In Memory

Sister M. Rosela McFadden, IHM

December 21, 1924 – March 19, 2017

Rosela McFadden, IHM

Sister M. Rosela McFadden, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Sunday, March 19, 2017, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on December 21, 1924, in Pittston, PA, and given the name Rita. She was the daughter of the late Michael and Rose Middleton McFadden. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1943, and made her temporary profession of vows on May 8, 1946 and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1949.

Sister Rosela served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Raymond Elementary School in East Rockaway, NY, from 1946 to 1947 and 1955 to 1958; Most Holy Rosary Elementary School in Syracuse, NY, from 1947 to 1952 and 1954 to 1955; St. Dominic Elementary School in Oyster Bay, NY, from 1952 to 1954; St. Mary of the Mt. Elementary School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1958 to 1959; St. Ephrem Elementary School in Brooklyn, NY, from 1959 to 1964 and 1983 to 2013; Sacred Heart Elementary School in Mt. Holly, NJ, from 1964 to 1971; Bishop Neumann High School in Williamsport, PA, from 1971 to 1974; St. Alphonsus High School in New York, NY, from 1974 to 1980; and Cathedral High School in New York, NY, from 1980 to 1983.

From 2013 until the time of her death, Sister Rosela served as a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

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

She is preceded in death by eight brothers, Joseph, John, William, Daniel, Patrick, Michael, Clarence, and Gerald, and two sisters, Rose Kearney and Clare.

She is survived by nieces and nephews; grandnieces and grandnephews; great grandnieces and great grandnephews; and the members of the IHM Congregation.

The funeral will be Wednesday, March 22, 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 Tuesday, March 21, between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Interment will follow Mass on Wednesday 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 2017 issue

Reflection given by Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM Congregation President

Sister M. Rosela McFadden, Funeral 3/22/17

“A Symbol of Hope
A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
and for a brief moment its glory
and beauty belong to our world
But then it flies again
and though we wish it could have stayed…
we feel lucky to have seen it.”
– Unknown

Those of you who knew Rosela or ever visited her room knew of her love for butterflies and what they symbolize: hope, beauty, resurrection. Today we celebrate the life of our Sister Rosela who touched our lives like a sunbeam on a cloudy day and brought beauty to our world in so many ways. Though we are already missing her, and wish, perhaps a little selfishly, that she could have stayed with us longer, we rejoice that she is enjoying her eternal happiness with her God and feel lucky to have known her for as long as we did.

When we think about Rosela, we recall the innumerable people whose lives were made brighter by her presence, as we heard yesterday in the stories shared at her wake service. During her seventy-one years as an IHM, she sowed the seeds of faith in young students in schools in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York, including thirty-five years in her beloved St. Ephrem’s in Brooklyn. Rosela cherished her students; to her, they were a sacred trust. Her patience, kindness, encouragement, and quick humor guided them to an understanding of language arts and also a real awareness of God’s ever-constant love for them. She did her best to help each one develop the self-awareness and self-confidence to reach his or her full potential. She would often work one-on-one after school in the convent with students who were in danger of failing or just needed some extra help. I think she would have been very humbled but proud to see what one of her former students wrote on our Facebook page yesterday when he learned of her death: “Sister Rosela… you taught us and you challenged us. In your own way, you loved us all. May you rest in peace, knowing you were God’s good and faithful servant.”

We rejoice in the gift of Rosela’s life with us. Just as with her students, she won our hearts with her kind and joyful presence and openness of heart. Her life among us demonstrated her trust in God and her great gratitude for all that God and life gave her. She was ever generous, and even as her eyesight failed, she did not withdraw or become resentful, but continued to reach out, always ready to lend a helping hand wherever needed. She was, as we know, blessed with a quick wit that could bring a smile or laugh even in difficult times. When she was in the hospital two weeks ago, the doctor came into her room and asked her how she came to be there. Without batting an eye, she answered, “Well, I went around the world in eighty days.” When he learned she was a sister, he told her that he didn’t know any sisters. She looked at him and said, “I guess I have a lot of work to do with you.” Her quiet strength and unwavering perseverance were special gifts she shared, whether by teaching a child, taking care of household matters, or simply enjoying the conversation and presence of others. We indeed were blessed in countless ways by Rosela’s wonderful life among us and we are forever grateful to God for her presence in our lives.

As we pray today in thanksgiving for the life of our Sister Rosela, we remember her family members who now welcome her into their loving embrace in heaven, especially her parents, Rose and Michael, her sisters, Rose and Clare, and her brothers, Joseph,John, William, Daniel, Patrick, Michael, Clarence, and Gerald. We ask the God of all comfort to support Rosela’s wonderful family of nieces, nephews, grand- and great grandnieces and nephews, especially those here with us today: Rosemary, Joseph, Karen, Brian, Ashley, Tom, Geraldine and Ron, Rosalene, Kathy, Gerry and Beth, and all their families. We pray, too, for her dear friend, Sister Janet, her IHM sisters, especially her Band members, all who shared life with Rosela, and those sisters and staff members who took such wonderful care of her here at OLP. We trust that the kindness and thoughtfulness that were always a part of Rosela’s life will live on in each of them.

Rosela lived among us faithfully, graciously, and lovingly, and we have been moved by her goodness. A framed plaque given to her for her golden jubilee which she kept in her room best expresses our thoughts today:

You are a woman of wisdom,
spirit, strength, insight, purpose,
courage, compassion, and creativity.
Go forth then with the fire
of confidence in your heart, kindle it
with care and never let its brilliant
flame go out.

May the flame of your love
continue to burn brightly
through the lives of those you touched,
Rosela, and, like your treasured butterflies,

May the morning sun caress you,
The rains of change refresh you,
And the gentle breeze of God’s Spirit
Lift the wings of your transformation.
(“Butterfly Benediction” by Richard D. Breen)

I now ask Rosela’s niece, Rosemary, to place the scriptures on her casket, for Rosela heard the Word of God; indeed, she staked her life upon it and received life to the full …the Word now beckons her home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *