Sister Mary Avila Long

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

Baptized Magdalene, Sister Avila was born March 31, 1917, in Croyle Township, Pennsylvania, and was a daughter of the late Joseph and Clara Smith Long. She graduated from Summerhill Township High School and received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Misericordia University.

Sister Avila 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, Pennsylvania. Completing her time there, she became an active member of the prayer ministry at McAuley Hall, Cresson, Pennsylvania, and then at Mercy Center, Dallas.

Sister Avila is survived by her sisters Stella Strittmatter, Patton, Pennsylvania; Hilda Karl, Fairmont, West Virginia; Mary Chirdon, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania; Jane Moore, Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, and Irma Senner, Portage, Pennsylvania; her brother Norman, Sidman, Pennsylvania; and the Sisters of Mercy.

Sister Avila was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters Catherine (her twin), Alma and Clara; 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 Avila's life will begin with prayer service and visiting hours 9 to 10:15 a.m. Monday at Mercy Center, Dallas. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Burial services will be at 4 p.m. Monday at the Sisters of Mercy Cemetery, Cresson.

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

Condolences can be sent to the family at

Funeral Home

E. Blake Collins Funeral Home
159 George Avenue Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705

Published in Times Leader from Apr. 25 to Apr. 26, 2014