Sister Marianna Fieo died at Saint Joseph Villa, Flourtown, Pennsylvania on March 17, 2022. The Funeral Mass and burial were at Saint Joseph Villa on March 28, 2022.
Marianna, the daughter of Rinaldo and Dorothy was raised in Drexel Hill along with her brother Richard. They grew up experiencing both Catholic and Episcopalian faith traditions. Marianna recalled that when she was ten years old her mother converted to Catholicism.
It was at Saint Andrew School that Marianna met the Sisters of Saint Joseph and was attracted to their human and kind qualities. From there she attended Archbishop Prendergast High School where she met a teacher who strongly influenced her to become an educator.
In 1966 Marianna entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph along with fifteen other young women from her graduating class at Prendie. In March 1967 Marianna received the habit of the Sisters of Saint Joseph and the religious name Sister Leonard Anne. Her ministry in education began with teaching in several parochial schools in Philadelphia and in Bellefonte, Delaware. In 1977 Marianna was missioned to teaching at Sacred Heart High School in Vineland and then to high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Thirty-four of her forty-three years of teaching were spent at Archbishop Carroll High School.
Marianna found teaching teenagers exciting, challenging and fulfilling. To many of her students she was like “no other teacher they had experienced.” Marianna’s energetic style of teaching as well as her care and concern for her students taught them to value learning more than grades. She used literature to teach life lessons. Her students recognized that they are better people for the time they spent with her.
In offering words of remembrance, Sister Maureen Erdlen said this of Marianna: “. . . Marianna’s life was a quest for her true home. She had an abundance of brains which she used to serve others so generously. Her heart influenced all she did and led her to form strong and lasting relationships throughout her journey. And anyone who doubted her courage could not have been part of the journey of these long months when she faced her limitations with a strength and courage that would put many of us to shame. Ultimately though, her quest led her to her true home—life forever in the heart of God who drew her throughout her journey into God’s own life and love that exceeds all for which she could ever hope. The readiness is all—and Marianna, through the grace of her God and the gifts she received and gave, was ready.”
We give thanks for Marianna’s life with us and we know she now continues her life forever with our loving God.