Sister Rita Francis Fiefhaus, O.S.F.
Sister Rita Francis Fiefhaus, O.S.F., 94, died May 25 in Assisi House. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 71 years. Sister Rita Francis was born Mary Isabel Fiefhaus in Philadelphia, where she was a member of St. Bonaventure Parish. She entered the congregation in 1938 and professed her first vows in 1940. A graduate of J.W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Villanova University. Sister Rita Francis ministered primarily in education and parish ministry. In her free time she loved listening to and playing music, especially the piano and organ. She gave piano lessons for more than 30 years and was often the organist at Mass on Sunday.
Sister Rita Francis ministered for 24 years in the Diocese of Camden where she served as the director of religious education for St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Absecon. She also ministered for 12 years in the Diocese of Trenton at St. Raphael School.
She served for 16 years in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia where she taught at Our Lady of Consolation School; John W. Hallahan High School; and Little Flower High School. Sister Rita Francis continued her ministry in Philadelphia in prayer ministry at St. Agnes Medical Center Convent and Assisi House in Aston where she served until her death.
All services will be held in Assisi House on Wednesday, May 30. A wake service will be held at 9:30 a.m. followed by viewing. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Aston. Sister Rita Francis is survived by her sister, Anne Bahr; nieces; a nephew; grandnieces; grandnephews; and by her Franciscan family.
Sister Theresa Charles Grant, F.M.S.C.
Sister Theresa Charles Grant, F.M.S.C., died at the Sisters’ Infirmary in Peekskill, N.Y., on Thursday, May 24. Sister Theresa Charles was a member of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart since 1936 and was professed in 1938. Sister Theresa Charles received her bachelor’s degree from Ladycliff College in Highland Falls, N.Y., and her master’s degree from Villanova University. She taught at Maria Goretti High School in Philadelphia.
Sister Theresa Charles is survived by several cousins.
The viewing will be at Mt. St. Francis on Sunday, May 27 at 2 p.m. followed by a Mass at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, May 28 at 11 a.m. at Mt. St. Francis, 250 South St., Peekskill, N.Y., followed by internment in the Sisters’ cemetery in Peekskill.
Sister Rosemary Haslam, S.S.J.
Sister Rosemary Haslam, S.S.J., formerly Sister Muriel Loretta, died May 27 at the age of 76. Sister Rosemary was born in Philadelphia, the daughter of Joseph W. and Ruth D. Staub-Haslam.
She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. Bridget Parish in Philadelphia on September 10, 1953. Sister Rosemary served in the Archdioceses of Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., the dioceses of Allentown, Harrisburg and Camden, N.J.
She is preceded in death by her parents, a brother, Joseph and a sister, Caroline Murphy. Sister Rosemary is survived by her brother, Thomas and sisters-in-law Susan Haslam, and Betty Ann Haslam, also her brother-in-law, John Murphy, also her cousin S. Jeanette Weychert, S.S.J., nieces, nephews and the members of her Congregation, The Sisters of St. Joseph.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated May 31 followed by burial in the community cemetery.
Sister Brigid Marie Mcllearney, S.B.S.
Sister Brigid Marie Mcllearney, S.B.S., died May 8 at St. Michael Hall, at the motherhouse in Bensalem. She was born Veronica Bernice in Toronto, Canada, on Dec. 11, 1922.
Sister Brigid entered the convent Aug. 28, 1944. On July 16, 1945, she became a novice and was given the name, Sister Mary Brigid Marie. She made her vows on July 16, 1947, and professed her perpetual vows at the motherhouse in Bensalem on July 16, 1952.
Sister Brigid attended grade and high school in Detroit, Mich. As a sister she attended Villanova University, where she received her bachelor of science degree in education. She taught in schools in several other states. In 2007, Sister Brigid returned to St. Michael Hall where she remained until her death.
A wake service was held in St. Michael Chapel on May 15, and her funeral Mass and burial took place on May 16 at the motherhouse.
Sister Margaret Aloysius McGrail, O.S.F.
Sister Margaret Aloysius McGrail, O.S.F., 87, died May 2 in Assisi House. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 63 years. Sister Margaret Aloysius was born Jean Agnes McGrail in Baltimore, Md., where she was a member of the Shrine of the Little Flower Parish and a graduate of the Catholic High School of Baltimore. She entered the congregation in 1946 and professed her first vows in 1948. Sister Margaret earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Villanova University in 1955 and a master of science degree in administration in nursing education from the Catholic University of America in 1964. She ministered primarily in health care and health care administration. In her leisure time, Sister Margaret enjoyed reading, writing haiku, and telling jokes.
She ministered for 18 years in the Diocese of Wilmington where she served at St. Francis Hospital, first as vice president for mission and ministry and later as a volunteer. She also ministered for 15 years in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. She began her ministry in the Archdiocese as a student nurse at St. Joseph Hospital and continued her ministry in health care at St. Agnes Hospital. From 1976-1984, she served as a member of the leadership team for the Sisters of St. Francis. From 2009-2012, she moved to Aston and served as a volunteer in Assisi House. In 2012 she became a resident of Assisi House where she served in prayer ministry until her death.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held May 8 in Assisi House. Interment was in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Aston. Sister Margaret Aloysius is survived by a sister, Margaret Kelly; nieces, nephews, and by her Franciscan family.
Sister Kathleen O’Neill, S.H.C.J.
Sister Kathleen O’Neill, who was a Sister of the Holy Child Jesus for 63 years, died April 2 at Delaware County Memorial Hospital. She was 84.
