Blog

Sister Pauline Sticka, Maryknoll Sister for 76 Years Dies

Sister Pauline M. Sticka died on December 7th, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, New York.  She was 94 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 76 years.

Pauline was born on November 9th, 1924 in Dickenson, North Dakota to Odelia (Frank) Sticka and Raphael Sticka.  She had four brothers and five sisters.

In 1942, Pauline graduated from Good Counsel Academy in Mankato, Minnesota.   She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Ossining, NY from St. Mary’s, in New England (Diocese of Bismark, North Dakota) on September 2nd, 1942.  At her Reception into the Congregation she received the religious name Sister M. Paul Therese.  She made her First Profession of Vows at the Maryknoll Sisters Center on March 7th, 1945 and her Final Profession of Vows on March 7th, 1948, in China.

Sister Pauline remained at the Maryknoll Sisters Center after making her First Profession of Vows and worked at the Seminary kitchen. In 1947, she received her first overseas assignment to Kaying, China to do catechetical work. In December, 1950 she was placed under house arrest by the Communist Regime until 1951, when she was expelled from China and returned to the US. She served for the next several years in the Development Department at the Maryknoll Sisters Center and then did pastoral ministry in Chinatown, in Chicago, IL.

In 1955, Sister Pauline was assigned to Changhua, Taiwan where she did language study for two years and was then assigned to Puli, Taiwan where she did parish ministry until 1967. In 1970, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center to study at Mary Rogers College and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Community Service in 1973. Sister Pauline then returned to Taipei, Taiwan where she spent the next twenty years doing religious education, family seminars, pastoral work, building Basic Christian Communities, marriage counseling, and began a new neighborhood presence ministry to live among the people and get to know who they were.

In 1994 she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center to work as Office Assistant to the Main House Council until 1997. That same year she returned to Taiwan where she again served the people in pastoral care, home visits and community ministry, first in Kaohsiung and later in Taichung until 2006. From 2006-2007, she staffed the Regional House and did neighborhood ministry. In 2008, Sister Pauline returned to the U.S. and was assigned to the Sisters house in Monrovia, CA.  On December 1st, 2014 she retired at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY.

A Wake and Vespers service will be held in the Annunciation Chapel of the Maryknoll Sisters Center at Maryknoll, NY on Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 4:15 P.M. 

A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated on Friday, December 14, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. also in Annunciation Chapel. Interment will follow in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery.

Sister Grace Mary Kuji, Maryknoll Sister for 67 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY-Sister Grace Mary Kuji, M.M. died on December 4 th , 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 91 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 67 years.

Grace Mary was born in Tsingtao (today known as Quingdao), China on May 5 th , 1927 to Misao (Ishigami) Kuji and Kanichi Kuji. Though she was born in China, she was a Japanese national. She had five brothers (Hiroshi, Manabu Fujita, Takashi, and Kanji two of whom are deceased (Takashi and Kanji) and one sister, Mrs. Shigeko Onosuka.

From 1941-1944, Grace Mary attended Chinto Women’s High School in China. She then earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Science from the Japan’s Women’s College in Tokyo, Japan in 1950.

On August 29 th , 1951 Grace Mary entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY from Takano Parish (Diocese of Kyoto). At her Reception into the Congregation she received the religious name Sister Gratia Marie. She made her First Profession of Vows on March 7 th , 1954 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY and her Final Profession of Vows on March 7 th , 1960 in Japan.

In 1954, Sister Grace Mary was assigned to Kyoto, Japan where she was in charge of a hostel and taught catechism classes for two years. During the next eight years, she worked in parishes run by the Maryknoll Fathers in Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures. In 1962, Sister Grace Mary and five other Maryknoll Sisters founded the Maryknoll Girls School in Yokkaichi, Japan; where she remained for thirty years serving in various roles: teaching Christian Ethics in the High School, Advisor to Alumni/Maryknoll Student Service Club, and supervising practice teachers from 1982 – 1992.

In 1992, Sister Grace Mary returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center and served as Sacristan in the main chapel for two years. In 1994, she returned to Kichijoji, Tokyo to join a volunteer group to help foreign prisoner detainees. She then worked in two homeless shelters and did parish catechetical work, teaching religion and leading Bible study groups for a few years.

