Sister Angela Rose Halpin
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praise to your name, Most High.” (Psalm 92:1)
“The words of the Psalmist direct one’s thoughts to faith, prayer and service. In reflecting on the life of Sister Angela Rose it seems these qualities fit her perfectly as she was a woman of great faith, fervent prayer and dedicated service,” said Sister Ann Casper in a commentary written by Sister Edwardine McNulty for Sister Angela Rose Halpin, who died March 12.
One of five children born to William and Nora (Hayes) Halpin, Winifred Mary Halpin entered this world on Jan. 26, 1912, in Chicago. She attended Our Lady of Sorrows Grade School and Providence High School, both in Chicago. She graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Academy, entering the Congregation on Aug. 20, 1929. She professed first and perpetual vows March 1, 1932, and Aug. 15, 1937, respectively. Sister Angela Rose earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a master’s degree in education administration from Catholic University of America.
Sister Angela Rose began teaching in 1932 at St. Joan of Arc, Indianapolis. Her other Indiana classrooms included St. Catherine, Fort Wayne, and Holy Cross and St. Agnes Grade School, Indianapolis. She spent one year at Blessed Sacrament, Burlington, N.C. Sister Angela Rose ministered on the East Coast at Dunblane and St. Ann, Washington, D.C., Holy Redeemer, Berwyn, Md., and Ascension, Halethorpe, Md. In Illinois, she served as a teacher or principal at St. Andrew, St. Mark and St. Columbkille, Chicago; and Immaculate Conception, Norwood Park.
In 1972, Sister Angela Rose left the classroom to commence a new ministry as the coordinator of a retirement facility in St. Angela Parish, Chicago. From 1976 to 1985, she ministered either at St. Joseph Province Center, Park Ridge, Ill., or as a parish minister at St. Paul of the Cross Parish, Park Ridge. She later served one year at Mother Theodore Guerin High School, River Grove, Ill., before retiring in 1987. She returned to the Woods in 1996.
“As a dedicated teacher and principal, she was well loved by the sisters and students. Dedicated as she was to the material to be taught, she had a great sense of humor and love for the students. In the summer of 2004, Sister Angela Rose received a letter from a former teacher who wrote, ‘Know this: you were a great influence on me. You taught me not only how to be a good teacher, but how to be loving in the classroom. Thank you so much,’” read Sister Ann.
“After her service in schools, Sister Angela Rose volunteered her services in pastoral ministry. She received certification from the Department of Pastoral Care at Mercy Hospital. Her supervisor said, ‘She brought sympathy to the sick and in addition her gifts of sincerity, discernment and a sense of humor,’” continued Sister Ann.
“The service she gave to so many was supported by her life of prayer. When she retired to the Woods, she had more time to spend in prayer. She spent hours in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, and she was faithful to joining the sisters for morning and evening prayers,” said Sister Ann.
“When I was pondering how to close these reflections on the life of Sister Angela Rose, I could almost feel her nudge — her not-so-gentle nudge — and hear her say, ‘You know what I would say.’ And in her wry sense of humor and a little grin she might add, ‘And I’ll have the last word.’ So I shall close with her farewell to us by saying for her, ‘God bless you and have a good rest of the day,’” said Sister Ann.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Angela Rose was celebrated March 17, with the Rev. Daniel Hopcus presiding. She is survived by one sister, Eleanor Miley, Sebring, Fla.
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