In Memory

Sister M. Priscilla Koblarchik, IHM

February 3, 1923 – March 23, 2021

Priscilla Koblarchick, IHM

Sister M. Priscilla Koblarchik, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

She was born on February 3, 1923, in Clarence, PA, and given the name Marian Julia. She was the daughter of the late Andrew and Mary Korkus Koblarchik. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1940, made temporary profession of her vows on August 2, 1943, and final profession of her vows on August 1, 1946.

Sister Priscilla served as a teacher at the following schools: St. John Elementary School in Cresson, PA, from 1945 to 1953; St. Peter of Alcantara Elementary School, in Port Washington, NY, from 1953 to 1956; Archbishop Neale Elementary School in La Plata, MD, from 1956 to 1960; St. Patrick Elementary School in Oneida, NY, from 1960 to 1961; St. Bernard Elementary School in Hastings, PA, from 1961 to 1969; St. Leo Elementary School in Ashley, PA, from 1969 to 1974; Holy Name of Jesus Elementary School in Forty Fort, PA, from 1974 to 1978; Sacred Heart Elementary School in Mount Holly, NJ, from 1978 to 1982; St. Rita Elementary School in Dundalk, MD, in 1982; St. Mary Elementary School in Avoca, PA, from 1983 to 1984; and Holy Trinity Elementary School in Poughkeepsie, NY, from 1984 to 2001.

Sister Priscilla served on the support staff at the IHM Motherhouse in Scranton, PA, from 1943 to 1944, and as an instructor at St. Ann Catechetical Center in Devon, CT, from 1944 to 1945. She also lovingly cared for her aged sister, Martha Ann, in King of Prussia, PA, from 2001 to 2005.

From 2006 until the time of her death, Sister Priscilla was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree in English/history from Marywood College.

She was preceded in death by three sisters, Martha Ann Capinski, Anna M. Heverly and Margaret Rogus.

She is survived by nieces and nephews and cousins. She is also survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

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

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.

Combined Vespers Prayer Service:

Sister M. Priscilla Koblarchik, IHM
Funeral Eulogy, March 29, 2021
by Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM, President

Faith never knows where it is being led,
but it loves and knows the One who is leading.

Oswald Chambers

Our hearts are filled with gratitude today for Priscilla’s life. In this the seventy-eighth year of her profession as an IHM, we give thanks for her gracing us, our church, and innumerable young children with her faith-filled and generous service throughout those years.

Priscilla’s humble and welcoming spirit came from by an inner trust and faith in a God she loved and trusted wholeheartedly. That spirit was nurtured in her and her three sisters in their early years by her loving and supportive parents. At seventeen, after her high school graduation, Priscilla left her family and entered the IHM congregation. Her goals were to become a religious sister and earn a degree to be able to educate young children. That, for her, meant the world. During her fifty-six years as a teacher of first and second graders, Priscilla served in elementary schools in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, and New Jersey. Her young students were the recipients of her joyful, caring spirit and wonderful patience. She especially valued her role of preparing the students for their reception of First Penance and First Eucharist because she wanted to make sure they understood how much God loved them, no matter what mistakes they might make. She also took great care to prepare an educational program for the parents of the students who were receiving the sacraments to make sure they were up to date on the current teachings and to impress on them their roles as models for their children’s faith development. When presenting this parent program each year, I’m told Priscilla was her usual kind and understanding self, but there was no subtlety in her message to the parents about their responsibility!

Throughout Priscilla’s life, we witnessed her sincere kindness and concern for others, her generosity and compassion, her humor and true goodness. Even as her illness took away her freedom of movement, her beautiful smile was a constant reminder of her welcoming spirit. In community, she was a person easy to get along with and especially enjoyed recounting to the sisters with whom she lived some of the humorous things her students said or did each day in her classroom. She was an excellent teacher and worked very hard to prepare for her classes each day.

Priscilla absolutely cherished the members of her family and so appreciated the times they shared vacations or celebrations together. From 2001 to 2005, she took a leave from her teaching duties to lovingly care for her sister, Martha, until her death. We are grateful today for Priscilla’s parents, Mary and Andrew, her first teachers who passed on to her their deep faith in God. They no doubt led the great welcome for her in heaven last Sunday, joined by her sisters, Martha, Ann, and Margaret. What a wonderful reception that surely was for Priscilla! We pray for all whose lives have been blessed by Priscilla’s goodness, especially her niece, Sandy, and nephew, Ray, and all her nieces, nephews, and cousins, Barbara, her dear friend for so many years, her IHM sisters, the staff here at OLP, and so many who shared life and ministry with Priscilla.

Priscilla trusted God throughout her life. Her love for God and God’s people first drew her to the IHMs, and that same love called her home last week for an early Easter. The following excerpt from the Prayer of St. Francis de Sales speaks of how Priscilla’s life was an example for all of us of God’s unwavering love and fidelity: “Do not look with fear to the changes and chances of this life. . . Do not worry about what may happen tomorrow: the same eternal Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day of your life. Either he will shield you from suffering or you will be given the strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all your fears and anxious imaginations and put your complete trust in the Lord your God.” May Priscilla’s life continue to be an inspiration for our own trust and faith in God.

Priscilla’s niece, Sandy, will now place the scriptures on Priscilla’s casket, for she heard the Word of God, she staked her life upon it and received life to the full . . . the Word now beckons Priscilla home.

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