In Memory

Sister M. Stanislaus O’Neill, IHM

May 12, 1861 – September 9, 1917

Sister M. Stanislaus O’Neill, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Sunday, September 9, 1917, at the Mary Keller Hospital on Hickory Street in Scranton, Pennsylvania, after a lingering illness.

She was born on May 12, 1861 in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, and given the name Margaret. She was the daughter of the late Hugh J. and Ann Henry O’Neill. She entered the novitiate at St Rose’s Novitiate in Carbondale on January 22, 1879, received the religious habit on May 13, 1879, and made profession of her vows on April 19, 1881.

During her 38 years in religion, Sister Stanislaus taught music at the following schools: St John the Evangelist Elementary School in Scranton, PA; St Patrick Elementary School in White Haven, PA; and St Patrick Elementary School in West Scranton, PA. She also served as music teacher and local superior at the following schools: St. Joseph Elementary Schoolin Danville, PA; St. Leo Elementary School in Ashley, PA; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Pittston, PA; and Immaculate Conception Elementary School in Lock Haven, PA.

In September of 1914, Sister Stanislaus was sent to Maryknoll in Ossining, NY, to train the Teresians connected with the foreign missions in the practices of religious life. She was recalled after 2 years and made superior at St Joseph Convent in Danville, PA. In January of 1917, she was named superior of St John Convent in Pittston, PA, but was relieved in June due to illness.

She is survived by a brother, the Honorable James J. O’Neill of Carbondale, PA, who is a lawyer and Lackawanna County Judge.

The funeral will be at Mount St Mary’s on Tuesday, September 11 at 9:30 am with interment to follow at the Marywood College Cemetery, on the grounds of Marywood College in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Friends may call on Monday afternoon or evening.

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.

“Sister M. Stanislaus was grateful for the opportunity given her of laboring in the cause of the foreign missions. She never lost sight of the interests of Maryknoll, and during the few years of life that remained to her, kindled in many hearts a love and devotion for the cause which she had so much at heart.

In the September after her return from Maryknoll, she was made superior at Danville. During the year she was transferred to Saint John’s, Pittston, to succeed Sister M. Clementine, whose holy death occurred January 19, 1917. In June Sister M. Stanislaus fell ill and was taken to the hospital for treatment. She lingered until September 9, 1917, when God called her home. Sister M. Stanislaus had entered the novitiate at an early age. During her novitiate days she proved herself a perfect novice. She was an indefatigable worker, but her zeal for souls never interfered with the close union with God which was the secret of her personal holiness. All during her illness she remained in a semi-conscious state, except at the early hour of the morning, when the chaplain at the hospital was accustomed to bring her Holy Communion. Then she was fully conscious, and with great fervor made her daily thanksgiving. After that she again sank back into a lethargy from which it was impossible to arouse her until Mass time the next morning. The good Franciscan Sisters who waited on her said, “What a beautiful life this good Sister must have led to merit such a singular favor from our Lord.” She had cherished a special devotion to her holy patron, and our dear Lord was pleased to satisfy her longing for Holy Communion even as He had satisfied the longing of the holy Saint Stanislaus.”

Excerpted from The Sisters of the I.H.M.: The Story of The Founding of The Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Their Work In The Scranton Diocese by Sister M. Immaculata Gillespie, IHM, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, NY, 1921, p. 398, 399

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