In Memory

Sister Mary Louise Conlon, IHM

September 23, 1928 – January 3, 2016

Mary Louise Conlon, IHM

Sister Mary Louise Conlon, IHM, (formerly known as Sister Marion) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Sunday, January 3, 2016, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on September 23, 1928, in Avoca, PA, and was the daughter of the late John B. and Mary P. Sheridan Conlon. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1946, and made temporary profession of her vows on May 9, 1949, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1952.

Sister Mary Louise served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Peter of Alcantara Elementary School in Port Washington, NY, from 1949 to 1953; St. Raymond Elementary School in East Rockaway, NY, from 1953 to 1956; Holy Name of Jesus Elementary School in Forty Fort, PA, from 1956 to 1958; Most Holy Rosary School in Syracuse, NY, from 1958 to 1962; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Binghamton, NY, from 1962 to 1966; St. Mary Elementary School in Manhasset, NY, from 1966 to 1970; and St. Patrick Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1979 to 1980.

Sister Mary Louise was the Director of Religious Education at the following parishes: St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Parish in Dunmore, PA, from 1982 to 1983; St. Ann’s Parish in Scranton, PA, from 1983 to 1984; Blessed Sacrament Parish in Staten Island, NY, from 1984 to 1987; St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Linden, NJ, from 1987 to 1990; Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Scotch Plains, NJ, from 1990 to 1995; Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Scranton, PA, from 1995 to 1997; and St. Rocco’s Parish in Pittston, PA, from 1997 to 1998.

She also served with Catholic Charities in the Brooklyn Diocese in Aging Services from 1970 to 1976; pastoral minister at Epiphany Parish in Sayre, PA, from 1980 to 1982; medical records clerk at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Carbondale, PA, from 1976 to 1978; assistant director of personnel at Marywood College in Scranton, PA, from 1978 to 1979; and assistant in the IHM Art Studio in Scranton, PA, from 1998 to 2002.

From 2002 until the time of her death, Sister Mary Louise was a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace Residence, both in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education, and Master of Science degree in religious education, both from Marywood College.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, John and James.

She is survived by three brothers, Joseph of Allentown, PA, Patrick of Little River, SC, and Thomas of Cedarburg, WI, and nieces, nephews, and cousins. She is also survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

The funeral will be Thursday, January 7, 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 Wednesday, January 6, 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 Thursday 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.



Reflections given by Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM Congregation President

Sister Mary Louise Conlon, IHM Funeral Mass 1/7/16

Good morning, Everyone.

As we gather in prayer to celebrate the life of Sr. Mary Louise, I want to welcome all of her family, especially her brothers, Joe and Tom and his wife, Josephine, their families of Mary Louise’s beloved nieces and nephews, and grand-nieces and nephews, and her friends who are able to be with us today.

I want to thank Monsignor Bannick, our great friend, for being here to celebrate this mass. As always, we are so grateful for your being with us.

I also would like to express thanks to Sisters Jean, Eleanor Mary, and Mary Kay, the administrators here at OLP, and the entire OLP staff for their loving care and support of Mary Louise, and also the staff of LIFE Geisinger for their care and attention to her life.

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;

My spirit rejoices in God my savior.”

Yesterday, as I talked to family members and listened to the wonderful remembrances about Mary Louise during her wake service, these words, from the Magnificat on the back of her prayer card, seem to capture the true source of her goodness and spirituality. Her joyful, humble, and welcoming spirit came from her deep inner trust and faith in a God she loved unreservedly and who loved her in the same way. We witnessed her genuine kindness and concern for others, her generosity and gentle compassion, her joyfulness and willingness to lend a helping hand whenever needed. Of course, as I said yesterday, maybe that came from being the only girl among five brothers! I was also told yesterday that the five brothers were five very good reasons why Mary Louise decided at a very early age to enter the convent!

For almost sixty-seven years of religious life, Mary Louise witnessed her dedication to God and to serving others through her many wonderful and varied gifts. She ministered as a teacher, a director of religious education, a pastoral minister, a coordinator of a diocesan outreach program for the elderly, a hospital medical records clerk, an assistant director of personnel at Marywood University, an assistant in the IHM Art Studio, and finally, a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and here at Our Lady of Peace. Talk about being open to where the Spirit leads! I don’t know of too many people with a resume that can match Mary Louise’s. But her greatest accomplishments were not all those positions she held, significant though they were; it was not what she did, but how she did it that truly impacted countless children and families. As her legendary love for, and gift of, decorating wherever she was brought beauty to her surroundings, so her inner beauty brought light and kindness to those whose lives she touched. Mary Louise lifted us Godward through her goodness, and it is that legacy of love we celebrate today.

We heard yesterday too about Mary Louise’s great love for her family. Her versatility and freedom of spirit came from this family who loved and nurtured her and who instilled in her that deep faith in, and love of, God. Tom told us the story of their mother sitting on our former motherhouse porch, holding young Mary Louise on her lap, and praying, “Blessed Mother, take her here.” I’m not sure if that was a prayer of faith or maybe hope or desperation in order to save Mary Louise from her five brothers, but that prayer was answered and we are all blessed because of that.

We remember today very specially her parents, Mary and John, and her brothers, John and James, with whom she is rejoicing in heaven as we speak. We pray especially for her brothers, Joseph, Patrick, and Thomas, her in-laws, and her nieces, nephews, and cousins, and their families, who will miss her dearly. Our prayers are also with her many IHM friends, her Band members, the sisters and staff here at Our Lady of Peace and LIFE Geisinger, and all who knew and loved her.

We celebrate Mary Louise today as a sister and friend in so many ways. We have been blessed by her presence among us and are richer for having journeyed along with her. May God’s embrace be yours for all eternity, Mary Louise.

Mary Louise’s brother, Joe, will now place the scriptures on Mary Louise’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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *