Sister Elizabeth Ann Flori
“O God, you have searched me and you know me … with all my ways you are acquainted.” (Psalm 139:1-3)
“How well do we know Sister Elizabeth Ann Flori? Does anyone know her through and through? Were we acquainted with all her ways?” rhetorically asked Sister Mary Pat Peacock in her commentary for Sister Elizabeth Ann, who died Sept. 1.
One of four children, Catherine Lucille Flori was born Jan. 30, 1926, in Arvada, Colo., to Anthony and Novel Colvin Flori. She attended Arvada Grade and Junior High schools in Arvada and her first two years at Arvada High School. When Catherine Lucille was in her teens, her mother died.
“Catherine promised her mother she would take care of her younger sister, Dorothy. Besides doing that, she kept house and cooked for her father and her two brothers. The family moved from Colorado to Vincennes, where Catherine finished her high school education at St. Rose Academy,” said Sister Mary Pat.
Sister Elizabeth Ann entered the Congregation July 22, 1945, and professed first and perpetual vows Jan. 23, 1948, and 1953, respectively. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a master’s degree in education from Indiana State University.
Sister Elizabeth Ann’s first grade-school ministry was at St. Mel-Holy Ghost in Chicago in 1948. Her Indiana classrooms included St. Paul, Sellersburg; St. Jude and St. John the Baptist, Fort Wayne; St. Anthony, Indianapolis; and Holy Family, Jasper. She spent nine years in Oklahoma, teaching at Corpus Christi, Oklahoma City, and Immaculate Conception, Tulsa, where she also ministered as principal. Sister Elizabeth Ann served five years at St. John in Robstown, Texas, as either a teacher, principal or religious education coordinator. She ministered six years at Good Shepherd, Pacifica, Calif.
“In 1986, Sister Elizabeth Ann returned to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods to offer her services as a day- and night-time driver, to have the ‘beeper,’ that is, to be on call at any time to take someone to the doctor, hospital or wherever,” shared Sister Mary Pat.
“How many hours Sister Elizabeth Ann spent on her feet making so many sisters look and feel beautiful by washing, cutting, setting their hair and giving them permanents. And did you ever try to pay her for her service? No way! That was her contribution to the Congregation.
“Sister Elizabeth Ann will be remembered for her loving care of Sisters Ann Maureen Loaney (RIP) and Claudia Lewis. Sister Elizabeth Ann was very faithful to taking Sister Claudia to the Bluebird Camp for cancer survivors every year. This was very special for both of them.
“Sister Elizabeth Ann was one of the blue bird monitors here at the Woods each year for quite a few years. She and Sister Claudia had their bluebird box to watch over and report on.
“Where else would you find Sister Elizabeth Ann? At Rosary Hill, taking care of the dogs and cats when the sisters living there were away.
“Pain and frustration were a part of Sister Elizabeth Ann’s life, but her prayer life helped to keep her centered on God’s Providence,” continued Sister Mary Pat.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Elizabeth Ann was celebrated Sept. 4, with the Rev. Daniel Hopcus presiding. She is survived by her brothers, George of Goodland, Kan., and Robert of Longmont, Colo.
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