Sister Frances Rooney, CSJ, 96, died Wednesday, October 25, 2023, in the 79th year of her religious life. The daughter of Francis and Mary Fleischauer Rooney, Sister Frances entered the Congregation from Annunciation in Pittsburgh.
From 1948-64, Sister Frances taught in Pittsburgh diocesan schools that included St. Veronica in Ambridge, St. Canice in Pittsburgh, Holy Name in Duquesne, Assumption in Pittsburgh, and St. Thomas More in Bethel Park.
When asked to fill a need for a 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 and her young students, but the new ministry opened her to “the value of the laity” and service to families. That 11-year transformative ministry led to similar parish roles at St. Columbkille in Imperial (1975-1982) and St. Catherine of Siena in Beechview (1982-84, 1985-1997).
Sister Frances was recognized for her positive impact in the Ambridge community in 1974 when she received the Ambridge Area Jaycees Woman of the Year Award.
With her Irish wit and engaging smile, Sister Frances said “yes” again when invited to become an aide at the Citiparks Senior Center in Beechview where “listening, counseling, and being present” to seniors re-energized her. “They gave me hope for the next phase of life,” she recalled at her 75th Jubilee.
When she returned to the Motherhouse in 2011, Sister Frances became a faithful volunteer in the Congregation’s Archives office where her historical perspective was valued and appreciated. Inspired by the faith of her parents and siblings who grew up poor, Sister Frances never forgot the generosity of her neighbors who often left groceries at their doorstep.
Recalling her varied ministries, Sister Frances once said, “My life has been full of invitations from God, and when I accept, I am full of happiness, peace and joy.”
Sister Frances was predeceased by a brother, Msgr. Francis J. Rooney, and two sisters, Mary (James) Glenn and Betty (Bob) Froehlich. She is survived by a niece, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephew; Associates; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden. The Sisters are grateful to the Supportive Living staff at the Motherhouse for their care of Sister Frances.
Services for Sister Frances
Friends will be received Monday, October 30, from 1 p.m. to the close of the Prayer Vigil, which begins at 6 p.m., and from Tuesday, October 31, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Medaille Hall at the Motherhouse. Get directions to the Motherhouse.
Mass of Christian Burial will be offered Tuesday, October 31, at 3 p.m. in the Motherhouse Chapel.
Donations in the name of Sister Frances may be sent to the Sisters of St. Joseph Memorial Fund, Development Office, 1020 State St., Baden, PA, 15005. Make an online donation in memory of Sister Frances.