Sister Anna Clare Fitzpatrick died October 14, 2019 at Saint Joseph Villa. Her Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated October 21, 2019 in Saint Joseph Villa Chapel where relatives, friends and her sisters in community rejoiced in celebrating a life whose love and gratitude to her faithful God touched deeply and unforgettably all whom she encountered.
Mary Margaret, the youngest and only daughter of Edward and Mary DeSilvey Fitzpatrick, was born July 4th, 1922. She recognized the unique fondness of being “doted on” by her parents and especially by her brothers who preceded her in birth at ages 19, 16 and 10 years, as well as six nephews who delighted in favoring their special aunt.
Following her education at Saint Columba School and Hallahan High School, Mary Margaret worked at Sears.
While claiming that she never considered a religious vocation, she did visit her classmates at Mount Saint Joseph Novitiate and eventually realized the promptings of the Holy Spirit to embrace a life of chastity, poverty and obedience as a Sister of Saint Joseph. In 1942, Mary Margaret entered the Congregation and at her Reception the following April received the name Sister Anna Clare.
For many years Sister Anna Clare delighted in educating students in the elementary grades in the Archdioceses of Philadelphia and Newark as well as the Allentown Diocese. Among her happy memories were the eleven years she taught at Our Lady of the Valley in Orange, New Jersey, which afforded her opportunities to visit Radio City Music Hall in New York City, often for free, sometimes for ninety cents. In later years Sister served as computer room monitor, tutor, school secretary and convent helper. In 2006 she accepted with joy God’s invitation to be a prayerful presence at Saint Joseph Villa.
Sister Anna Clare, a woman of humble gratitude to God, reflected the wisdom of Meister Eckart, “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” Such was the experience of the sisters with whom Sister lived. Each felt genuinely appreciated, loved and reverenced by her. At Saint Joseph Villa, Sister Anna Clare had only love and gratitude for the bounty afforded her through the caring ministry and “healing presence” of those she encountered daily.
Hers was a deep sense of the action of the Holy Spirit in her life. She revered The Imitation of Christ and Thomas a Kempis’ “A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver. How blessed are we for Sister Anna Clare whose life was a continual grateful response to the love of the Giver and who lives for all eternity in the glorious bliss of the Giver’s love.