In Memory

Sister M. Verena O’Callahan, IHM

May 1, 1914 – February 29, 2012

Sister M. Verena O’Callahan, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She was born on May 1, 1914 in Chicago, IL, and given the name Annabelle. She was the daughter of the late John and Verna Knapp O’Callahan. She entered the IHM Congregation on February 2, 1933, made her temporary profession of vows on August 2, 1935, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1938.

Sister Verena served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Bernardine Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1935 to 1936; St. Paul Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1936 to 1949; St. John High School in Pittston, PA, from 1949 to 1951; St. Mary High School in Manhasset, NY, from 1951 to 1962; St. Paul High School in Scranton, PA, from 1962 to 1964; Immaculata High School in New York, NY, from 1964 to 1971; and St. Mark High School in Wilmington, DE, from 1971 to 1980.

Sister Verena was the assistant principal at Bishop Klonowski High School in Scranton, PA, from 1980 to 1981.

Sister also served as the data coordinator at Marywood College in Scranton, PA, from 1981 to 1990; and as a receptionist at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 1990 to 2006.

From 2006 until the time of her death, Sister Verena served as a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence.

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

She is surivived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

The funeral will be Friday, March 2, 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 Thursday, March 1, 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 Friday 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, Summer 2012 issue

I met Sister Verena through Sister Helene Coyle. They had lived and taught at St. Paul’s School in Scranton. A few years later the three of us became good friends.

Sister Verena’s career spanned elementary and secondary school and Maywood University. She gave her all to every endeavor.

Often when I visited with her, we talked about current events and books that we were reading. I missed her when she moved to Our Lady of Peace. Whenever I went to see her and we chatted, I always noted the books beside her chair. She became interested in the Amish Community and enjoyed talking about them.

Life offers us precious gifts. I thank God for faithful friends among whom was Sister Verena.

May she rejoice in the fullness of joy in the God she faithfully served.

by Jean Toolan, IHM

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