In 2001, Sister Grace Mary returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center to serve as a member of the Pastoral Care Team, helping many of the Sisters in the home care unit. She also served in the chapel, making beautiful flower arrangements until her retirement in 2011.

Sr. Grace Mary generously donated her body to science.

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Grace Mary on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 4:15 p.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY.A Memorial Mass will follow, also at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.

A special memorial service will take place in Japan on December 22, 2018.

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.

Sister Mary Doretta Leonard, Maryknoll Sister for 73 Years Dies

Sister Mary Doretta Leonard died on November 27th, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 93 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 73 years.

Mary was born in New York City on June 26th, 1925 to Mary (Burnell) Leonard and Anthony Leonard; she was baptized as Anne Therese. She had one brother, Edward who has predeceased her.

In 1943, Mary graduated from Bishop McDonnell Memorial High School in Brooklyn, NY and then studied at Fordham School of Education from 1944-1945. She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Maryknoll, NY on September 6th, 1945 from St. Francis Assisi Parish in Astoria, NY (Diocese of Brooklyn). At her Reception into the Congregation she received the religious name, Sister Doretta. She made her First Profession of Vows on March 7th, 1948 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY and her Final Profession on March 7th, 1951 in China.

In 1948, Sister Doretta received her first overseas mission assignment to China, not knowing she would serve there for the next 50 years on and off. She first arrived to Wuchow, China to study language for one year and then began her ministry in catechetical work in 1950.   The political situation in Wuchow required Sister Doretta to transfer to Hong Kong, there she continued her work as a catechist until 1968. She then returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY to study at Mary Rogers College, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Adult Education in 1970. After earning her degree, Sister Doretta returned to Hong Kong to continue doing catechetical work until 1977.  From 1977-1980, she was assigned to the Development Department at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY.

In 1980, Sister Doretta became a parish team member at St. Stephen’s Church, where she did Pastoral ministry in Hong Kong for the next nine years. In 1989, she was assigned to do congregational service at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY, serving as receptionist and working in the Congregational Archives Department.

Sister Doretta once again returned to China in 1992 to do pastoral work; first in Macau until 1995 and then transferring to Hong Kong where she did part-time volunteer work visiting the sick and elderly.  In 2005, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY to retire, but remained an active volunteer serving as a member of the Pastoral Care Team.

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Mary Doretta at 4:15 p.m. in the Chapel of the Assumption on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.

 A funeral Mass will follow on Friday, November 30, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. also in the Main Chapel at the Center.

 Interment will follow in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.

 

Sister Josephine Lo Presti, Maryknoll Sister for 69 Years Dies

Sister Josephine Lo Presti M.M. died on November 13th, 2018  at  the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY.  She was 93 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 69 years.

Josephine was was born on October 10th, 1925 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to Augustine (Rinella) Lo Presti and Joseph Lo Presti.  She had four brothers, and three sisters.  All have predeceased her except two of her sisters, Margaret Lo Presti and Pearl (Mrs. Pearl Zucchero).

In 1944, Josephine graduated from St. Joseph’s College High School in Toronto. She remained in Toronto and attended St. Michael’s Hospital School of Nursing; she graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1947.  She later attended nursing courses for one semester at The University of Western Ontario in 1969.  

Josephine entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY on September 6th, 1949 from St. Basil Parish in Toronto, Canada.  She made her First Profession of  Vows at The Maryknoll Sisters Center on March 7th, 1952 and her Final Profession of Vows in Arequipa, Peru on March 7th, 1955.

Sister Josephine remained at the Maryknoll Sisters Center after making her First Profession of Vows, there she worked in the Center Infirmary until 1953. She then received her first overseas assignment to the Bolivia/Peru region to attend language school in Cochabamba, Bolivia; after a year of studying she began teaching second and third grade in Puno, Peru from 1954-1957.

From 1957-1967, Sister Josephine was assigned to Riberalta, Bolivia where she initiated and directed the Practical School of Nursing; which provided practical nurses to staff the hospital in Riberalta and clinics in the distant river communities.

In 1967, she was assigned to the Catholic University of Santa Maria in Arequipa, Peru, where she joined the Faculty of the School of Nursing. There she trained nurses, taught clinical education and developed training modules. In 1970, the Catholic University of Santa Maria, in Arequipa, Peru, granted her a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in recognition of her work experience in Medicine and Public Health, and a thesis of such merit that the University canceled all need for additional courses and requirements.

