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Ambridge, PA 15003
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Born Virginia Margaret Silan, Sister Monica was a gentle woman with a warm smile and strong faith. She faced life head-on and possessed deep inner strength that enabled her to rise above the hardships of childhood polio, physical limitations and the murder of her father. She lived with a peaceful presence, making a conscious decision early in life to preserve a positive, hope- filled attitude no matter what life threw at her. With faith she believed that God was always with her: "God works through all that happens in my life - in the valleys, plains or mountain experiences." Her faith sustained her, giving her a resilience to bear all challenges. Youngest of three children born to Joseph and Mary Nedlock Silan, Virginia never knew her oldest sister, who died before she was born. She grew up with her brother, Joseph and her sister, Agnes in McKeesport, PA. In the days that tuberculosis of the hip kept her from attending school, she learned much from books. She was intelligent and had a thirst for knowledge. In 1946, she joined the Benedictine Sisters of Pittsburgh. For much of her religious life she ministered in the Pittsburgh and Greensburg Dioceses as teacher and school office worker. When St. Benedict Academy closed in 1985, her ministry changed to being secretary of the Benedictine Senior Center; this she did until she retired in 2008. Sister Monica described herself as quiet, prayerful, gentle and faithful. She loved her Benedictine life and her family, and to the end of her life, lived with interest in other people. In preparing for her 60th Jubiliee she said: "Living in community has been a source of supportive love and encouragement in my search for God." This summer she would have celebrated her 70 years as a vowed Sister. Sister Monica is survived by niece, Monica Fechik and husband, Michael; great-nieces, Marie Kirk and husband, Dan and Maureen Fechik and fiance, Bruno Mann; and great-nephew, Matthew and wife, Marisa. She was predeceased by her parents; sisters, Margaret Silan and Agnes Haller; and brother, Joseph. Services will be at Saint Benedict Monastery, 3526 Bakerstown Road, Bakerstown, PA on Sunday, May 20: Visitation 12:20 - 2:00, followed by a remembering service. Monday, May 21: Visitation 2:00 - 4:00; Funeral 5:00 p.m. Arrangements are being handled by KASPER-HAHN FUNERAL HOME. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Benedictine Sisters of Pittsburgh.
Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from May 18 to May 19, 2018
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