In Memory

Sister M. Wilma Rooney, IHM

March 23, 1915 – November 9, 2010

Sister M. Wilma Rooney, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on March 23, 1915 in Wilkes-Barre, PA, and given the name Anna Rita. She was the daughter of the late William and Mary Loughney Rooney. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1934, made her temporary profession of vows on March 3, 1937, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1940.

Sister Wilma served as a teacher in the following schools: St. Patrick Elementary School in Olyphant, PA, from 1937 to 1943; St. Basil High School in Dushore, PA, from 1943 to 1944; Cathedral Chapel Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1946 to 1957; St. Leo Elementary School in Ashley, PA, from 1957 to 1966; St. Cecilia Elementary School in Exeter, PA, from 1966 to 1967; Holy Rosary Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1967 to 1970; St. Ambrose Elementary School in Bridgeport, CT, from 1970 to 1974; St. Joseph Elementary School in Williamsport, PA, from 1974 to 1980; and at St. Agnes Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1980 to 1988.

Sister also served as a catechetical instructor at St. Ignatius Parish in Kingston, PA, from 1944 to 1946; Archivist for the IHM Congregation in Scranton, PA, from 1988 to 1996; and receptionist at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 1996 to 2005.

From 2005 until the time of her death, Sister Wilma served as a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and at Our Lady of Peace Residence, both in Scranton.

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

She was preceded in death by a brother, William; and two sisters, Evelyn and Sister Marie, IHM.

She is survived by a brother, Thomas of Wilkes-Barre, PA; a sister, Margaret Ronky of Reading, PA; and nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be Friday, November 12, 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, November 11, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:30 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, Spring 2011 issue

Blessings come to us in so many surprising ways! Being asked to write a reflection about Sister Wilma awakened in me some
memories I would like to share with others.

We first lived together at St. Agnes Convent, Baltimore. Sister worked in the school office and I was the music teacher. She often slipped into the back of the music room and I would hear her singing right along with the class. She loved music and always enjoyed her “pause that refreshes,” as she called it. Music held a special place in her heart.

In 1989, when I came to the IHM Center to begin the Educational Enrichment Institute, Sister Wilma’s office was right next to the EEI. For eleven years we shared many joys, sorrows, ups and downs, both in our work area and in Nazareth Community where we both resided. She loved to come into the office area and enjoy the beautiful view we had of God’s gracious gifts of nature that could be seen from our windows.

Sister Wilma was devoted to her ministry as congregation archivist. Her tireless efforts to have the information and data ready for the sesquicentennial community celebration were commendable.

Her parting gift to me was the privilege to spend grace-filled time in prayer with her as she awaited God’s call: “Welcome home, my good and faithful servant.” May she rest in peace.

by M. Rosarii Hemmer, IHM

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