Sister Josephine returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY to serve in the Center Infirmary from 1972-1974. She then returned to Arequipa, Peru to serve people in community health & rehabilitation and founded a Family Life Center (CORFAM).

In 2001, she returned to the United States and joined the Sisters Community in Monrovia, CA. After a few years, due to declining health, she had to return to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY; where she remained until her death.

A Vespers Service will be held on Monday, November 19, 2018 at 4:15 P.M. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY. A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at 11:00 A.M., also in the Chapel of the Annunciation. 

Interment will follow at the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Maryknoll Center grounds.

Sister Barbara Ann Walenty, Maryknoll Sister for 61 Years Dies

Sister Barbara Ann Walenty died on October 24th, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY.  She was 90 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 61 years.

Barbara Ann was born in Detroit, MI on May 26th, 1928 to Anna (Starr) Walenty and Anthony Walenty and was baptized in St. Ladislaus Parish in Hamtramck, MI.  She had four brothers John, Patrick, Tom, Donald and two sisters Gloria and Colleen.  Barbara Ann graduated from Mackenzie High School in Detroit, MI in 1946. She then attended Providence Hospital School of Nursing in Detroit, MI, where she earned an R.N. Degree. She then worked as a nurse at Detroit Memorial Hospital for two years and at Highland Park Hospital for three years.

Barbara Ann entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Valley Park, MO on December 30th, 1956 from St. Brigid’s Parish in Detroit, MI.  At her Reception she received the religious name Sister Rose Barbara. She made her First Profession of Vows on August 22nd, 1959 in Valley Park, MO, and her Final Profession of Vows on August 22nd, 1965 in Hong Kong.

After her First Profession of Vows, Sister Barbara was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. There she worked as Guest Mistress and in the laundry room until her assignment to Kansas City, Queen of the World Hospital where she worked as Operating Room Supervisor until 1963.  That same year, she received her first overseas assignment to Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong. There she studied Cantonese and served at Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital as Operating Room Supervisor until 1970.  From 1970-1972, Sister Barbara continued to serve at the hospital as: Clinical Instructor, Supervisor of the Student Nurse Hostel, and established the Student Nursing Program. In 1973, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY and worked in the Supportive Services Department before joining the Maryknoll Sisters Eastern United States Region in 1974. She was first assigned to Boston, Chinatown where she taught English as a Second Language and worked at the Chinatown Clinic and Tufts Medical Center from 1974 – 1975.

From 1976 – 1978, she lived in Transfiguration Parish in New York Chinatown, and worked in Cabrini Hospital Nursing Home, and at the Maryknoll Center Health Services. In 1979, she was assigned to St Theresa School in Chicago, Chinatown, where she served as School Nurse, Teachers Aid and taught “Alcohol & Drug Education” (ADE) until 1986. That same year she returned to Hamtramck, MI to care for her elderly parents.

From 1995-1997, Sister Barbara worked in the Maryknoll Sisters Development Departments Mid-West Education/Promotion Office. In 1999, she returned to Chicago, IL to retire, but continued to volunteer as a part-time CCD Teacher and Art Teacher with children at St. Theresa’s School. In 2008, she moved to Fraser, MI and continued to volunteer doing family ministry and pastoral work.  In 2014, Sister Barbara returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, where she remained until her death.

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Barbara Ann on Monday, November 12, 2018 at 4:15 p.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY.

A Mass of Resurrection will follow on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. also in the Maryknoll Sisters Chapel.

Sister Maria Rosario Daley, Maryknoll Sister for 73 Years Dies

 

 

Sister Maria Rosario Daley died on October 18th, 2018 in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was 95 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 73 years.

She was born in Albany, New York on February 1st, 1923 to Margaret (Harpinger) Daley and John H. Daley; she was baptized as Regina Anne. She had three sisters, Veronica, Rose and Joan and one brother, Rev. James D. Daley. Her parents and sister Joan have predeceased her.

