Obituaries

Born: August 16, 1919

Entered: August 15, 1938

Returned to the Lord: August 6, 2016

Sister M. Beatrice Siratavic, OSF, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God for nearly 78 years, heard the words of her God: “Well done, good and faithful servant” on August 6, 2016, at the age of 96.

Sister Beatrice was born Natalie Siratavic in Philadelphia, the youngest of four children of Kasimir Siratavic and Julia Klug, immigrants from Lithuania. Like so many of our sisters from Philadelphia, Natalie attended St. George School, where our community taught for many years. Not surprisingly, two of our members, Sisters Cecilia and Aurelia, were her classmates. Upon the occasion of her 65th Jubilee, Sister Beatrice talked about the “care, support interest and example of my fifth grade teacher that led me to seek higher things until I made my choice” to enter the community.

In 1938, Sister Beatrice began a 15-year period in teaching that included schools in Elizabeth, NJ, and Detroit, MI, plus our own St. Francis Academy. She also earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education at Duquesne during this time.

But it was her ministry in Brazil that Sister so cherished. In her words, “the most challenging and fruitful years” of her life. At first, she had a difficult time learning Portuguese and was determined to return to the Pittsburgh. Always open to whatever God had in store for her, however, she stuck it out, and remained for the next forty years.

It was here that she worked principally in schools teaching religion as well as “English as a second language.” She also served as a regional and local superior, a hospital aide in Pedro Leopaldo, as well as in the mission’s finance office. Here, Sister found the “warm, simple, friendly, God-fearing, prayerful people of the village that ignited a deeper appreciation for the things of God.”

Upon her return to the motherhouse, Sister Beatrice assumed the role as the congregation’s assistant archivist, where she worked diligently with the congregational archivist to make sure that information on the community, its members and achievements were never lost, but rather to be shared with other community members and interested lay persons.

Though tiny in stature, Sister Beatrice’s grace, wisdom and sense of humor embraced all around her.    Her favorite quote reads, “Sing joyfully to the Lord, Serve the Lord with gladness.” She certainly tried to spread joy and happiness in all that she did.

Born: October 4, 1915

Entered: August 2, 1933

Returned to the Lord: April 26, 2016

Sister M. Frances Walters, OSF, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God for 82 years, died at the age of 100 on April 26, 2016 at Presbyterian Senior Care in Oakmont, PA. Sister Frances was born in Pittsburgh on October 4, 1915 – the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, and attended St. Casimir Elementary School in Pittsburgh’s South Side. Her pastor at St. Casimir’s was Rev. Magnus Kazenas, who was instrumental in bringing our founding Sisters to Pittsburgh from Chicago in 1922, and she actually met these Sisters at the train station in Pittsburgh.  Sister Frances attended St. Francis Academy and entered the congregation in 1933, just 11 years after its founding.

Sister’s first assignment was as a 3rd and 4th grade teacher in Detroit, MI, followed by several years in Hartford, CT.  Sister Frances’ education ministry spanned over 50 years at 14 different elementary schools in eight states including Michigan, Connecticut, Illinois and California. In Pittsburgh, she taught at St. Valentine and St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin schools.

In 1986, at the age of 71, Sister began her ministry at the Franciscan Day Care Center, where she served as a teacher, then later as Resource Supervisor.  She describes her 18 years at the Day Care Center as a “truly happy and blessed experience” and that “taking care of the babies and toddlers brought much joy and consolation” as she adjusted to her latest phase of religious life.  Sister dedicated herself fully to the ministry of prayer at the age of 97.

Sister was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Helen Sherry and Sister Marianne Walters, OSF – also a Sister of St. Francis of the Providence of God, and her brother, Fr. Hilarion Walters, who served as a Passionist priest. She is survived by her sister, Ann Dombroski, as well as several nieces and nephews and their families.

 

For inquiries about Sisters, please e-mail info@osfprov.org or call (412) 885-7232