Sister Ann Marie Harrison, Formerly Sister Gerald Mary, died in Camilla Hall, after a long illness, on Thursday, October 5, 2023 in the 72nd year of her religious life.
Sister Ann was born on January 7, 1934; her parents Gerald and Mary (Fitterer) raised their family of three in the Scranton area before settling in St. Denis Parish in Havertown. Ann attended two elementary schools: Fall-Overfield (1940-1945), Clarks Summit (1945-1948) and two high schools: St. Paul High School (1948-1949) and Notre Dame, Moylan (1949-1952). Later, while in Community, Sister earned degrees from Immaculata College and Temple University.
Ann entered the Community on September 8, 1952; she received her habit and her religious name, Sister Gerald Mary, on March 9, 1952; and professed her First Vows on March 9, 1955. When the Sisters were given the opportunity to do so, Sister Gerald Mary returned to the use of her baptismal name: Sister Ann Marie.
In March 1955 Sister Ann’s first assignment was St. Lucy Day School where she worked with visually impaired children. Sister worked tirelessly for/with these children until the end of the 1962 school year.
In the fall of 1962 through the school year ending in 1998, Sister worked with classroom students. Over the years, Sister taught children in grades from 5 to 10. Sister brought her beautiful smile and her expertise to a variety of places in the Philadelphia area: Our Lady of Pompei, St. Rose of Lima, St. Rose in Eddystone, St. Joseph in Coatesville, and St. John of the Cross in Roslyn. Beyond the Philadelphia area Sister served at Villa Maria La Planicie School in Peru, teaching students from grades 8 – 10. Sister Ann Marie served as Principal of St. Thomas More School in Arlington, VA from 1986-1993 and at St. Patrick School (1993 – 1998).
In the fall of 1998 through August 2002, Sister Ann served the Sisters at Our Mother of Perpetual Help, our House of Prayer in Nesquehoning, PA. Sister was very instrumental in bringing about this opportunity of a House of Prayer.
Sister Ann taught men and women enrolled in our Literacy Program offered at Incarnation Parish (8/2002 – 9/2003); then served as coordinator of our Literacy Program at St. Francis DeSales Parish until 2007.
Gracious as ever, Sister Ann volunteered her service to our Sisters at Camilla Hall where she served as a dedicated staff member from 8/2007 through 8/2010. In the fall of 2010, Sister had the opportunity, once again, to be a part of the Prayer Ministry at Our Mother of Perpetual Help Convent in Nesquehoning. Following this prayer-filled experience, Sister returned to her beloved Camilla Hall in the fall of 2011.
Sister’s great love of Our Blessed Mother permeated all of her actions and achievements. Sister was gracious, loving, prayerful, and a faithful servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In addition to her IHM Community, Sister is survived by her many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. Sister is predeceased by her parents Gerald Vincent and Mary Rose (Fitterer) Harrison, her brothers Deacon Gerald Harrison (Anne) and Thomas Fitterer (Alice).
Reverend John Burger, SCC celebrated Sister Ann Marie’s Funeral Mass on Thursday, October 12, 2023, at 10:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to:
Camilla Hall Nursing Home
IHM Mission Advancement Office
230 IHM Drive
Malvern, PA 19355