Sister Mary Avila Long

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Sister Mary Avila Long, RSM, a member of the Mid-Atlantic Community of the Sisters of Mercy, died Friday, April 25, 2014, at Mercy Center, Dallas.

Baptized Magdalene, Sister was born March 31, 1917, in Croyle Township, and was the daughter of the late Joseph and Clara Smith Long.

Sister graduated from Summerhill Township High School and received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Misericordia University.

Sister entered the Sisters of Mercy in Dallas on March 2, 1939, and professed her vows on Aug. 16, 1941.

During her years in the Ministry of Education, Sister Avila taught in elementary schools in the dioceses of Scranton, Altoona-Johnstown and Pittsburgh. For 32 years, Sister Avila taught and ministered to the parishioners of St. Paul's Church in Butler. Completing her time there, Sister became an active member of the prayer ministry at McAuley Hall, Cresson, and then at Mercy Center, Dallas.

Sister is survived by her sisters, Stella Strittmatter, Patton; Hilda Karl, Fairmont, W.Va.; Mary Chirdon, Canonsburg; Jane Moore, Ebensburg; and Irma Senner, Portage; her brother, Norman, Sidmon; and the Sisters of Mercy.

Sister was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters, Catherine (her twin), Alma and Clara; and her brothers, Lawrence, Joseph, Regis and Cletus.

Sister Avila will be remembered as a wonderful teacher and a dedicated Sister of Mercy who lived her vows intently. Her years at St. Paul's in Butler were among her fondest memories and all there had a special remembrance in her prayers.

The celebration of Sister's life will begin with a prayer service and visiting hours at Mercy Center, Dallas, at 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Monday. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m.

Burial services will be at the Sisters of Mercy Cemetery, Cresson, at 4 p.m. Monday.

Memorial contributions in the name of Sister Avila may be made to Mercy Center, P.O. Box 370, Dallas, PA 18612.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.eblakecollins.com.
Funeral Home
E. Blake Collins Funeral Home
159 George Avenue
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705
570-822-3514
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Published in Citizens' Voice on Apr. 26, 2014