In Memory

Sister M. Johnine O’Neill, IHM

June 16, 1917 – May 26, 2008

Johnine ONeill, IHM

Sister M. Johnine O’Neill, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Monday, May 26, 2008 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

She was born on June 6, 1917 in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, and given the name Mary Jean Genevieve. She was the daughter of the late John Joseph and Genevieve Gillis O’Neill. She entered the IHM Congregation on February 1, 1948, made temporary profession of her vows on August 2, 1950, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1953. Prior to entering the convent she was a secretarial clerk at The White House in Washington, D.C.

Sister Johnine served as a high school teacher at the following schools: Saint Thomas Aquinas Commercial School in Archbald, PA, in 1950; Laurel Hill Academy in Susquehanna, PA, from 1950 to 1954; Pittston Central Catholic High School in Pittston, PA, from 1954 to 1955; Saint Alphonsus High School in New York, NY, from 1955 to 1958; and Saint Patrick High School in Scranton, PA, from 1958 to 1960.

Sister Johnine served on the faculty at Marywood College in Scranton, PA, in the business department, and as the Department Chairperson, from 1960 to 1970. She also served as the secretary to the Mother General, from 1970 to 1974; and later as the Director of Personnel Services for the IHM Congregation, from 1974 to 1978. Sister returned to Marywood College as and academic advisor for the Off Campus Degree Program from 1978 to 1992.

Soster also served on the support staff of the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 1992 to 1998.

From 1998 until the time of her death, Sister Johnine served as a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace Residence, both in Scranton, PA.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in business education, a Master of Science in counseling both from Marywood College, and a Master of Arts degree in business education from New York University.

She was preceded in death by a brother, Reverend John J., and a sister, Lucille O’Neill Elbrecht.

She is survived by cousins, and by the members of the IHM Congregation.

The funeral will be Thursday, May 29, at 11:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Wednesday, May 28, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:30 p.m. Interment will follow Mass on Thursday at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA.

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 2008 issue

I first came to meet Sister Johnine the year after I graduated from St. Alphonsus Commercial High School in New York City. A friend from my class was interested in entering the convent and she dragged me to St. Alphonsus Convent as she told the sisters the news. I was there for moral support. She never entered and here I am.

Since all my teachers were transferred, I was introduced to Sister Johnine, the new sister in the high school. She was assigned to teach me first year Latin in the evenings after I had finished working. She was very kind to me and we soon became good friends.

When I was ready to enter, she took me shopping to Barclay Street. She encouraged me, she prayed for and with me and made me comfortable in my decision to be an IHM. After entrance, she visited me during her trips to Marywood for meetings and retreat. She always made it a point to call my parents on her return to let them know that I was well and happy. I was always grateful to Sister Johnine for her interest, her support and her friendship.

Sister Johnine did all things well and with great spirit. I am sure that she kept her job at the White House because of her abilities, fidelity and joyfulness. At St. Alphonsus High School, she was interested not only in the girls’ education but also in their families and their relationships. She made many a phone call to seek employment for the graduates.

Sister Johnine did all things well whether is was working with the IHM Leadership or her working in the college and other institutions. All IHM’s are grateful for Sr. Johnine’s years of service but I am most grateful to God because Sr. Johnine was my friend.

by Sr. St. Monica Costello, IHM

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