McCLAIN Sr. M. SYLVIA (MARY FLORENCE)
A Pittsburgh Sister of Mercy for 78 years, died at the Convent of Mercy on October 24, 2012. Born in Wilmerding, PA, she was 99 years old. Daughter of Patrick and Stella (Shiring) McClain, Sister Sylvia entered the Sisters of Mercy from St. Colman Parish in Turtle Creek in 1934 and made final vows in 1940. Sister Sylvia received a BA from Mt. Mercy College (now Carlow University) and an MS in Education and MA in Sociology from Duquesne University. She taught in diocesan elementary schools including St. Agnes, Our Lady of Mercy Academy, St. Elizabeth of Hungary and Immaculate Conception, Washington, PA. Sister Sylvia also served in the Philippines for the Peace Corps before returning to work as a guidance counselor at St. Paul Cathedral High School. Sister Sylvia then ministered as the congregational health insurance coordinator at the Convent of Mercy until 1996 and as a volunteer in the archives department. She also volunteered at Mercy Hospital and as a visitor at St. Joseph's Nursing Home, Mercy Senior Care. Her diminutive stature sustained a strong and deeply spiritual woman with a seemingly bottomless energy for service. Her years in the Peace Corps among the people in the Philippines marked her forever. Even in her later years, Sister Sylvia's eyes lit up with love and delight as she recalled her various ministries and the joys she knew with her family and the Sisters of Mercy. Preceded in death by her parents and sisters, Sister Patrick McClain, RSM, Agnes Nachman, and Stella Doyle; Sister Sylvia is survived by devoted nieces and nephews who maintained loving contact with her. Friends will be received Sunday from 1-8 p.m. at the Convent of Mercy, 3333 Fifth Avenue. Funeral Mass will be celebrated Monday, October 29, 2012 at 11:00 in the Chapel at the Convent of Mercy, followed by interment in St. Xavier Cemetery, Latrobe. Arrangements entrusted to the EDWARD P. KANAI FUNERAL HOME, 500 Greenfield Avenue. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sisters of Mercy at 3333 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA or Carlow University Scholarship Fund.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from October 27 to October 28, 2012