Sister Irene Solzbacher, Maryknoll Sister for 65 Years Dies

Sister Irene E. Solzbacher, medical doctor, and psychiatrist, died on November 29th, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY.  She was 84 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 65 years.

Irene was born on June 21st, 1934 in Luxemberg City, Luxemberg to Regina (Reiff) Solzbacher and William A. Solzbacher. She had three sisters, Josephine, Regina and Eve all of whom are still living.

In 1952, Irene graduated from Convent of the Sacred Heart High School in Greenwich, CT and then attended Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY from 1952 – 1953. She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Maryknoll, NY on September 2nd, 1953 from St. Barnabas Parish in Yonkers, NY.  Irene made her First Profession of Vows on March 7th, 1956 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY and her Final Profession of Vows in Honolulu, HI on March 7th, 1962.

From 1958-1961, Sister Irene studied at Maryknoll Teachers College where she earned a Bachelor of Education Degree.  She then received her first mission assignment to Hawaii, there she earned a Master’s of Education Degree in Physical Science at the University of Hawaii in 1965 and taught Math, Science and Religion at the Maryknoll High School in Honolulu, HI until 1970. Sister Irene decided she wanted to begin her studies in the medical field, from 1970-1971 she was a medical student at Kuhio Park Terrace Project, in Honolulu and was also a part-time research assistant and taught catechetics.  She then began studying at the University of Hawaii Medical School and earned a Doctor of Medicine Degree in 1975.

From 1975-1978, Sister Irene served in a Psychiatric Residency at the University of Hawaii.  She was then assigned to Waianae Mental Health Clinic to work as a Psychiatrist and also served as Director/Director of Social Services at Kahumana Counseling Center in Maili, Oahu from 1979-2000. Sister Irene then returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY and served as a volunteer/medical companion in the Out Patient Clinic from 2001 until 2014 when she retired.

Sister Irene has generously donated her body to science.

A Vespers Service will be held on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 4:15 P.M. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 4:00 P.M., also in the Chapel of the Annunciation.