Sister Anne Mooney, 70, St. Ursula nun

May 17, 2001|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

After receiving a diagnosis of cancer about 18 months ago, Sister Anne Mooney, S.S.N.D., continued her work with the sick, poor and elderly parishioners of St. Ursula Roman Catholic Church in Parkville.

Sister Anne began her pastoral ministry at St. Ursula in 1986. She also volunteered one weekend a month on the night shift at the Maria Health Center at Villa Assumpta, the motherhouse of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in the Woodbrook section of Baltimore County.

Sister Anne, who continued her duties until a month ago, died of cancer Sunday at Villa Assumpta. She was 70.

Monsignor A. Thomas Baumgartner, pastor of St. Ursula, recalled her working though she was in pain.

"She was an extremely humble person who was very dedicated to her work," he said.

"She loved personally dealing with people and was always trying to help the poor. Anyone who came in here, no matter how many times, always got something. She was also very good at getting volunteers to help with her work and to follow her," said Monsignor Baumgartner.

"She always had a great deal of inner strength, energy and was able to get a lot of work done," the monsignor said.

"Because of her work with the poor and shut-ins, I always referred to her as the Mother Theresa of our parish," said the Rev. Gerald Hynes, C.P., an associate at the church.

"She was a very diffident, almost shy person who had a deep spirituality. She was almost Christ-like. And because of her spirituality, that was why she was so effective. She also felt such a responsibility toward her ministry that she often worked seven days a week," Father Hynes said.

"She was a great enabler of people," said Sister Caroleen Baummer, S.S.N.D., administrator of pastoral services at Villa Assumpta. "Even while undergoing chemotherapy treatment, she still carried out her loving ministry.

"As part of her pastoral ministry, she organized food and clothing drives. She was generous and outgoing to her colleagues and to those she ministered," Sister Caroleen said.

"She was a ... well-loved person who made friends wherever she went. And she was the kind of person who always pushed herself," said Sister Jane Scanlan, S.S.N.D., who had worked with Sister Anne at Villa Maria at Notch Cliff, the former retirement home of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Glen Arm.

Anne Mooney was born in North Baltimore and attended Blessed Sacrament parochial school. After graduating from Towson Catholic High School in 1949, she entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame and professed her vows in 1952.

Sister Anne's religious name was Mary Thomasina until the late 1960s, when nuns were allowed to resume using their given names.

She earned a teaching certificate from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and, in 1966, a licensed practical nursing certificate from the Camillus School of Nursing in Darby, Pa.

In 1952, she began teaching elementary pupils at parochial schools in Roxbury, Mass., and later at St. James in Baltimore.

In 1959, she joined the staff at Villa Maria at Notch Cliff and then worked for a short time at Holy Family Infirmary in Milwaukee. She returned to Baltimore and was assigned to the Institute of Notre Dame and later Villa Assumpta.

She was an avid Orioles and Ravens fan.

A Mass of Resurrection will be offered at 10 a.m. today at Villa Assumpta, 6401 N. Charles St.

Sister Anne is survived by a brother, Michael Mooney, and three sisters, Marie Preller, Margaret Rhinehardt and Jane Fields, all of Baltimore; and many nieces and nephews.

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