In 1941, Regina graduated from Holy Names Academy in Albany, New York.  She then entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Maryknoll, New York from St. Thomas Parish in Delmar, New York (Albany Diocese) on September 6th, 1945.   At her Reception, she received the religious name Sister Maria Rosario. She made her First Profession of Vows on March 7th, 1948 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, New York and her Final Profession of Vows on March 7th, 1951 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

From 1941-1945, Sister Maria Rosario studied at the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Latin and Mathematics.  In 1967, she earned a Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Boston College and in 1974 she earned her second Master’s degree in Theology at the Maryknoll Seminary, in Maryknoll, New York.  Sister Maria Rosario then studied computer science in 1977 at Pace University in Westchester County, New York.

In 1948, Sister Maria Rosario was assigned to the Hawaii Islands, for the next 17 years she taught in the Maryknoll high school in Punahou on Oahu, at St. Ann’s High School in Kaneihe also on Oahu and at St. Anthony’s School in Wailuku on Maui.  In 1967, she returned to Maryknoll, New York to serve as a member of the faculty at Mary Rogers College where she taught Mathematics and worked in the Admissions Office until 1973.  She was then assigned to the Treasury Department at the Maryknoll Sisters Center to serve as Coordinator of Lay Employee Personnel and the Office of Immigration from 1974-1985.

In 1985, Sister Maria Rosario returned to Hawaii, where she served as Diocesan Computer Consultant, taught a Scripture course and worked with Eucharistic Ministers at Sacred Heart Parish in Punahou until 1989.  In the years that followed, she remained in Hawaii and worked at Maryknoll High School, was Lay Personnel Director and Computer Consultant for the Diocese of Honolulu.

From 1997-2003, Sister Maria Rosario continued to do part time clerical work in the Maryknoll High School Guidance Office and served as sexton, sacristan and Eucharistic Minister for the Manoa-Punahou Catholic Community. She retired in 2014, but remained an active volunteer.

A Viewing at 9:00 a.m. and Mass of the Resurrection at 10:00 a.m. will be held for Sister Maria Rosario on November 12 at Sacred Heart Parish, Punahou, Honolulu followed by interment at Diamond Head Cemetery.

 

Sister Joan Toomey, Maryknoll Sister for 66 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Joan Toomey died on September 18th, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, New York. She was 84 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 66 years. She was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 18th, 1934 to Hazel (Warner) Toomey and Joseph J. Toomey.  She had one sister, Elaine.  Both parents and her sister have predeceased her.

In 1952, Joan graduated from Dominican High School in New Orleans. She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate at the Maryknoll Sisters Center on September 2nd, 1952 from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in New Orleans.  At her reception, she received the religious name, Sister Lourdes Marie. She made her First Profession of Vows on September 8th, 1955 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center and her Final Vows on September 8th, 1961 at the Maryknoll Convent in Los Angeles, California.

Sister Joan stayed in New York for a few years after making her First Profession of Vows to work at the Maryknoll Seminary kitchen and study at Maryknoll Teacher College from 1956 -1960; there she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. She was then assigned to teach at Maryknoll School for the Japanese in Los Angeles from 1960-1962.

In 1962, Sister Joan was assigned to Hawaii where she taught seventh and eighth graders math and science at the Maryknoll School in Honolulu’s Punahou district until 1969. That same year, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center and worked in data processing; while studying at Pace University for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, which she received in 1973.  From 1974-1981, she served as Manager of Computer Services and then as Director of the Development Department from 1981-1985, both at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. A woman of many talents, she also served as the Liturgy-Music Coordinator at the Maryknoll Sisters Center from 1974-1986.

In 1986, Sister Joan was assigned to the Hong Kong/Macau Region where she studied language and culture. She then became a full time Lecturer in Computer Studies from 1989-1991 at Hong Kong’s Lingnan College.  Also, from 1989-1995 she was elected Coordinator of the Maryknoll Sisters Regional Service Team and served as an active Board Member of the Maryknoll Convent School’s Educational Trust until 2002.

In 2003, Sister Joan returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center to work part time as a volunteer in the Treasury/Special Projects Office until 2014 when she retired.

A Vespers Service for Sister Joan will be held at the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 4:15 P.M.

 Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated in the same chapel on Friday, September 21 at 11:00 A.M. Interment will follow at the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery.

Sister Rosemary Garrity, Maryknoll Sister for 71 Years Dies

Sister Rosemary Garrity died on September 9th, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, in Maryknoll, NY. She was 94 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 71 years.

