In Memory

Sister M. Edmunda McAndrew, IHM

January 22, 1914 – June 23, 2010

Sister M. Edmunda McAndrew, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pennsylvania, at the age of 96.

She was born on January 22, 1914 in Pittston, Pennsylvania, and given the name Elizabeth Margaret. She was the daughter of the late Timothy and Elizabeth Reidy McAndrew. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1934, made her temporary profession of vows on May 3, 1937, and her final profession of vows on August 1, 1940.

Sister Edmunda was a secondary subjects teacher at the following schools: St. Alphonsus High School in New York, NY, from 1937 to 1948; Immaculate Conception High School in Lock Haven, PA, from 1948 to 1949; and St. Joseph High School in Renovo, PA, from 1949 to 1952.

Sister also served as the Director of Medical Records at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Carbondale, PA, from 1955 to 1990.

From 1990 until the time of her death, Sister Edmunda served as a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Business Education degree from Marywood College, and certification as a Registered Record Administrator from St. Mary’s Hospital.

She was preceded in death by five sisters, Mary R. McAndrew-Blatz, Rose (infant), Ruth Marriott, Marjorie Norton, and Mary, and three brothers, Joseph, Timothy and Ray.

She is survived by nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be Friday, June 25, at 11:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Interment will follow Mass on Friday at St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Moscow. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Thursday, June 24, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:30 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, Fall 2010 issue

I knew Sister Edmunda for only the last years of her life. During those ten years or so, we became good friends as well as Sisters in community. Very evident was her love for God, for the congregation, for her family and for the ministry which was closest to her heart, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Carbondale. Yes, her heart was with the sick and the poor as director of medical records for thirty-five years.

Imagine the importance of that work in the days before modern technology and the changes taking place in healthcare. This was also a time when women religious were building hospitals with a strong Catholic presence.

Sister Edmunda was born in Pittston, Pennsylvania of Elizabeth and Timothy McAndrew, one of eight children. She was ninety-six years of age when she entered eternal life. Her love for God led her to spend seventy-six years in the IHM Congregation, studying, teaching and working in the office at St. Joseph’s. These are the facts in numbers, but it is by her spirit that the world is touched.

The last twenty years of Sister’s life were in prayer ministry at the Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace. As I delivered her mail or a newspaper, she would share something of her day, a visit or phone call from her friend or family member. Sometimes Sister could be seen riding her motorized wheelchair on Marywood Campus, and always into chapel for Mass. Then came the day when giving up was necessary, and I never heard her complain.

Sending greetings for important occasions was very important and, most of all, sending thank you notes. Sister took nothing for granted. Often it was my privilege to write these for her, but it had to be difficult for this competent business person to allow someone else to do it.

Sister lost three of her sisters and her brother Ray in recent years. Deep faith and acceptance of God’s will sustained her in grief. Both her hearing and sight were impairments accepted in the same good faith and trust in God. As Sister was placed in the LIFE program, communication was limited to an occasional greeting as we passed in the hall. All these transitions were made with grace.

Our Chapter 2010 Direction Statement invites us to enter into the “joys, hopes, griefs and anxieties of the people of our world.” I am grateful for having done that with our Sister Edmunda.

As we celebrate the Communion of Saints in November, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, I pray: May Sister Edmunda live in the House of the Lord forever.

by Harriet Jackson, IHM

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