In Memory

Sister M. Leonard Connell, IHM

September 16, 1874 – January 21, 1964

Sister M. Leonard Connell, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Tuesday, January 21, 1964 at the Marian Convent in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

She was born on September 16, 1874 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and given the name Mary Bernadette. Frank Thomas and Mary Catherine Fleming Connell. She entered the IHM Congregation on July 22, 1897, received the religious habit on February 2, 1898, and made profession of her vows on April 16, 1900.

Sister Leonard served as a business and music teacher at St. Joseph High School in Williamsport, PA, from 1900 to 1904. She served as a music teacher at the following schools: St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Bellefonte, PA, from 1904 to 1916; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Elementary School in Altoona, PA, from 1916 to 1936; St. Agnes Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1939 to 1945; and Most Holy Rosary School in Syracuse, NY, from 1945 to 1950.

Sister served as the principal of St. Agnes School in Baltimore, MD, from 1939 to 1945.

From 1950 until the time of her death, Sister Leonard served as a prayer minister at the Marian Convent.

She is preceded in death by two sisters, Sister M. Pierre, IHM, and Sister M. Amandus, IHM, and three brothers, James, Thomas, and Joseph Aloysius.

She is surivived by three sisters, Claire Lenahan, of Wilkes-Barre, PA, Mrs. William Seymour of Philadelphia, PA, and Miss Loretta Connell of Philadelphia, PA, nieces and nephews.

Interment is 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.

Archival Reflection:

For sixty-four years, Sister Leonard Connell served our community as an exemplary and devoted religious. One of her sisters, Sister M. Pierre, followed her to our Congregation and died in the seventeenth year of her profession. Another sister, Sister M. Amandus, entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in West Chester, PA, and served that community long and well.

Sister Leonard was a quiet, gentle, cultured Sister. Her first assignment was to teach business and music at St. Joseph’s, Williamsport; afterwards she taught music at Bellefonte and Altoona. For six years the principal of St. Agnes School, Baltimore, and from there went to Most Holy Rosary Convent, Syracuse, where she taught music. In this last teaching assignment her hearing failed her, and the late years of her life were spent at the Marian Convent. Here her pleasant manner, her care of details, and above all, her religious spirit, endeared her to all. Surely her hours of prayer must have brought many graces to herself and to our community. She was living in a silent world, but her peaceful, tranquil spirit filled it with light. May God grant Sister Leonard eternal rest.


Eight Young Ladies Took the White Veil in St. Rose Convent this Morning–Bishop O’Hara Present

At St. Rose convent chapel this morning eight young ladies were received into the order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and invested with the religious habi and white veil of novices. The venerable bishop of the diocese Rt. Rev. William O’Hara officiated at the impressive ceremony which was witnessed by the relatives of the candidates.

Rev. T. F. Coffey celebrated the mass at 6:30 and Rev. D. J. McGouldrick, president of St. Thomas College, Scranton, preached the sermon, explaining the obligations and high privileges of the order. Following this occurred the reception at which the bishop officiated in person not withstanding his extreme years.

Mamie Moran and Genevieve Gillis, two dainty maidens dressed in pure white, acted as bridesmaids for the candidates. The chapel was a bower of beauty having been decorated with potted plants, smilax, flowers and lighted candles in honor of the feast of the purification of the blessed virgin, which is celebrated today.

Among the clergy present in additon to Bishop O’Hara and Fathers Coffey and McGouldrick, were Revs. M. E. Loftus and Anthony T. Broderick, of Scranton; J. W. Malone, of Susquehanna; W. A. Nealon and J. J. Grifiin, of this city.

The following young ladies received the habit of religion:

Miss Margaret Herron, Freeland, Pa., to be known in religion as Sister Mary Antoinette.

Miss Bridget Lynn, Pittston, Pa., whose religious name is Sister Mary Consilium.

Miss Mary Flynn, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., hereafter to be called Sister Mary Rita.

Miss Mary Connell, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., whose nam in religion is Sister Mary Leonard.

Miss Susan Egan, Minooka, Pa., to be known as Sister Mary Arcadius.

Miss Cecilia O’Connell, Susquehanna, Pa., henceforth to be Sister Mary Martina.

Miss Mary Kinsley, Susquehanna, Pa., who will be called Sister Mary Servula.”

above is a news article from the Carbondale Daily News (Pennsylvania), February 2, 1898

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