Sister Rosa Maria Arenas, IHM

Sister Rosa Maria Arenas died in Camilla Hall on December 22, 2023 in the 59th year of her religious life.

Carmen was born on February 7, 1943 in Callao, Peru. Sister’s parents Gilberto and Carmen (Chumpitaz) Arenas raised their family of four, two brothers and one sister in Inmaculada Concepcion Parish in Callao, Peru.

Carmen attended grade school and high school at San Antonio School in Callao (1949-1955). Later while in the community, Sister earned her degree in Biological Sciences in 1971 from the University of Chile.

On March 25, 1964, Carmen entered the Community in Santiago, Chile, our South American Novitiate. On January 6, 1964, she received her habit and her religious name, Sister Rosa Maria. Sister pronounced her First Vows on February 2, 1966.

Sister’s apostolic ministry began in Villa Maria, Santiago, Chile where Sister worked with high school students for three years. Sister Rosa then taught children in fifth grade at San Antonio School in Callao, Peru. Sister Rosa was very adaptable and adept in her service to the children and families in South America.

From January 1981 through February 1984 Sister was specifically involved in Pastoral Work and Sacramental Preparation in San Ildefonso in Barranca, Peru. Sister continued this mission in Nuestra Senora del Carmen in Lima, Peru for the next year and a half. Sister then taught school children in San Antonio in Callao, Peru and in Fe y Alegria School in Montenegro through January 1989.

Sister Rosa then taught Religion to high school students in San Antonio in Callao and next Sister taught Religion and served in the Sacramental Program in Villa Maria Santiago.

In January 1997, Sister’s assignment took her to Curacavi, Chile where she served as Religion teacher to fifth grade students. During this time at Nuestra Senora del Carmen, January 2002, Sister received a change of assignment to serve as Principal through December 2006.

In January 2006, Sister Rosa taught Religion to Junior High students at Villa Maria in La Planicie, Peru through December 2013; in January 2014, Sister received a change of assignment to oversee the Science Lab. Sister served at Villa Maria until February of 2017.

For over 30 years, Sister Rosa served the people of South America with steadfast love and fidelity as a treasured IHM Sister. Our Sisters warmly welcomed Sister Rosa to St. William Convent in Philadelphia in February 2017 where she served in the Literacy Program held at St. Bernard Parish.

Continuing in the spirit of her loving service, Sister served our Sisters in Camilla Hall as a valued Staff Member while living at Pacis Hall from August 2018 through October 2021.  In October 2021, Sister was transferred to our Convent Home at Camilla Hall as a member of the Apostolate of Prayer. Sister Rosa Maria, well known as a gentle and contemplative soul went to the Lord on December 22, 2023. God rest you, dear Sister.

In addition to her IHM Community, her local Community at Camilla Hall, Sister Rosa Maria is survived by her sister Yolanda Arenas and her brother-in-law Mauro Cabrera. Sister is predeceased by her parents Domingo Gilberto Arenas and Carmen Chumpetaz Arenas.

Reverend Joseph Shields, Homilist, Reverend Michael Callaghan, CM and Reverend John Burger, SSC concelebrated Sister Rosa’s Funeral Mass on Saturday, December 23, 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