Sister Rose Marie Garvey
“When you seek me you shall find me.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
“Centuries after Jeremiah, Sister Rose Marie found in these words affirmation of her own life of faith, a life of never failing confidence in God. In fact, this passage from Jeremiah is among the few heavily lined passages in her well-used Bible,” said Sister Alexa Suelzer in her commentary for Sister Rose Marie Garvey, who died March 16, one day after her sister Sister Gertrude Therese died.
One of four children of James and Sarah (McGarvey) Garvey, Mary Bridget Garvey was born June 9, 1918, in Chicago. She attended Our Lady of Sorrows Grade School and Providence High School, both in Chicago. She entered the Congregation July 22, 1937, and professed first and perpetual vows Jan. 23, 1940, and Aug. 15, 1945, respectively. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, a master’s degree in education counseling from the University of Dayton and a doctorate in educational counseling from Ball State University.
Sister Rose Marie began teaching art in 1940 at Marywood, Evanston, Ill. In Indiana, she taught middle grades or high school at St. Agnes Grade School and Ladywood High School, Indianapolis; Sacred Heart, Terre Haute; St. Charles, Peru; and St. Mary, Lafayette. She spent one year ministering at St. Rose, Chelsea, Mass. Sister Rose Marie spent nine years in Chicago teaching at St. Columbkille and Providence high schools. From 1971 to 1987, she served as a psychologist at Good Samaritan Hospital and pastoral associate at Sacred Heart Parish, Vincennes, Ind. For the next three years, she ministered as a psychologist at Wishard Hospital, Indianapolis. From 1991 to 1992, Sister Rose Marie served as a consulting psychologist for the Franklin County Health Center, Franklin, Ind. She returned to the Woods in 1992 and ministered as the Congregation’s art curator until 2001.
“Students were drawn to Sister Rose Marie because she was attractive and approachable, and always concerned with their best interests, especially their spiritual interests. When you were with Sister Rose Marie it was always evident where her primary focus lay — with God and the things of God. Her artistic talent was put to good use. She not only taught art, but was of great and unselfish help with the projects of her less artistically gifted sisters,” said Sister Alexa.
“Sister Rose Marie’s effectiveness as a psychologist is attested not only by her colleagues, but to an even greater degree by those whose lives she touched as a counselor.
“Gifted though she was by nature and training, Sister Rose Marie was diffident about her own abilities and particularly about directing herself. Through the years she depended on the wise and friendly counsel of other men and women religious. The sorrows and humiliation of her declining years, however, called her to a lonely and an ever more faith-filled surrender to the One whose plans remained ultimately mysterious. Ended now are those decades of seeking God with her whole heart, and at long last God’s promised ‘future full of hope’ has become a present full of inexpressible joy and love,” said Sister Alexa.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Rose Marie was celebrated March 22, with the Rev. Daniel Hopcus presiding. She was preceded in death by all her siblings.
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