Sister M. Michele Garas, OSF, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God for 55 years, died at the age of 76 on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. We offer our continuing prayers that she will rest in the peace and love of God in her eternal home. We give thanks to God for Sister’s life, her gentle spirit, and her unique way of manifesting the goodness of God.
Sister Michele was born in Utena, Lithuania, and escaped to the United States with her family in 1949 after they had been placed in a Soviet displaced person camp. At first, they lived in Baltimore before moving to Detroit, where she was taught by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God. After working a few years, she entered the congregation in 1963.
Sister Michele is a graduate of Carlow University with a B.S. in Reading, as well as having taken additional courses at Duquesne. Sister’s early ministry was as an elementary school teacher in and around the Pittsburgh region, including Moon Run, Bethel Park, New Kensington, and West Mifflin. Other assignments included schools in Detroit and Grand Rapids, MI, Kenosha, WI, and Mahanoy City, PA., On October 4, 1992 (appropriately the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi), Sister Michele went back to her native country, joining Sister Dolorita Butkus as the first of our Sisters to return to Lithuania since the late 1930s, to serve its people. Sister Michele served as a pastoral minister prior to teaching Religion and English at Utena’sSalues School. She also worked with children, helping them prepare for Baptism and Communion. After 20 years serving in Lithuania, Sister Michele returned to Pittsburgh in 2012 where she ministered as receptionist and sacristan at the motherhouse prior to beginning a Ministry of Prayer and Presence in 2014 at Presbyterian SeniorCare, Oakmont.
Friends will be received at John Slater Funeral Home, 4201 Brownsville Rd, Pittsburgh PA 15227 Friday, December 14, 4:00-8:00 PM, Wake Service, 6:00 PM. Mass of Christian Burial, Saturday, December 15, 10:00 AM, St. Germaine Church, 7003 Baptist Rd. Bethel Park, PA 15102.