“My life has been full of invitations from God, and when I accept, I am full of happiness, peace and joy,” says Sister Frances Rooney.
From 1948-64, Sister Frances taught in Pittsburgh diocesan schools, including Assumption, St. Thomas More and St. Veronica. When asked to fill a need as Director of Religious Education at Christ the King in Ambridge in 1964, Sister Frances first experienced sadness about leaving the “first love” of the classroom, but the new ministry opened her to “the value of the laity” and service to families. That 10-year transformative ministry led to similar parish roles at St. Columbkille and St. Catherine.
With her Irish wit and engaging smile, Sister Frances said “yes” again when asked to become an aide at the Citiparks Senior Center where “listening, counseling, and being present” to seniors re-energized her. “They gave me hope for the next phase of life.”
Inspired by the faith of her parents and siblings who grew up poor, Sister Frances never forgot the generosity of neighbors who left groceries at their doorstep. The first in her family to reach 90, Sister Frances sheepishly admits that her prayer intentions sometimes include her own – that she receives the grace of a new day.