In Memory

Sister M. Rosalian Armbruster, IHM

December 8, 1926 – March 26, 2011

Rosalian Armbruster, IHM

Sister M. Rosalian Armbruster, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on December 8, 1926 in Pittsburgh, PA, and given the name Helen Mary. She was the daughter of the late Aloysius Martin and Helen Normile Armbruster. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1944, made her temporary profession of vows on May 8, 1947, and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1950.

Sister Rosalian served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Mary Elementary School in Goldsboro, NC, from 1947 to 1948; Our Lady of Perpetual Help Elementary School in Rocky Mount, NC, from 1948 to 1952; Epiphany Elementary School in Sayre, PA, from 1952 to 1959; Immaculate Conception Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1959 to 1960; Academy of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Coeur d’Alene, ID, from 1960 to 1967; St. Henry Elementary School in Gresham, OR, from 1967 to 1968; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Bellefonte, PA, from 1968 to 1973; Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School in Forest Hills, NY, from 1973 to 1980; St. Ann Elementary School in Nyack, NY, from 1980 to 1982; St. Clare Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1982 to 1983; St. Rita Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1983 to 1988; and St. John the Baptist Elementary School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1988 to 1992. She also served as an instructor at the Education Enrichment Institute in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1992 to 2004.

From 2004 until the time of her death, Sister Rosalian served as a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Marywood College.

She was preceded in death by one brother, Martin John.

She is survived by a brother, Joseph of St. Pete Beach, FL; a sister, Mary Agnes Armbruster of Pittsburgh; a cousin, Agnes McConnell of Gibsonia, PA; and nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be Thursday, March 31 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, March 30, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:00 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, Spring 2011 issue

When Helen Mary Armbruster was born on December 8, 1926, I wonder if her parents guessed how significant that date would become in her life. Devout Catholics, they would surely have noted that it was a special feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Some years later, they would also know that she would celebrate December 8 as the day on which she would publicly renew her vows as an IHM Sister.

One thing was certain in their minds: When she grew old enough for school, she would be enrolled in Saint Rosalia School in Pittsburgh. There she met many IHM Sisters whose lives were an inspiration to her. When God called her to live her life in the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, she was ready!

After her profession of vows in 1947, Sr. Rosalian began a mission that included teaching children to read and write, but most of all, to grow in their love of God. Surely, there must be hundreds of adults who remember Sister Rosalian as their teacher!

Even when poor health forced her to retire from classroom teaching, Sister Rosalian continued to minister as tutor, receptionist, and prolific letter writer. It has been said that she used every available space on a greeting card with beautiful, prayerful thoughts—in perfect penmanship!

May she rest in peace.

by Marionette Coll, IHM

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