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Sister Elizabeth Mast received God’s call to fullness of life on Sunday, July 1, 2012 at about 6:30 AM and answered it with peace in her heart.  As she grew weaker, Sister Elizabeth began praying to God that she would be called to the reward that was promised when she made her vows as a Franciscan Sister of the Poor.  On Tuesday, June 26th ,  it became apparent that her prayers would soon be answered.

Sisters from St. Clare Convent and other local communities were frequent visitors, praying with Sister Elizabeth that her final journey would be grace filled.  At that time Sister Paula Huecker engaged Hospice to provide the extra services that help the dying transition into new life.  By Friday June 29th, Sister Elizabeth was no longer responsive to those who visited her and began taking her final steps towards eternal life. Sister Elizabeth requested that her final resting place be Calvary Cemetery in Quincy, Illinois.

Elizabeth Carline was born on July 20, 1922 to Clara Talken and August Mast.  Times were difficult as these proud parents of eight provided for their children during the Great Depression.  They were active members of their parish in Quincy, Illinois and Elizabeth completed her elementary education in the parish school in 1936.  She attended Notre Dame Academy for two years and completed her high school education after she joined the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor.

Elizabeth met Sister Sylvester, who came to her home on one of her many begging ventures. Elizabeth was very impressed by the humility and simplicity of Sister Sylvester and as a result felt drawn to her Congregation.  Later she would meet the Sisters who ministered to the people of Quincy at St. Mary Hospital.

Leaving Quincy for Cincinnati at age 17 must have seemed as if she were traveling to the end of the world in those days before Interstate highways.  Elizabeth arrived at St. Clare Convent on February 2, 1940 with the enthusiasm of the young woman she was.  During her novitiate and after she professed her Temporary Vows on September 8, 1942, Elizabeth attended high school, receiving her diploma in 1944 from Our Lady of the Angels School.  Sister Elizabeth made her Perpetual Profession on September 8, 1947.

Early in her religious life, Sister Elizabeth worked in the business and purchasing offices of several hospitals sponsored by the Congregation in Ohio, Kentucky, and Kansas.  In 1960 she was assigned as the Provincial Bursar for the St. Anthony Province in New York.  In 1966 she returned to Ohio again to the business office at St. Anthony Hospital in Columbus. Then Sister assisted with the Markham Prayer Card Apostolate located at St. Clare Convent.

Sister spent nine years at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Dayton, first in the purchasing office and then as the Director of Volunteers.  In 1978, Sister Elizabeth became more involved with ministries involving direct service to the poor.  She worked as a pastoral minister at Miami Valley Hospital, also in Dayton.  As her parents became affected by the dynamics of aging, Sister Elizabeth returned to Quincy to help her sister care for them.

Elizabeth took a course to become a home care aide, which she did for five years.  Later she became active in a number of volunteer ministries at St. John the Baptist Parish that included the children’s religious education program, RCIA , evangelization retreats, visiting the sick -- including taking communion to the home bound, and coordinating the parish volunteers.

In addition to the many activities that filled her time in Quincy, Sister Elizabeth took a course on the Church’s social teachings.  Once she completed the course, she participated in Pro-Life Marches, helped with a hunger banquet, and distributed information informing people about poverty and homelessness.  In 2001 Sister Elizabeth returned to Cincinnati to retire; however, she remained actively involved in the activities of the Congregation and visited the Sisters who were confined to the Terrace.

Sister Elizabeth was her own person.  She possessed an eclectic interest in many things.  When questionnaires were sent out, she was always ready to enter into the discussion. She believed in the power of spiritual healing and was devoted to praying for others.

In 2010 as Sister Elizabeth began to recognize that her physical stamina was beginning to fail, she was transferred to Mercy Franciscan Terrace where she endeared herself to the staff and other residents.  It was in her last home that she entered into the arms of her Creator.

Sister Elizabeth, you shared your many gifts with the Congregation.  We are grateful for all you have contributed to the lives of your sister Religious, family and all those whose lives you touched.

Sister Arleen Bourquin, sfp