In Memory

Sister Mary Edward Loftus, IHM

December 28, 1931 – October 5, 2020

Mary Edward Loftus, IHM

Sister Mary Edward Loftus, IHM, (formerly known as Sister M. St. Edward) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Monday, October 5, 2020, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

She was born on December 28, 1931, in Pittston, PA, and given the name Mary Grace. She was the daughter of the late Edward and Mary Quinnan Loftus. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1950, and made her temporary profession of vows on August 2, 1953, and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1956.

Sister Mary Edward served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Patrick Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1953 to 1954; Holy Rosary Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1954 to 1956; St. Mary Elementary School in Patton, PA, from 1956 to 1958; Archbishop Neale Elementary School in La Plata, MD, from 1958 to 1959; St. Leo Elementary School in Ashley, PA, from 1973 to 1974; and St. Raymond Elementary School in East Rockaway, NY, from 1990 to 1991.

Sister served as principal at the following schools: St. Raymond Elementary School in East Rockaway, NY, from 1959 to 1968; Our Lady of Grace Elementary School in Greensboro, NC, from 1968 to 1973; St. Ephrem Elementary School in Brooklyn, NY, from 1974 to 1983; St. Mary Elementary School in Manhasset, NY, from 1983 to 1988; St. Mary of the Assumption Elementary School in Upper Marlboro, MD, from 1988 to 1989; and as assistant principal at St. Ann Elementary School in New York, NY, from 1989 to 1990.

She also served as a library assistant at St. Patrick Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1991 to 1996; library coordinator at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School in Forest Hills, NY, from 1996 to 2007; and as volunteer at the Friccione Day Care Center in Scranton, PA, from 2010 to 2011.

From 2007 until the time of her death, Sister Mary Edward was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from Marywood College, and a Master of Education degree in elementary administration from Lehigh University.

She is preceded in death by a brother, John, who died in infancy, and two infant sisters.

She is survived by cousins, and by the members of the IHM Congregation.

Interment will be at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA. Due to restrictions related to the coronavirus, the funeral mass and graveside service are private.

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.

Funeral Mass:

Combined Vespers Prayer Service:

Reprinted from “In Memoriam” section of Journey, Fall 2020 issue

Sister Mary Edward Loftus, IHM

Reflection given by Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM Congregation President, at Sister’s funeral on Friday, October 9, 2020:

When we love another heart
and allow it to love us,
we journey deep below time
to that eternal weave
where nothing unravels.
John O’Donohue

This excerpt from a poem written by John O’Donohue was in Mary Edward’s room and so beautifully sums up the focus of this good, holy woman throughout her life. Her great love of sacred scriptures drew her deeply into God’s heart to a trust that never unraveled even in the midst of difficult times. A native of Pittston, Mary Edward was taught by IHMs and soon after high school, entered the congregation. During her 67 years as an IHM, she fashioned an amazing life grounded in that unwavering faith and trust in the God she loved unreservedly.

A woman of many gifts, Mary Edward was a respected and much loved teacher and administrator in schools in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and North Carolina. Her students and faculty members appreciated her care and concern for each individual person and her joyful smile and gentle wisdom. Her planning and organizational skills were greatly respected and her professionalism, dedication, and sincere humility were the guideposts that paved
the way for success in her endeavors. Mary Edward later served for fourteen years as a library coordinator in schools in New York and Pennsylvania before coming here to Our Lady of Peace in 2007 as a prayer minister. During 2010 – 2011, she volunteered at the Fricchione Day Care Center just across the road from here. Her eyes would light up when she talked about being with the young children there and they returned that joy to her. Jake, the son of Laura Bondy, from our Business Office, was one of those children who treasured their days with Mary Edward.

To know Mary Edward was to know for certain that her life was always “other-centered” – first on God, then on those with whom she lived and ministered, and especially on her students. She was a living example of St. Theresa’s words: “Let nothing disturb you. God alone suffices.” She brought God’s love and joy into the lives of so many people, and all she did was accomplished with sincere dedication and an unassuming manner. Her integrity and trustworthiness drew others to her, and they were blessed to share the depth of her unwavering trust in God. After hearing of Mary Edward’s death, Gerard Buckley, St. Ephrem’s class of 1992 and current principal of St. Mary’s in Manhasset, shared with me some of the Facebook comments about her from former students: “God bless her & her life of dedication to all the children”; “She was loved…what a beautiful person”; “She had the patience of a saint”; “She was amazing”; “She rode with my family in our car with me to pick up a scholarship. RIP”; and many more remembrances of her simple acts of kindness and love that impacted others in a lasting way. To meet her was to know she was special.

We mourn Mary Edward’s loss, but we rejoice today that she is now at home with her God and enjoying eternal life with her parents, Mary and Edward, her brother, John, and other family members who are now reunited with her as she is welcomed into the joy of eternal life by the God she loved and served so faithfully.

Our prayers are with Nancy and all of Mary Edward’s family, her IHM sisters, especially those in 3C, Joyce and her countless friends, her former students, and all who were blessed to share life with her. We ask the God of all consolation to comfort all in this time of loss.

Through the sharing of her love, fidelity, and giftedness, Mary Edward was a wonderful blessing to us. We thank God for her. I suspect she has already formed a scripture class in heaven and lined up an apostle and one or two of the saints to lead an in-depth prayer discussion on her favorite scripture passages. I’m betting that her own insights will be well taken by those assembled too.

Jean Ann will now place the scriptures on Mary Edward’s casket, for she heard the Word of God, she staked her life upon it and received life to the full… the Word now beckons her home.

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