She was born in Waterbury, CT on January 10th, 1924 to Margaret (Nash) Garrity and Frank Garrity. She has one sister, Rita, Mrs. Charles Mallon. She had four brothers:  Rev. Thomas Garrity-a Maryknoll Father, Dr. Joseph Garrity, John Garrity and William Garrity. All of her brothers have predeceased her.

In 1941, Rosemary graduated from Waterbury Catholic High School; after graduation she worked for the American Brass Company in Waterbury, CT.   She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY on October 5th, 1946; from Immaculate Conception Parish in Hartford, CT.  At her Reception she received the religious name Sister Mary Thomas.  She made her First Profession of Vows on April 6th, 1949 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center and her Final Profession of Vows on April 6th, 1952 in Yucatan, Mexico.

From 1949-1951, Sister Rosemary worked at the Field Afar Magazine, (now known as Maryknoll Magazine).  In 1951, she was assigned to Mérida, Mexico where she spent the next 17 years teaching English, typing and shorthand to girls preparing for higher education in commercial subjects. In 1968, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, to study at Mary Rogers College. There, she earned an Associate’s Degree in 1970 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Organization in 1972.  In 1973, she went to Catholic University in Washington, D.C. and earned a Master’s Degree in Social Service in 1974.   She then returned to Mexico to work in pastoral ministry and social work among the impoverished people of Mexico City until 1982.

In 1982, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center to work in the Congregation’s Development Department’s Promotion Office until 1985. She was then assigned to Colonia Mezquital, Guatemala where she worked with basic Christian communities and taught literacy to impoverished women until 1993. She was assigned to Mexico again in 1994 to do pastoral ministry and social work in Oaxaca. In 2001, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center where she did pastoral care among the elderly Maryknoll Sisters until 2010 when she retired.

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Rosemary in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 4:15 P.M.   A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at 11:00 A.M in the same chapel.

Sister Rosemary has generously requested that her body be donated to Science.

Sister Mary Elizabeth Keyser, Maryknoll Sister for 80 Years Dies

Sister Mary Elizabeth Keyser died on July 24th, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 98 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 80 years.

Mary Elizabeth was born in Philadelphia, PA on May 3rd, 1920 to Della (Haney) Keyser and Henry Nelson Keyser, both are now deceased. She is survived by her brother, Nelson Keyser and his family.

In 1937, Mary Elizabeth graduated from West Philadelphia Catholic Girls High School in Philadelphia, PA. She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Maryknoll, NY on December 7th, 1937 from St. Matthias Parish in Bala Cynwyd, PA in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. At her Reception she received the religious name, Sister Anne Virginia. She made her First Profession of Vows on June 30th, 1940 and her Final Profession of Vows on the same day in 1943, both at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.

In 1943, after making her Final Vows, Sister Mary Elizabeth was assigned to San Juan Bautista, CA where she did catechetical work for four years. In 1957, she was assigned to Bethany House (Maryknoll Sisters Nursing Home) in Ossining, NY where she provided aid to elderly Sisters and often assisted with transportation needs for two years. In 1949, Sister Mary Elizabeth received her first overseas mission assignment to Bolivia, South America. Upon her arrival, she studied the Spanish language and then served as Principal of the Maryknoll Sisters Schools in both Cochabamba and Riberalta until 1956.

Sister Mary Elizabeth returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in 1958, for Congregational Service in the Development Department doing Promotion in the Mid-West. In 1959, she was assigned to Chile where she served as Executive Secretary, Supervisor of Catechetics and established programs for the ICLA (Instituto de Catequesis Latino American). In addition, she served as the Directress of Carmelite House of Prayer in Santiago and was the Coordinator of the Maryknoll Sisters House in the Chile region until 1992.

In 1992, Sister Mary Elizabeth was assigned to Monrovia, CA where she worked as a volunteer in religious education in the Immaculate Conception Parish and served as RCIA Director of Hispanics for the parish from 1998-2001. She also spent a considerable amount of time doing volunteer work by writing letters to women in prison.

In 2004, Sister Mary Elizabeth returned to NY to retire at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, where she remained until her death on July 24, 2018.

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Mary Elizabeth on Thursday, July 26, 2018 at 4:15 p.m. in the Main Chapel at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow on Friday, July 27, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. also in the Main Chapel at the Center. Interment will follow in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.