In Memory

Sister M. Edna Callahan, IHM

February 10, 1871 – April 11, 1934

Sister M. Edna Callahan, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Wednesday, April 11, 1934.

She was born on February 10, 1871 in Marpit, County Mayo, Ireland, and given the name Mary. She was the daughter of the late Patrick and Mary Kilcullen Callahan. She entered the IHM Congregation on December 8, 1892, received the religious habit on July 4, 1893, and made profession of her vows on July 1, 1895.

Sister Edna enjoyed her years of teaching children in our IHM mission schools, including at St. Alphonsus Academy in Tillamook, OR.

Interment is at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, 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.

“Tillamook is a charming place situated between the Coast Range and the Pacific. The scenery is beautiful and the climate delightful. A night scene is enchanting. The moon and stars appear most brilliant because of the clearness of the atmosphere. The inhabitants number about eleven hundred. The principal industries are farming, cheese and butter making, and lumbering. The convent is in the centre (sic) of the prairie, the village being built around it.”

“Mother Mary sent word to the Sisters who were to take charge of the mission to make the preparations for their journey. The following Sisters were appointed: Sister M. Edward, superior; Sister M. Timothy, Sister M. William, Sister M. Edna, Sister M. Adelaide, and Sister M. Marie.

The West seemed very far off in those days and the separation and departure of the first mission band caused much sorrow among the Sisters. They left Saint Cecilia’s on Sunday at midnight. It was a bright moon- lit night, and the long stretch of Wyoming Avenue seemed a desert after the final farewells were said and the roll of the carriage wheels that bore away the dear Sisters was muffled in the distance. “

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. 255, 256

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

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