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Following a yearlong illness, Sr. Frances Helen Delaney gave her life over to God on November 22, 2014. Sister lived for a few years in the Allendale Community for Senior Living in Allendale, New Jersey, where she received care for her progressive health challenges. As her health issues increased, she received services through hospice. Shortly before her death, Sr. Frances became less and less responsive before slipping into a comatose state. Srs. Anita McArdle and Rita Marie Donnelly were faithful supports throughout Sr. Frances’ stay in Allendale. Toward the end of Sr. Frances’ life, Srs. Marilyn Trowbridge, Pauline Sweeney, Madonna Hoying, and Mary Maloney and the Sisters of St. Francis Community were privileged to spend time in prayer with Sr. Frances, including the renewal of vows. Sr. Frances peacefully entered into the life promised her on the day she professed her vows. She served God faithfully as a Franciscan Sister of the Poor for sixty-six years, participating in several ministries in New York, New Jersey, and South Carolina.
 
Anna Maloney and Denis Delaney created a warm and loving home for their five lively children—Dorothy, Margaret, Thomas, Joan, and Frances—in Jersey City, New Jersey. Frances Helen, born on June 20, 1927, received her elementary education at St. Paul Parish School and attended high school at St. Dominic Academy. Frances and her sister received many awards given at their 1944 graduation ceremony.

On February 2, 1948, at age twenty-one, Frances traveled to Mount Alverno Convent in Warwick, New York, to prepare to dedicate her life to God as a Franciscan Sister of the Poor.  Following her novitiate studies, she made her first vows on October 17, 1950.

As a young Sister, Sr. Frances worked for a year in the pharmacy department in St. Francis Community Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina, before being assigned to the business office at St. Francis Hospital in the Bronx, New York. She later managed the business office at St. Anthony Hospital in Woodhaven, New York.

After professing Perpetual Vows on October 17, 1955, Sr. Frances continued using her business skills by ministering in the office at St. Anthony Community Hospital in Warwick. In 1960, Sr. Frances welcomed visitors to Mount Alverno Convent, serving as receptionist and telephone operator.

After earning a degree in religious education from Caldwell College, Sr. Frances spent nearly ten years preparing students for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, First Eucharist, and Confirmation at St. Henry School in Bayonne, New Jersey—a time she always remembered with great fondness.

As she began to decrease the time in active ministry, Sr. Frances relied on her office background to assist in some routine office chores in the Congregation’s office in Brooklyn and later as a volunteer in the office at Mount Alverno Convent. Having more free time allowed Sr. Francis to focus more intensely on her relationship with God as Creator. Sister enjoyed art and expressed herself through contemplative reflections of nature and creation. She always appreciated a good celebration and enjoyed the opportunity for music, dance, and laughter.

Sr. Frances was an amateur ornithologist and enjoyed daily walks, listening for the familiar and unfamiliar sounds of birds in the area, searching the trees, buildings, and skies for sightings of these unique creatures. She deepened her love for God’s creation by spending sabbatical time at Genesis Farm in Blairstown, New Jersey, and she became passionate in sharing her insights on how to best care for Mother Earth. Sr. Frances was recognized by the Franciscan Federation for her dedication and appreciation of the wonders and delights of nature.

Sr. Frances was faithful to her religious vocation by attending assemblies, meetings, and programs as an active participant. She developed and nurtured relationships with many Sisters through phone calls and cards sent for special occasions, such as birthdays and jubilees. Sister held a deep fondness in her heart and was energized by the works of our Sisters in mission, especially our pioneer Sisters in the Philippines.

Sr. Frances, we are grateful for your special presence among us. We bid you farewell as you begin your new life with God, your Creator, in fullest measure.

Sr. Arleen Bourquin, SFP

Published: February 19, 2015