Sister Regina Raymond died on August 11, 2019, at St. Joseph Villa and was buried from the Villa on August 16, 2019. Sister spent 64 years of her life as a Sister of Saint Joseph. Born in 1936 in Abington, PA, Frances was the sixth daughter of Francis and Regina Conway. Nicknamed “Frankie,” she fulfilled the parents’ dream of a son albeit in name only. The following year another daughter joined the Conway family, Dolores. Frankie and Dolores were very close as they shared the same elementary experiences at Immaculate Conception in Jenkintown and Notre Dame and St. Basil High Schools.
Frankie followed her older sister’s path by entering the Congregation in 1955. Josephine, her sister, entered in 1950 and received the religious name, Sister Albertine. Frankie’s name, Regina Raymond was in honor of her mother and cousin, respectively. As Sister Regina Raymond, she began her ministry in the primary grades. From St. Anne’s in Philadelphia, Regina traveled to Camden, Allentown, Trenton, and Wilmington sharing her gifts, talents, and quiet humor throughout all of these cities. In the early 1970’s, Regina responded to a call from her family to take a leave absence from the Community and care for this individual. Her family hoped that Regina would receive the care she meted out during her years of serving her family. At St. Joseph’s Villa Regina received that deep and professional attention.
After returning to the Community, Regina was diagnosed with M.S., which explained her lack of energy. During this time of transition and acceptance, Isaiah’s words, “I have called you by name; you are mine” sustained and supported Regina. Indeed, they became her mantra. In 2002, Regina ended her active duty and let others care for her at the Villa. Her quiet presence and keen sense of humor were her trademarks with both her family and her friends. Her nieces and nephews shared that Regina discovered a new use for Windex. “Frankie” would wipe down the sliding boards with this cleanser thereby enabling her younger family members to slip down even faster. Now we have 101 uses for Windex.
In Regina’s bedroom, the unique crucifix depicted Christ leaning forward. Therefore, members of her family and her friends interpreted this to mean that Jesus was listening intently to Regina’s prayers. Her deep spirituality, quiet humor, and keen caring marked her life, and she died as she lived, quietly and peacefully. Regina’s life at the Villa was a living symbol of prayer and presence of a Sister of Saint Joseph. As remembered in her liturgy, she was a true “gentle woman…full of grace…a quiet light… of wisdom and love.” Be at peace, Regina, for living a rich full life.