In lieu of flowers, memorial donations
Obituary of Sister Pius
Sister Pius was born in County Wexford, Ireland on October 23, 1923. After professing her first vows at the Cluny Novitiate in Ireland on January 4, 1954, she set out for America for her new assignment at Stella Maris Home for Women on Washington Street in Newport. Her next mission was to the Cathedral in Providence where she not only served as chef for 26 years, but also ministered to the poor and elderly of the neighborhood and the patients at the ACI. Her next assignment, also in Providence, was at St. Margaret’s Home for Women on Dean Street where she cared for the elderly women boarders.
When St. Margaret's Home closed, she joined our Cluny community dedicated to St. Barbara, Patron of Miners at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Whitesville, WV. At that time, the miners had been on strike for over a year, so it was desperate. When the parishioners joined with members of other churches, Sister Pius was all in favor of helping local folks found a grassroots non-profit.
In May of 1987 the Helping Hands thrift shop opened with Pius as manager. She was thrilled to welcome the volunteers and the customers every day and made many friends.
Perhaps the most important thing Pius accomplished was to break down barriers and anti-Catholic prejudice. First, people met her as a kind woman; next, they discovered she was Catholic; and third, they finally knew her as a woman religious. In this area, less than 1% Catholic, with generations of bigotry, this could never be emphasized enough!
After many years as manager, Sister Pius retired as manager to become a volunteer. That gave her a more flexible schedule. She used the time for home visits and for providing transportation for the elderly poor. She would patiently drive them to all their monthly stops. If they became ill, Pius visited them and accompanied more than one person during their final illness.
Every Sunday, Sister Pius baked delicious Irish scones, buttered and slathered generously with marmalade for a grateful congregation at St. Joseph’s. She was very big-hearted and it showed in everything she did and said.
She was also a contemplative. “Prayer,” she would say, “is the simplest thing in the world." As our Founder Blessed Anne Marie had taught, Pius was a true Cluny missionary with the inner spirit of a Carmelite.
Sister Pius would have gladly spent her last days in Whitesville, but when the time came to leave she serenely, but tearfully left. That was typical of her. She had always been "happy in her own skin". She knew she was deeply loved by God, and she trusted that that love would accompany her where ever she went and whatever happened. After leaving West Virginia, she spent a few years at the Cluny Javouhey House Convent in Newport, she returned to her native Ireland, and took up residence at our Cluny Convent in Dublin for several years. She gently closed her eyes and went home to God on March 16, 2019. the eve of the Feast of Patrick, the Great Saint of Ireland.
Sister Pius was a marvelous gift to Cluny and to all wherever she served. She is missed by her brother, Brother Angelus (Thomas) More, her nephews, Cluny Sisters, their Affiliates and Associates. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to: Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny, PO Box 66, Newport, RI 02840-0066.
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