Aston, PA—Sister Ellen Mary Meskill, 84, (formerly Sister Mary Assisium) died in Assisi House on July 20, 2017. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 65 years. Sister Ellen Mary was born in Mt. Russell, Charleville, in County Cork, Ireland. She entered the congregation in 1947 and professed her first vows in 1952. Her sisters, Sister John Helene (now deceased) and Sister Geralda also entered the congregation. Sister Ellen Mary earned a B.S. in Education from Marylhurst College in Portland, Oregon, and an M.A. in Education from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.
Sister Ellen Mary’s 22 years of ministry in the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, included teaching at St. James School in McMinnville as well as Blessed Sacrament School and St. John Fisher School, both in Portland. She also ministered at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Portland where she prepared meals both for those who came to the center for renewal programs and for the Glisan Street Drop-In Center where people who were homeless came for a meal.
During her 20 years in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Sister Ellen Mary worked at Assisi House, the congregation’s retirement residence in Aston, served in local house ministry in Our Lady of Angels Convent, and worked as a volunteer receptionist at Neumann University. In 2016 she moved to Assisi House where she served in prayer and hospitality ministry until her death.
Sister Ellen Mary also worked in the Diocese of Baker for five years. She taught at Sacred Heart Academy in Klamath Falls and St. Francis Academy in Baker, Oregon.
During her years in the Diocese of Spokane, Sister Ellen Mary taught at St. Charles School and worked as a house parent at St. Joseph Children’s Home.
Additional ministry experience included teaching at Sacred Heart School in Allentown, Pennsylvania; St. Edward School in Corona, California; and St. Charles School, in Tacoma, Washington. Sister Ellen Mary also served for several years as a caretaker for members of her family.
All services will be held in Assisi House, 600 Red Hill Road, Aston, Pennsylvania, 19014 on Tuesday, July 25. 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. In addition to Sister Geralda, Sister Ellen Mary is survived by two brothers, John and Pat Meskill, by her many nieces and nephews, and by her Franciscan family. Donations in her name can be made to the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014.