SISTER ANN TERESA (Mary) KLUCHARICH, R.A., known as “Sister Ann” to her Assumption Sisters and her many friends in Lansdale, and as “Aunt Mitzi” to her large and loving family, went home to God on June 20, 2016. She was 89 years old and in the 58th year of her religious profession.
Born in Coplay, PA, to a family of immigrants from the borderlands between Austria and Hungary, the young Mary grew up speaking German and English. As a youngster, she experienced a very strong call to the nursing profession, graduating from the Sacred Heart Hospital of Nursing (Allentown) in 1948. Soon, however, she heard another call, this time to religious life, which led her to enter the Religious of the Assumption in 1956. She made her first vows in the congregation in 1958 and her final vows in 1963.
Sr. Ann’s care for and interest in the sick and infirm continued throughout her life. She worked at Germantown Hospital in the 1960s and 70s and at Wesley Long Hospital in Greensboro, NC, a “predominantly Baptist” hospital in the late 1970s. A letter found among her things attests that at a time when Catholics were rare in that part of the country, “a nun in religious habit giving care to patients [was] quite a miracle for this missionary area of North Carolina.” Her strong work ethic and standards of professional care made a favorable impression on the folks down that way.
This held true for her other apostolates as well, including her teaching stints in the mission school of the Assumption Sisters in Baie Comeau, Quebec, at Ravenhill Academy in Philadelphia, and at the Assumption Academy in Bay Haven, FL.
Eventually, she was posted to Lansdale, or more properly, to Saint Stanislaus parish, where she made many friends for herself and the Assumption Sisters by her kindness, her clarity, her willingness to take on the tough tasks, and her zeal – passion, really – for the religious formation of people who wished to become Catholics. Her long time work in the RCIA helped many to discover the beauties of the Catholic faith.
As time passed, and her health began to fail, Sr. Ann was more and more confined to the convent, but thanks to the wonderful generosity of the many friends she’d made over so many years – as well as her family and community — she was rarely alone. She maintained a lively interest in the lives not only of her visitors, but also of their spouses, children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters. When she said she would pray for you, you knew that she would. (And if she also invited you to a game of Rummi-Kub or Scrabble, you knew that you wouldn’t receive any quarter; with the same integrity she brought to the rest of her life, Sr. Ann played to win.)
She is survived by her nieces and nephews and by her religious community. Her Assumption Sisters want to thank all of her friends and her many care-givers for their kindness to and care of Sister Ann during these last years. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the work of the Assumption Sisters, 506 Crestview Rd., Lansdale, PA 19446 (www.assumptionsisters.org) would be appreciated.
Sister’s viewing will be held Friday evening, June 24 from 7 to 9:00 PM at Simcox-McIlvaine Funeral Home, 532 E. Main Street, Lansdale, PA. An additional viewing will be held Saturday morning, June 25 from 9:30-10:15 at St. Stanislaus Church, followed by the Funeral Mass at 10:30 AM. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery in West Conshohocken.