In Memory

Sister Magdalene Bubenko, IHM

April 2, 1926 – February 6, 2010

Sister Magdalene Bubenko, IHM, (formerly known as Sister M. Clotilda) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Saturday, February 6, 2010, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on April 2, 1926 in Spangler, PA, and was the daughter of the late Joseph and Elizabeth Hubi Bubenko. She entered the IHM Congregation on July 2, 1945, made her temporary profession of vows on May 8, 1948, and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1951.

Sister Magdalene served as a teacher for more than fifty years in the following schools: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Elementary School in Asbury Park, NJ, in 1948; St. Edward Elementary School in Barnesboro, PA, from 1948 to 1949; St. Joseph Elementary School in Renovo, PA, from 1949 to 1953; St. John Elementary School in Cresson, PA, from 1953 to 1963; St. Patrick Elementary School in White Haven, PA, from 1963 to 1965; St. Charles Elementary School in Sugar Notch, PA, from 1965 to 1967; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Bellefonte, PA, from 1967 to 1974; Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School in Forest Hills, NY, from 1974 to 1976; St. Ephrem Elementary School in Brooklyn, NY, from 1976 to 1982; St. Ambrose Elementary School in Bridgeport, CT, from 1982 to 1983; Archbishop Neale Elementary School in LaPlata, MD, from 1983 to 1990; and at St. Agnes Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1990 to 2001.

From 2001 to 2008, Sister served as a tutor and assisted in the school office at St. Agnes Elementary School in Baltimore, MD. She also served on the support staff at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 2008 to 2009.

From 2009 until the time of her death, Sister Magdalene served as a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

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

She is preceded in death by three sisters, Julia Calciano, Elizabeth Leid and Mary Mesoros, and a brother, Joseph.

She survived by nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be Wednesday, February 10 at 11:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Interment will follow Mass on Wednesday at St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Moscow, PA. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Tuesday, February 9, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:30 p.m.

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, Fall 2010 issue

When I was asked to write a reflection about Sister Magdalene I was surprised and I don’t know why. I lived with Sister for two years at Sacred Heart Convent in LaPlata, MD. I frequently spent summer months with her, as she returned to Archbishop Neale School to tutor or assist the staff and the principal in preparing for the next school year.

After thinking about what I could share with you, I realized that I had many stories to tell. However, my real reflection on Sister was that she was a faithful spouse of Christ. She was dedicated to the ministry of teaching children. Some of her students, who are adults today, knew her better than a lot of us and remain faithful to her memory. Truly she was a Sister, Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Magdalene was a powerful force in her own quiet way. She was unassuming and dependable. She was very prayerful.

When Sister first went to the IHM Center to live she was concerned about having something to do. She was never idle but knew when to relax and take a break. Whenever I would visit her at the IHM Center I knew the first place I should look was the Chapel. She was usually there in the afternoon straight and tall kneeling, praying the rosary or sitting quietly in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

Her physical decline was sudden and shocking for those of us who knew her. It all seemed to happen so quickly.

The night before she died, Sister Helene and I were with her. Sister Helene was holding Magdalene’s left hand with her left hand. I was sitting on the other side of the bed. Sister didn’t seem to be aware that we were present. At one point Sister Magdalene lifted her hand, now holding Helene’s and reached across the bed to hold my hand. We prayed there, the three of us holding hands. God was there! We were saying goodbye to one another. Helene and I said one Hail Mary together. Sister Magdalene passed into the hands of God the next day.

The fourth verse of the hymn, “O God of Loveliness” tells me of Sister’s relationship with God: “O loveliness supreme, and beauty infinite; O ever flowing stream, and ocean of delight; O life by which I live, my truest life above, To Thee alone I give my undivided love.”

by Jane Mary Duke, IHM

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