In Memory

Sister M. Francis Xavier Grieb, IHM

June 16, 1931 – January 10, 2023

Sister M. Francis Xavier Grieb, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on June 16, 1931, in Pittsburgh, PA, and given the name Helen Cecilia. She was the daughter of the late Joseph and Cecilia Flatley Grieb. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1949, and made her temporary profession of vows on May 8, 1952, and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1955. Sister Francis Xavier received a Bachelor of Science degree in home economics from Marywood College, and a Master of Science degree in science/chemistry from Clarkson University.

Sister Francis Xavier served as a teacher at the following schools: Immaculate Conception Elementary School in Lock Haven, PA, from 1952 to 1955; St. Joseph Elementary School in New Bern, NC, from 1955 to 1959; William Gaston Catholic High School in New Bern, NC, from 1959 to 1969; Maria Regina High School in Uniondale, NY, from 1969 to 1975; St. Mary of the Mount High School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1975 to 1981; and Bishop O’Hara High School in Dunmore, PA, from 1981 to 1982.

Sister Francis Xavier served as principal at William Gaston Catholic High School in New Bern, NC, from 1967 to 1969.

Sister also served as director of candidates and affiliates for the IHM Congregation in Scranton, PA, from 1982 to 1992; coordinator of student affairs at Bishop Hafey High School in Hazleton, PA, from 1992 to 1994; core group member and director of retreats at IHM Spiritual Renewal Center in Cresco, PA, from 1994 to 2013; and an accounting assistant in the Business Office at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, in 2014.

From 2014 until the time of her death, Sister Francis Xavier was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She is preceded in death a brother, Thomas, and four sisters, Jeanne Young, Mary Smith, Lois Ann McLean, and Catherine McDonough

She is survived by a brother-in-law, John McDonough of Allison Park, PA, nieces and nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews. She is also survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

Interment will be at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA. Because of restrictions related to the coronavirus, the funeral mass and graveside service are private.

Prayer of Remembrance and Funeral Mass 


Reflection given by Sister Anne Mary Boslett, IHM

Sr. Francis Xavier and I worked together for twenty years at our retreat house in Cresco. Since she had a degree in Home Ec. Francis was always in charge of the kitchen and the menus. She did an excellent job of training our cooks. Most of the people we had as cooks were very good cooks but only one knew how to bake. So Francis would tell them that was okay and she would make the desserts if it was something that was baked. She usually started by making cookies; the cook would watch her and decide that wasn’t too hard, so they would learn how to make cookies, so for the next week we would have cookies every night. Then she would show them how to make a pie-which they all said they couldn’t do. However, in another week the cook was making pies. Francis was a good teacher because she was very patient.

She showed her patience when I would mess up the remote on the T.V. She would always say “ Bring me the book” and she would sit and read the directions and she would patiently fix the remote.

Fran also used her Home Ec. to make beautiful suits and other clothes. She taught the candidates how to sew and they also made beautiful clothes.

Francis was very laid back; she never hurried; she always took her time. She did not like to drive but she drove when it was necessary but she never drove fast.

When we had days or prayer at the retreat house, Francis diligently prepared her part of the day. She had a knack of knowing how to answer the retreatants questions that left them satisfied. She usually started her answer by asking them a question which clarified their question and made her answer appropriate.

The last few years that we were in Cresco, we could not afford to have an outside person come to give the retreats, so we conducted the retreats ourselves. Francis always did her part and was very successful.

Francis also had a degree in science which was why she taught that subject in different high schools.

When Francis went to Our Lady of Peace, she loved having company. She was gracious to anyone who came to see her, even if she wasn’t aware of who the person was. Toward the end of her life, I knew she recognized me although she could not name me.

Francis had a long and full life. I am sure she is now resting in the arms of our loving God, receiving the reward of her many labors. May she rest in peace.

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