In Memory

Sister M. Canice Riordan, IHM

November 12, 1907 – September 13, 2006

Canice Riordan, IHM

Sister M. Canice Riordan, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Wednesday, September 13, 2006, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Daughter of the late John and Catherine Forde Riordan, she was born on November 9, 1907, in County Cork, Ireland. She entered the IHM Congregation on August 15, 1928, made temporary profession of her vows on April 14, 1931, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1934.

Sister Canice served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Basil Elementary School in Dushore, PA, from 1931 to 1934 and from 1942 to 1953; St. Mary of the Assumption Elementary School in Upper Marlboro, MD, from 1934 to 1938; St. Joseph Elementary School in Renovo, PA, from 1938 to 1940; St. Edward Elementary School in Twin Falls, ID, from 1940 to 1942; Immaculate Conception Elementary School in Lock Haven, PA, from 1953 to 1959; St. Paul Elementary School in New Bern, NC, from 1959 to 1960; St. Alphonsus Elementary School in New York, NY, from 1960 to 1967; St. Stephen Elementary School in New York, NY, from 1967 to 1974; St. John Elementary School in Susquehanna, PA, from 1974 to 1975; and at St. Thomas Elementary School in Providence, RI, from 1975 to 1980.

From 1980 until the time of her death, Sister Canice served as a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and at Our Lady of Peace Residence, both in Scranton.

She received a bachelor’s degree in education from Marywood College.

She was preceded in death by five sisters, Bridie O’Mahoney, Ellen Walsh, Mary O’Neill, Catherine Walsh and Julia O’Leary; and two brothers, Timothy and John.

She is survived by two nephews, James O’Neill of Elizabeth, NJ; and Reverend Liam G. Walsh, OP, of Ireland; two nieces, Sheila Healy of Ireland; and Sister Ann Walsh, OP, of Africa; grandnieces and grandnephews.

The funeral will be Saturday, September 16, at 9:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton followed by interment at St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Moscow. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton, on Friday, September 15, between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

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 2007 issue

In looking for words to describe Sister Canice I think the most obvious ones are quiet, faith-filled, and dedicated teacher. I met Sister on my first mission in Lock Haven, and at that time she was teaching third and fourth grade, and I know that she was beloved by her students.

She was definitely a good and faithful religious and one who loved the IHM Congregation. She loved the habit and in the later years often bemoaned the fact that she couldn’t get a nice habit from Fitzpatrick’s or a new veil!

Now, another word which expresses Sister quite clearly is “Irish.” Sister was from the ‘old sod’ and all things Irish were dear to her. At the top of this list is Father Liam, her nephew who taught at the University of Freiburg and her New Jersey nephew, Jim. Both were so faithful with phone calls and visits.

Among the many blessings that God bestowed on Sister Canice was that she retained her understanding and reasoning to the very end.

Sister, the gentle one, has now entered into God’s great love and I am sure is ever mindful of her religious and natural families. May she rest in peace.

by Sr. M. Alphonsa Concilio, IHM

The Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary benefited from the efforts to bring young women from Ireland to Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Over the years a total of sixty-five young women became professed IHM religious. Their services were received as far west at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho at the IHM Academy and at St. Edward School, Twin Falls, Idaho. The southern missions witnessed their dedication in Washington, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, North Carolina. It was remarked that black children in some southern schools were speaking with an Irish brogue! The Sisters from Ireland also served in many locations in Pennsylvania, such as Dushore, Lock Haven, Exeter, Altoona, Pittsburgh, St. Michael’s School in Hoban Heights, Cresson, Pittston, Scranton, and Williamsport. New York and Rhode Island missions also received their services.

Excerpted from The Story of the Native Irish Sisters Who Entered the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Scranton Pennsylvania by Sister M. Michel Keenan, IHM, 2006, p.18

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *