In Memory

Sister Marie Elise Regan, IHM

September 2, 1933 – October 6, 2016

Sister Marie Elise Regan, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Thursday, October 6, 2016, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She was born September 2, 1933, in Moscow, PA, and given the name Eileen. She was the daughter of the late Francis and Elizabeth Fowler Regan. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1951, and made her temporary profession of vows on August 2, 1954, and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1957.

Sister Marie Elise served as a teacher in the following schools: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Elementary School in Rocky Mount, NC, from 1954 to 1958; St. Mary School in Manhasset, NY, from 1958 to 1961; St. Bernardine Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1961 to 1965; Immaculate Conception Elementary School in West Pittston, PA, from 1965 to 1966; St. Ambrose Elementary School in Bridgeport, CT, from 1972 to 1978; St. Raymond Elementary School in East Rockaway, NY, from 1978 to 1980; St. Mary Assumption Elementary School in Upper Marlboro, MD, from 1980 to 1988; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Clinton, MD, from 1988 to 1993; and St. Paul Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1993 to 1996.

Sister Marie Elise served as principal at the following schools: St. Aloysius Elementary School in Cresson, PA, from 1966 to 1969; and St. Agnes Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1969 to 1972.

She also served as an instructor at the IHM Educational Enrichment Institute at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 1996 to 2013.

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

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

She is preceded in death by two brothers, John and Thomas; and a sister, Mary.

She is survived by a brother, Richard of West Chester, PA; a sister, Doris Bray of Clarks Summit, PA; and nieces and nephews. She is also survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

The funeral will be Wednesday, October 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 Tuesday, October 11, 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 Marie Elise Regan, Funeral 10/12/17

“Humans have a responsibility to
find themselves where they are,
in their own proper time and
place,… and to which they must
inevitably contribute either their response
or their evasions, either truth and act,
or mere slogan and gesture.”
Thomas Merton

I don’t know if Marie Elise ever read those words of Thomas Merton, but as I reflected upon her life and her dedication and love for teaching and the countless lives she touched, I have no doubt that her contribution of a life of integrity and service will leave a lasting impact on all those she met. We knew her as sister, teacher, mentor, and friend.

Yesterday, as we shared some great stories about Marie Elise during the wake service, we were reminded of her wonderful gifts. She had an uncanny ability to brighten a conversation or a classroom the moment she entered one, usually with her quick wit. She had the refreshing gift of genuineness that was transparent to all she met; there were times when she was very direct, even blunt. In fact, I can picture her meeting God last Thursday with the words, “What took you so long?” But those who knew her understood that her frankness was a reflection of a heart deeply rooted in integrity to God’s call to her. She lived and spoke the truth as she knew it. We never had to wonder what she thought or felt, and that sense of integrity and authenticity was a hallmark of her life.

During her sixty-three years as a religious, Marie Elise witnessed her love and dedication to God and to serving others, particularly through the ministry of education. She taught in schools in North Carolina, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Teaching was clearly Marie Elise’s great love and her passion. In the classroom, she was kind, inspiring, funny, and profound. She saw the classroom as a place where not only math knowledge could be taught, but a place where the kindness, compassion, and love of God could be sown as well, through example. She was one of the best I know at giving that example every day. Just as importantly, she cared deeply about her students as individuals and took time to get to know them and offer words of advice or encouragement and sometimes challenge. She changed the thinking, and indeed the lives, of so many of the students she touched with her inspired teaching, her commitment to high standards for herself and everyone else, and her love of life.

Marie Elise’s goodness and deep faith were rooted in her family. We remember very specially today her parents, Elizabeth and Francis, her sister, Mary, and her brothers, John and Thomas, who now welcome her into the eternal, all-encompassing love of God. We ask God to fill with hope and peace the hearts of Marie Elise’s sister, Doris, her brother, Richard, and their extended families, her friends and Band members, the sisters, staff, and administrators here at Our Lady of Peace Residence, all her IHM sisters, the members of Hospice of the Sacred Heart, and all who were the recipients of her great-hearted love.

One of the letters in Marie Elise’s file was from the faculty of a school in which she taught. When they learned that she was being transferred to another school, they wrote to the IHM Superior General to express their love and appreciation for Marie Elise. Their words at that time capture our thoughts today: “It is therefore with a feeling of loss that we send Sister to her next assignment with blessings and best wishes. Our consolation rests in knowing that her presence will long remain here with us.”

I now invite Mary Beth to place the scriptures on Marie Elise’s casket, for indeed Marie Elise heard the Word of God, 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 *