In Memory

Sister Mary Daniel Purcell, IHM

March 20, 1884 – December 3, 1955

Sister Mary Daniel Purcell, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Saturday, December 3, 1955 at the IHM Motherhouse in Scranton, Pennsylvania, after a brief illness.

She was born on March 20, 1884 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and given the name Agnes Auriela. She was the daughter of the late Patrick and Catherine Kelly Purcell. She entered the IHM Congregation on February 2, 1906, received the religious habit on July 26, 1906, and made profession of her vows on July 16, 1908.

Sister Mary Daniel served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Patrick High School in Scranton, PA; St. Joseph High School in Williamsport, PA; and St. Mary of the Mount High School in Pittsburgh, PA. She served as superior and principal at St. Leo School in Ashley, PA; and St. Patrick Elementary School in Spangler, PA.

At Marywood College in Scranton, PA, Sister also served as a faculty member and was currently the chairman of the graduate division.

She was preceded in death by a four brothers, William, John, Michael and James, and a sister, Mary.

She is survived by a niece, Marie Margaret Morris of Yakima, WA, three nephews, Michael Francis, Jr., William and John, all of Montana, a grandniece and a grandnephew, and cousins.

The funeral will be held on Tuesday, December 6 at 9:30 a.m. in the Marywood College Chapel, with interment to follow at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, Pennsylvania. Friends may call on Monday afternoon or evening at the IHM Motherhouse, Marywood.

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.

Archival Remembrance:

On the first Saturday of the Advent month, the soul of our dear Sister Mary Daniel Purcell was released from its long week of suffering; and she went forth tranquilly to meet her Spouse and Master.

Sister taught as usual both college and extension classes up to Thanksgiving. On Friday evening, after a day filled with details, she spoke of a distressed aneurysm. That evening Sister was anointed. She could not sense the need of emergency care, chatted with the Chaplain, questioned him about the Plenary Indulgences she had received from our Holy Father. The days following were days of suffering, as Sister became less conscious of her surroundings. At eight-thirty on Saturday morning, this valiant Religious went to God.

God gave Sister Mary Daniel great gifts of soul; a wonderful intellect, which she devoted to truth, spurning the false, the spurious, and the trivial; the gift of fortitude, which enabled her to meet sorrow and disappointment with patience and meekness; and an undaunted spirit of righteousness which cared little about fads, frills and fancies. It is easy to think of her as a mighty, but never spectacular, pine tree in a forest of cultivated trees, strong in her mind, valiant in her will, and stalwart in her personal striving to serve God according to the lights He gave her. She was as erudite as she was matter-of-fact; she was a real scholar who could raise the minds of mature students to heights of knowledge. Her graduate students found her a challenging mentor who knew how to transfer her thirst for, and love of, knowledge to others. Her companion Sisters admired her candid honesty which never compromised truth or reality. May God grant eternal rest to her great soul, and may she enjoy in Heaven the fruition of knowledge which she so holily and so avidly pursued.

Below is a follow-up obituary that was published in the newspaper:

“Sister M. Daniel Buried Tuesday

Scranton – Sister Mary Daniel, I.H.M., chairman of the graduate division of Marywood College, was buried last Tuesday morning with Mass at 9:30 a.m. in the Marywood Chapel.

Sisters Daniel died December 3 at the at Marywood after a brief illness. Burial was in St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Moscow.

A daughter of the late Patrick and Catherine Kelley Purcell, Scranton, Sister Daniel entered the novitiate at Mount St. Mary’s, now Marywood, in February, 1906. She received her habit in July of the same year and professed her vows in July, 1908.

During her religious life she taught at St. Patrick’s High School, Scranton; St. Joseph’s High School, Williamsport; and St. Mary of the Mount High School, Pittsburgh. She was a superior and principal at St. Leo’s School, Ashley, and at St. Patrick’s School, Spangler; and for more than 20 years had been a member of the faculty at Marywood College.

Among her survivors are three cousins in religion: Rev. Joseph F. Kelley, pastor of St. Cecilia’s parish, Pleasant Mount; Sister M. Juliana, I.H.M., St. John’s, Pittston; and Sister M. Borgia, R.S.M., College Misericordia, Dallas.”

– December 8, 1955

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