Aston, PA — Sister Edward Thomas Griffin, OSF, died in Assisi House on July 27. She was eighty-nine years of age and had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for sixty-nine years. Sister Edward Thomas (Julia Lucy Griffin) was born in Moycullen, County Cork, Ireland. She entered the congregation in 1935 and professed her first vows in 1938. She ministered primarily in healthcare and earned her R.N. from St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland. Her leisure activities included various types of craft work.
In the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Sister Edward Thomas ministered at St. Joseph Medical Center for fifty-four years, both in its current location in Towson and at its original site on Caroline Street. During her years there (1938-1946, 1948-1952, 1956-1969, 1970-1999) she served in various capacities: nursing student, nursing supervisor, Assistant Director of Outpatient Services, and Pastoral Associate.
From1946-1948 Sister Edward Thomas ministered at Our Lady of Angels Maternity Hospital in Pensacola, Florida. She was the first of three sisters sent by the congregation to open the maternity hospital for African American women—the first of its kind in the South. The hospital was staffed at the request of Reverend John J. Raleigh, then pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Pensacola. The Franciscan sisters accepted therequest to staff the hospital after more than eighty other congregations had declined. Sister Edward Thomas recalled that the dayafter the hospital opened, the first baby was born, the first of 11,016 babies born there over a period of eighteen years.
Sister Edward Thomas also ministered at St. Patrick Hospital in Mallow, County Cork, Ireland (1953-1956); St. Agnes Hospital in Philadelphia (1952-1953); and St. Francis Hospital, Trenton (1969-1970). In 1999 she moved to Assisi House in Aston where she served in prayer ministry until her death.
All services will be held in Assisi House, 600 Red Hill Road, on Wednesday, Ausust 1. A Christian Wake Service will be held at 9:30 A.M followed by viewing. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 A.M. Burial will be in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Aston. Sister Edward Thomas is survived by her brother, Father Patrick Griffin, OFM, nieces and nephews, and by her Franciscan family. Donations in her name can be made to Franciscan Ministries Foundation, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014.