Born in Philadelphia, Sister Kathleen entered the congregation in 1945 and became known by her former religious name, Mother Mary Agatha. Sister Kathleen held a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University, a master’s degree from Gonzaga University, and an LPN from Camillus School of Nursing. Sister Kathleen lived and served in the Philadelphia area for a number of years.
She taught at St. James Parochial School in Philadelphia and also served as the assistant director of Holy Child Center in Rosemont, where retired and infirm Holy Child Sisters live.
She is survived by her sister, Mary Quinn, her brother, Frank, several nieces and nephews, and her religious community.
Her funeral Mass was celebrated April 10 in the New Sharon Chapel in Rosemont. Internment was in Calvary Cemetery in Conshohocken.
Sister M. Blandina O’Neill, S.S.J.
Sister M. Blandina O’Neill, SSJ, formerly Mary M. O’Neill, died May 3 at the age of 95. Sister Blandina was born in Philadelphia, the daughter of Thomas and Mary McGinty O’Neill.
Sister Blandina entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from Most Blessed Sacrament Parish in Philadelphia on Jan. 6, 1935. She served in the Archdioceses of Philadelphia, Baltimore, Md., and the dioceses of Camden, N.J., Harrisburg, Allentown, and Arlington, Va.
She is preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Isabel Hart, and her brother Thomas O’Neill; also survived by her sister Bernardine Hugues, nieces, nephews , and members of her congregation.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated May 8 followed by burial in the community cemetery.
Sister Loretta Marie Schultz, S.S.N.D.
Sister Loretta Marie Schultz, a lifelong educator who taught primary and secondary grades in schools throughout the Mid-Atlantic for more than 50 years, died April 22 at Maria Health Care Center in Baltimore, Md. She was 90 years old and had been a professed member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame for 68 years.
Loretta Marie Schultz was born March 21, 1922, the sixth of eight children to Theresa and John Schultz of Camden, N.J. She entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Baltimore in August 1941. She was given the religious name Mary Serapia and made her first vows in August 1943.
Sister Loretta spent the first 30 years of her career teaching the primary grades in three states. Her first assignment was at Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Baltimore’s Highlandtown neighborhood. After two years, she moved to St. Joseph School in Verona, Pa., near Pittsburgh, where she taught for eight years. Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, she served at St. Peter School in Philadelphia, St. Aloysius in Pittsburgh, and as director of religious education at St. Joseph in Mechanicsburg. She also spent three years teaching at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Elementary in Camden, N.J.
Sister Loretta is survived by a brother, Leonard M. Schultz of Hattiesburg, Miss., and several nieces and nephews.
Her funeral Mass was celebrated April 26 in the Chapel at Villa Assumpta. Interment was in Villa Maria Cemetery in Glen Arm, Md.
Sister Mary Ann Shambo, O.S.F.
Sister Mary Ann Shambo, O.S.F., formerly Sister Judith Marie, 78, died April 19 in Assisi House. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 55 years. Sister Mary Ann was born in Stiles, Pa., and she entered the congregation in 1953 and professed her first vows in 1956. A graduate of Central Catholic High School in Allentown, Sister Mary Ann earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s in spirituality and theology.
Sister Mary Ann ministered for 30 years in the Diocese of Camden in the area of adult faith formation. Together with her friend, Sister Barbara Beck, she co-founded a spirituality/evangelization program which they carried out in various parishes in the diocese. She continued her ministry in social services and healthcare administration at Cape May Care Center and Crest Haven Nursing Home, in Cape May Courthouse, N.J. For the past 11 years Sister Mary Ann worked as a consultant and educator at Excellence in Caring.
She also served 11 years in the Diocese of Allentown in education and was the provincial for the former St. Anthony Province in Trenton for four years. Sister Mary Ann spent seven years in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia teaching at St. Elizabeth School and ministering at St. Agnes Medical Center.
Sister Mary Ann is survived by a brother, Richard Shambo, nieces, a nephew, cousins, and by her Franciscan family.
Her funeral Mass was celebrated April 24 in Assisi House in Aston. Interment was in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery.
Sister Theresa Regina Steiner, I.H.M.
Sister Theresa Regina Steiner, I.H.M., formerly Lorraine Theresa Steiner, died May 19 in Camilla Hall in the 65th year of her religious life. She was 82 years old.
Born in Norristown, Sister Theresa entered the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1947 from St. Patrick Parish in Norristown and professed first vows in 1950. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Immaculata University.
Sister Theresa taught in elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and in the Diocese of Metuchen. In 2005, she retired to Camilla Hall where her ministry was the apostolate of prayer.
The funeral Mass was celebrated May 23 at Camilla Hall. Father James McKelvery was the celebrant and homilist. Father Francis Kelly concelebrated the Mass. Interment followed in the Immaculata Cemetery.
In addition to the members of her religious community, Sister Theresa is survived by many nieces, including Sister Gretchen Steiner, S.S.J., and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She was predeceased by her parents, George and Ellen Moran Steiner, and her siblings, George, Mae and Jack.
Sister Regina Walsh, S.S.J.
Sister Regina Walsh, S.S.J., formerly Sister Joseph Xavier, died March 23 at the age of 96. Sister Regina was born in Philadelphia the daughter of William J. and Mary McFadden Walsh.
Sister Regina entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Philadelphia on Sept. 11, 1934. Sister Regina served in the archdioceses of Baltimore, Md., Newark, N.J., and Philadelphia. She also ministered in the Diocese of Camden.
Sister Regina is preceded in death by her parents, her brothers: Edwin, William, Charles, Joseph, Edward and Vincent, her sisters, Sister Bernard Vincent, S.S.J., Helen, Mary, Frances and Rita. She is survived by nieces, nephews and her congregation.
Her funeral Mass was celebrated March 29. Internment was in the community cemetery.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103