First of all, my sympathy to all of Sister Irene’s family–the Sister of St. Francis as well as her blood relatives.
I knew Sister Irene from working at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She was one of the best chaplains we ever had there. I worked in Pastoral Care as the department secretary for 33 years, retiring last June. I have so many memories of Sister Irene. She always came in with a smile and ready to work. She took her work seriously and always saw all the patients in her assigned area on a daily basis. I know she had been a secretary for a Bishop and often felt that she could have done a better job than me, but her dedication was to the patients and their families. I know she struggled with hearing loss. I remember when she had a pinched nerve in her spine that sent pain running down her leg….yet she continued to work. When she FINALLY decided to have surgery done to correct her problem, she was back to work as soon as she could get back–no sluffing off for Sister Irene! I remember her celebrating her 50th Jubilee and then retiring from St. Vincent Hospital. She was a good lady with a big, kind heart. She spent time in the Chapel each day praying for the patients. As she got older, her prayer time turned into “nap” time or else it was very deep meditation. I worried about her health before she retired because her head had started to shake and she would fall asleep at department meetings. I know she was able to be of service to the older sisters at the convent after her retirement–driving them to/from doctor appointments. I kept in touch with Sister with a Christmas card and letter up until a few years ago. It just seems so appropriate that she would die during Holy Week–she will now celebrate Easter with Jesus! A lady who made a big difference in the lives of many people has now passed on to her heavenly home. Well done, good and faithful servant! Rest in peace, Sister Irene.