Sister Alma Francis Collins, educator

March 06, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Sister Alma Francis Collins, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis, whose career as an educator spanned more than 40 years, died Feb. 21 of cardiopulmonary collapse at Assisi House, her order's retirement home in Aston, Pa.

She was 89.

Nora Teresa Collins was born in Bullane, Ireland, where she was a member of St. Coleman Parish in County Cork.

She entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1937 and professed her vows in Philadelphia three years later.

Sister Alma earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1964 from Mount St. Mary University in Emmitsburg, and a master's degree in administration in 1974 from Catholic University of America.

From 1940 to 1942, Sister Alma taught elementary students at the former St. Paul Parochial School in East Baltimore, and from 1956 to 1967, was on the faculty of St. Anthony Parochial School in Gardenville.

Sister Alma was a teacher and principal of the Shrine of the Little Flower Parochial School from 1970 to 1972.

During her lengthy career, Sister Alma held teaching assignments and principalships in the Archdiocese of Washington, the Diocese of Pensacola- Tallahassee, Fla., and the Diocese of Charleston, S.C.

From 1983 to 1985, she was librarian at Neumann University in Aston, and at the San Damiano Retreat Center, also in Aston, from 1985 to 1989.

Sister Alma moved to Our Lady of Angels Convent in Aston in 1985, where she was house treasurer and lived until moving to Assisi House five years ago.

She enjoyed listening to classical music and was a fan of musicals.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered Tuesday for Sister Alma at Assisi House.

Surviving are a brother, Thomas Collins, and two sisters, Rita Costello and Sara Collins, all of Ireland.

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