Aston, PA—Sister Mary Matthew Cola, OSF, 88, died on October 26. She had been a Sister of St. Francis for 63 years. Sister Matthew (Grace Caroline) was born in Brooklyn, New York, where she was a member of St. Michael Parish and a graduate of Dominican Commercial High in Jamaica, New York. She entered the Franciscan Sisters of Ringwood (a congregation that later merged with the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia) in 1951 and professed her first vows in 1952. Sister Mary Matthew earned a B.S. in Education from Seton Hall University. She ministered in education both as teacher and principal and was a very talented artist and art instructor. She participated in many art exhibits.
Sister Matthew ministered for 27 years in the Diocese of Paterson. She taught at Red House School and St. Catherine School in Ringwood; and was teacher and later principal at St. Francis School in Haskel. From 1995-2005 Sister Matthew served the Franciscan Sisters of Ringwood with fundraising efforts—holding garage sales out of Mt. St. Francis Convent. Additional ministry work includes local house ministry at Our Lady Queen of Peace convent in Hewitt.
Sister Matthew ministered in the Archdiocese of Newark for 20 years. She taught and served as principal at Assumption School in Emerson, then returned later as librarian and music/art instructor. She also was teacher and principal at St. Anthony School in East Newark and principal at St. Ann School in Hoboken.
Sister Mary Matthew also ministered for nine years in the Brooklyn diocese at St. Benedict School and Holy Family School. Additionally, she ministered as librarian for two years in the Archdiocese of New York at Sacred Heart School in Suffern. In 2013 Sister Matthew moved to Assisi House, the congregation’s retirement residence in Aston, Pennsylvania, where she served in prayer ministry until her death.
Services will be held in Assisi House, 600 Red Hill Road, Aston, Pennsylvania, 19014 on Thursday, October 29. A Christian Wake Service will be held at 9:30 A.M. followed by viewing. Mass of Christian Burial at will be at 11 A.M. Burial will be in God’s Acre Cemetery in Ringwood, New Jersey, on Friday, October 30 around 12 noon. Sister Mary Matthew Cola is survived by her nieces and nephews, cousins, 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.Please check back for sister’s obituary. Thank you!