place, yesterday, after a few days illness of pneumonia. In the world Sister Alphonsus was Miss Mary McEvilla, of Williamsport, Pa., entering the order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary twenty-four years ago. Until about a year ago she as stationed at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary.

Sister Alphonsus was well known in Scranton, having for years taught music at St. Cecilia’s academy and at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary. Her remains arrived here this morning and were taken to Mt. St. Mary’s, from where the funeal will be held Monday morning, with a solemn high mass of requiem in St. Mary’s seminary chapel at 9 o’clock, with burial in Mt. St. Mary’s cemetery.

Besides her parents, Mr. and Mrs. David McEvilla, Sister Alphonsus leaves three brothers – Joseph, Walter and Louis, and one sister, Mrs. Monoks, all of Williamsport.”

“Saint Mary’s of the Mount experienced its first sorrow when our beloved Sister M. Alphonsus MacEvilla (sic) was called home on the first of April, 1915. On the Saturday before Palm Sunday, Sister M. Alphonsus, accompanied by Sister M. Eusebius, had gone to Wheeling, West Virginia, to attend a music recital given at Mount de Chantal. They stopped at Saint Joseph’s hospital over night. The next morning Sister M. Alphonsus was too ill to attend Mass. The physician who was called pronounced her illness double pneumonia and gave no hope. Before Mother Cyril could reach her bedside, Sister Alphonsus had yielded up her pure soul to God. She said, ‘I am glad to go. I may never again be so well prepared. It seems to me that I have never appreciated my holy vocation as I do now. I shall pray for our dear community in Heaven.” Her remains were taken to Mount Saint Mary’s. Her funeral Mass was celebrated on Easter Monday. She lies in the little God’s Acre which she had helped to beautify and adorn.

Sister M. Alphonsus entered the novitiate at Saint Rose’s, Carbondale, in 1891. After her profession, December 28, 1893, she was sent to Saint Cecilia’s Academy to help with the music classes. When Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary was opened she was given charge of the music department. The reputation which Mount Saint Mary’s soon acquired for the quality of the work done in this department is due in large measure to Sister Alphonsus. She was a fine musician and an energetic, successful teacher. She did nothing by halves; she gave herself heart and soul to whatever work she undertook and that was the secret of her success. “

Excerpted from The Sisters of the I.H.M.: The Story of The Founding of The Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Their Work In The Scranton Diocese by Sister M. Immaculata Gillespie, IHM, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, NY, 1921, pgs. 326, 327

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