Sister Mary Crawford (formerly Sister Corde Marie) died suddenly in Camilla Hall on Tuesday, May 27, 2023, in the 71st year of her religious life.
Mary Crawford was born on February 19, 1932, in Philadelphia. Mary’s dear parents Hugh and Susanna (Friel) Crawford were born in Glenella and Fanad Ireland, respectively. When her parents came to the United States they raised their two daughters Mary and Winnie in Good Shepherd Parish in Philadelphia.
Mary attended Good Shepherd School (1938-1946) and West Catholic Girls’ High School (1946-1950). Eventually, Mary earned an A.B. degree in Theology and an M.A. in Dogma.
Mary entered the Community on September 8, 1951; she received her religious habit and her religious name, Sister Corde Marie, on March 10, 1952. Sister Corde Marie pronounced her First Vows on March 11, 1954. (Many Sisters, like Sister Mary, returned to the use of their secular name when the option was given).
Sister Mary Crawford instructed students of middle school age, grades 5, 6, 7, and 8, for most of the time that Sister was engaged in full-time teaching ministry which spanned the fall of 1954 through the school year ending in 1972. Sister served the children in St. Jane School, Easton; St. Ann, Phoenixville; St. Cecilia, Philadelphia; St. Agnes, Sellersville; St. Laurence, Upper Darby, and for one year at Cardinal Dougherty High School, Philadelphia. Sister Mary Crawford was well loved by her students who have kept in touch with her down through the years.
Sister Mary’s gifts of pastoral caring gave rise to her serving as Director of Religious Education in Good Shepherd Parish in Camp Hill and St. John of the Cross Parish in Roslyn from the fall of 1972 through 1981. For the remainder of Sister’s apostolic community service through 2017, Sister Mary worked diligently with Catholic Social Service ministers; St. Mary Nursing Home residents and personnel in Lansdale; Prison Ministry personnel and inmates; and Parish Visitor in Queen of Peace Parish.
In the fall of 2017, Sister Mary Crawford joined the Apostolate of Prayer and Service community with our Sisters in Camilla Hall.
Sister Mary was very quiet, gifted with Irish wit, meticulous in everything about her, a beautiful IHM Sister who served her students, prison inmates, students of religious education, parishioners, nursing home residents, and her own IHM Sisters with grace and love.
In addition to her IHM Community and her Camilla Community in particular, Sister is survived by her many cousins here in the States and Ireland. Sister’s parents Hugh and Susanna (Friel) Crawford and her sister Winnie Crawford predecease Sister.
Reverend Michael Callaghan, CM celebrated Sister Mary Crawford’s Funeral Mass and delivered the homily. Rev. John Burger, SSC and Rev. Michael Davis concelebrated with Father Callaghan at the altar on Wednesday, June 8, 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