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In Memory 2010

Patricia Roche, CDP

Sister Patricia said, “I always have a song in my heart, usually one or two lines from a psalm.” In her 1950 Entrance Recommendation Letter from the pastor of All Saints Parish in Etna, Pa., Fr. Francis Hoffmann must have agreed because he described Pat as “…from a good Catholic home, and should make a good additional member of you community. We recommend her very highly and feel she will live up to your hopes and expectations.”

Willemene Krise, CDP

Anna Grace Krise was born August 5, 1921 to the late William and Anna Marie in Duquesne, Pa. She and her sister, Dorothy, attended both public grade school and high school. Anna Grace entered the Sisters of Divine Providence in December of 1943. At her reception into the novitiate, she was given the name Sister Willemene in honor of her father. Sister Willemene began her nursing studies at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pa., and, after two years, transferred to Catholic University, Washington, D.C., where she received her BS in Nursing Education in 1949. In 1971, she received a Master of Business Administration from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Edna Herbst, CDP

Edna Cecilia, daughter of Olivia and Leonard Herbst, with her sister and five brothers, attended St. Joseph’s School in Braddock where she first met the Sisters of Divine Providence. At age 15, after asking for a sign whether God wanted her to become a sister, Edna received that sign, a pink rose, and “from that time on, I was going to be a nun.”

Floretta Hoerster, CDP

Magdalene Rose, second of four children of Henry and Rose Hoerster, attended St. Martin’s School in West End, Pa. She learned from her mother’s “good example” and was greatly influenced by Sister Agnes Meinert, her elementary school principal, as well as by the “patience, piety and good example” of the Sisters who taught her. Desiring to become a Sister of Divine Providence, Magdalene became an aspirant, attending the Sister’s high school, and entering the community soon after her fifteenth birthday.

DeLellis Oravitz, CDP

Grace Elizabeth, one of nine children born to Freda and Michael Oravitz, attended St. Mary School in Beaver Falls, Pa., and was taught by the Sisters of Divine Providence. Desiring to become a Sister, Grace attended Providence High School as an aspirant. In the summer when she became sixteen, Grace was accepted for entrance into the community. With the other young women who joined the community in the fall of 1934, Sister DeLellis learned how to live more deeply in God’s presence and service.

Mary Clement Kekich, CDP

Anna was one of the youngest of six children born to William and Veronica Kekich of Millvale, Pa. Every day, walking with many other children, Anna crossed the 40th Street Bridge to attend school, where she was taught by the Sisters of St. Agnes. At an early age, Anna was interested in becoming a Sister and spent her first year of high school at the Sisters of St. Agnes’ prep school. The next year, she transferred to Providence High, joining other young women at the prep school of the Sisters of Divine Providence. One of her brothers had entered the Capuchin Order, and at age 16, Anna entered and began her life as a Sister, as was common in those days.

Barbara Ann Bongartz, CDP

In 1998, Sister Barbara Ann wrote, “Being the seventh straight girl meant I was to be the ‘Lucky One’… I know in many special ways and every day of my life, God has blessed me in ways more than being lucky.” She wrote that the seed of her vocation was planted at home, and grew and developed through the Sisters at Divine Providence Academy who were an inspiration to her. Her aunt, Sister Leonore, and her sister, Elizabeth Ann, already members of the Sisters of Divine Providence, supported her as she responded to her call to consecrate her life to God.

Mary Claver Paustenbach, CDP

Born in Tarentum, Pa., July 26, 1921, Clara Paustenbach was baptized a few weeks later at Sacred Heart Parish, the parish to which she, with her parents, brothers and sisters, belonged throughout her growing years. Drawn to the Sisters of Divine Providence at a young age, observing, experiencing and learning from them throughout her formative years, Clara became an aspirant, attended Providence High with other devout young women, and completed high school after entering the community. Named Sister Mary Claver, she joined a host of others in consecrating her life to Christ, the One sent by God to save us all.