Sister Ann Raymond Rafter died on May 22, 2020. There was a memorial service at Saint Joseph Villa for Sister; this was followed by her burial in the congregation cemetery.
Sister Ann was baptized Mary Theresa Rafter in St. Anne parish church in Philadelphia. Later, the family, her dad, Raymond, her mother, Sarah and the two girls, moved to St. Hugh parish where she and her sister, Betty, attended the parish school. Ann later attended Little Flower High School where she was an honor student and editor of the school yearbook. While she was in high school, she also had some experience in the working world, as a waitress in a local restaurant, and as a salesgirl at Lit Brothers. After her graduation she worked in the clerical department of the University of Pennsylvania for a year.
The Sisters of Saint Joseph were a part of her life from first grade at St. Hugh School through her years at Little Flower. It was no wonder that she chose to become part of the Congregation; in 1950 she entered the novitiate at Chestnut Hill and about one year later at the ceremony of Reception received the name, Sister Ann Raymond.
Ann began her teaching mission at Corpus Christi School in Philadelphia, then at Epiphany in South Philly, Blessed Sacrament in Margate and St. Coleman, Ardmore. She later moved to secondary schools, where she taught French, Spanish and Latin at Bishop Kendrick H.S., at Bel Air in Maryland and Little Flower H.S. in Philadelphia. In the latter schools, she also served in the Discipline Department (now known as Student Affairs). At Archbishop Wood H.S. she was Director of Discipline.
For many in the Community, as well as for others in various communities, Sister Ann was the ever-welcoming face of St. Mary by- the- Sea Retreat House at Cape May. She had worked as a volunteer for a number of years and became Director in 1999, serving in that capacity until she retired in 2019.
Ann had some sage advice for anyone considering religious life: live one day at a time; do your best, but don’t expect perfection; try to treat others as you would like to be treated and master the art of peaceful confrontation. She could preach well what she practiced well.
Many images of God are provided by Scripture; Ann’s favorite was the Good Shepherd: Wisdom-Giver in times of decisions, Protector in times of troubles, Guide on the path toward home. Ann has reached home; let us pray for her and with her. Rest in peace, Ann.