In Memory

Sister M. Franzchen Yahner, IHM

July 23, 1916 – October 7, 2007

Sister M. Franzchen Yahner, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Sunday, October 7, 2007 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

She was born on July 23, 1916 in Patton, Pennsylvania; and given the name Catherine Marie. She was the daughter of the late Ambrose and Mary A. Sharbaugh Yahner. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1935, made her temporary profession of vows on May 2, 1938, and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1941.

Sister Franzchen served as a teacher at the following schools: Nativity of Our Lord Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1938 to 1940; St. Ambrose School in Bridgeport, CT, from 1944 to 1958 and 1974 to 1977; St. Raymond Elementary School in East Rockaway, NY, from 1958 to 1963; St. Joseph Elementary School in Williamsport, PA, from 1963 to 1965; St. Patrick Elementary School in White Haven, PA, from 1965 to 1966; St. Rosalia Elementary School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1966 to 1968; St. Basil Elementary School in Dushore, PA, from 1968 to 1969; Holy Angels Elementary School in Hayes, PA, from 1969 to 1970; St. Patrick Elementary School in Oneida, NY, from 1970 to 1971; and St. Mary Elementary School in Goldsboro, NC, from 1971 to 1974.

Sister Franzchen served as an instructor at St. Ann’s Catechetical Center in Devon, CT, from 1940 to 1944; and at St. Ambrose Parish in Bridgeport, CT. She also served in child care for resident children at the Catholic Child Care Center in Hollidaysburg, PA, from 1977 to 1978; and on the support staff at the Marian Convent in Scranton, PA, from 1978 to 1985.

Sister Franzchen served as a prayer minister at St. Bernard’s Convent in Hastings, PA, from 1985 to 1986; and from 1986 until the time of her death, at the Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace Residence, both in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, and a Master of Science degree in Religious Studies, both from Marywood College.

She was preceded in death by a brother Paul; and two sisters, Barbara Mary Harkins and Teresa Corcoran.

She is survived by a sister, Henrietta O’Leary of Loretto, PA; a brother, Francis and sister-in-law, Rose Mary Holtz Yahner of Patton, PA; a sister-in-law, Rosemarie Yahner of Patton, PA; nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be Thursday, October 11, at 11:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Interment will be at St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Moscow. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Wednesday, October 10, 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, Winter 2007 issue

Raised on a large and thriving farm in Pennsylvania, Sister Franzchen grew up experiencing wonder and awe with the beauty of the land and its colorful fruits and vegetables. Because of this connection to earth and nature, she was in touch with all that was real, valuing all of God’s creation. This “country girl’ had not one, but ten “green thumbs” and amazed all of us with her veggie gardens. Everything bloomed because of her TLC. She delighted in making salads fresh from the garden and, on occasion, surprised us with the creative ways she put salads together. One, a combo of dandelion greens mixed with lettuce, tomatoes and vinegar, was most interesting! Mmm good…to her.

After serving most of her life as a teacher (she was always trying to find ways to make subjects more meaningful to her students), Sister Franzchen continued to be active at the Marian Convent even as her health began to decline. She became the great “pillow maker,” using egg crate foam mattresses brought to the Marian following a sister’s return from the hospital, to stuff her unique pillows made from all kinds of colorful fabrics. Nearly everyone with whom she lived received a special pillow. At the Marian Fairs, her pillows sold like hot cakes, bringing in considerable revenue for
the Marian Convent!

Sister found great pleasure in doing for others in a quiet, humble way. Her deep faith, gentle voice, sweet smile, generosity of spirit and contagious laughter were some of Sister’s enduring qualities. Surely our Sister Franzchen is now enjoying the fruits of her many labors.

by Sr. Linda Anne Greenberg, IHM

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