sister sarah ann mitra

August 30, 1936 - February 8, 2017

A humble, grateful woman of faith who loved life.

Anthony and Sarah (Dilorenzo) Mitra, of St. Louis, Missouri, welcomed their first child, Rose Marie on August 30, 1936. In all, they had three daughters and three sons. Rose Marie graduated from St. Stephen Elementary and Rosati-Kain High School. She met our sisters at Rosati. “I was particularly fond of them ... they were very kind and thoughtful ... Sister de Chantal and Sister Anna Barbara really influenced me in my vocation.” 

She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on September 15, 1954, receiving the habit and the name Sister Sarah Ann on August 15, 1955. 

S. Sarah Ann ministered as a nurse’s aide at Nazareth Convent, St. Louis (1957); St. Joseph Community Hospital, Hancock, Michigan (1967); and St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf, University City, Missouri (1969). Sister Francis Rita Voivedich recalls, “We worked at Nazareth 50 years ago, but I always remember her as being most helpful and in later years so friendly.” And, Sister Laverne Aufmuth shares, “We were missioned together at Nazareth convent in the early '60s … She was eager to serve, happy and prayerful.” 

My memories … are from … St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf. She took care of the little girls’ dorm and the girls loved her. She was so gentle and always had a quick smile … Her gentle smile and caring ways will certainly be missed. —Sister Laura Gruber

In 1974, S. Sarah was diagnosed with MS. She spent time as a resident at St. Joseph Hospital and then at Nazareth Convent. In 1976, she felt well enough to resume ministry as a staff member at the Carondelet Day Care Center at the Provincial House. A year tutoring at St. Margaret of Scotland in St. Louis followed. S. Sarah then taught pre-school at St. Rita Grade School from 1978 until she became a volunteer at Our Lady of the Presentation (1982-1993). 

“Sarah was one of the most gentle, prayerful Sisters of St. Joseph I ever knew. She suffered much pain but never complained and always had a smile and kind word when she met you.” —Sister Maryellen Tierney

After volunteering for a year at Carondelet Day Care, S. Sarah began a much loved ministry of visiting the elderly homebound for St. Joseph Center Outreach (1994 -2007). Sister Sarah shared, 

I remember one lady, I knocked on the door … she said, ‘I’m not a Catholic.’ And I said, ‘Oh, I didn’t come to see you because you’re Catholic … but because you’re a person.’ Well, the door came open and she gave me a big hug … I’ve been visiting with her ever since.

In 2007, S. Sarah moved to Nazareth Living Center. Sister  Barbara Volk remembers her from art classes there. “She loved to do any project and she added such joy and fun to the group … Her joy was contagious!” 

“Whenever I would see her the warmth she expressed in her smile, her greeting was wonderful, and the twinkle in her eyes was the promise that it was all as genuine as the love of God.” —Sister Mary McGlone 

“This is a great loss for all of us, especially our reception … She worked hard and always did her best for others. We will miss her.” —Sister Mary Christopher Brockman

For 60 years I experienced her love and deep spirituality. She especially felt privileged to make directed retreats for many years … Her gentleness and beautiful smile came from way down in her soul where she experienced the unmistakable Presence of Jesus … She lived a simple and sacred life.  —Sister Marilyn Peot

Sister Helen Oates 

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