Sister Mary Rosalma Pawlak, Felician Sister for 76 years
Sister Mary Rosalma Pawlak, a Felician sister for 76 years, died Nov. 28 in Blessed Mary Angela Care Center, where she had been a patient since 2011. She was 98.
Born in Morris Run, Pa., one of 11 children, the former Josephine Pawlak was a member of St. Casimir Parish in Elmira and was a graduate of Elmira Free Academy.
She received a bachelor’s degree from Mount St. Joseph Teachers College, now Medaille College. After earning a diploma from Rochester Dental Dispensary, she became a licensed dental hygienist.
She joined one of her older sisters, Sister Mary Adorata Pawlak, a special education teacher, in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Province of the Felician Sisters in 1942. She professed her perpetual vows in 1950.
Sister Rosalma was a dental hygienist in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Home for Children in Cheektowaga for 27 years, while also assisting as a chauffeur and directing a group of boys. She then was an administrator at the home for seven more years. Her time at the home was interrupted by an assignment to Boonville, where she was religious education coordinator for several parishes.
Later she served at Guardian Angel Day Care Center in Buffalo, where she was a part-time teacher, office aide, social worker and administrator. She retired as director of the center in 1989.
She then was a full-time chauffeur for 15 years for the sisters at Villa Maria Infirmary in Buffalo and continued part time for several more years.
She also took special care of the area by the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes on the convent grounds. When several sisters from India came to live with the Felician Sisters in 2006, she helped them adapt.
Survivors include a niece, nephews and cousins.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Dec. 1, in Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent Chapel, 600 Doat St.