CNA Staff, Nov 20, 2023 / 14:38 pm (CNA).
A religious sister in Pennsylvania passed away over the weekend after colliding head-on with another vehicle on the road as she was traveling to a reunion of women who participated in an annual discernment retreat known as Fiat.
Sister Augustine Marie Molnar, 43, a member of the Sister Servants of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, was a middle school religion teacher at All Saints Catholic School in Cresson, Pennsylvania.
She sometimes assisted in vocation work and was headed to Reading, Pennsylvania, in the Diocese of Allentown, to share her own vocation story.
"She was traveling there to promote vocations to the religious life. She died promoting vocations, you could say," Mother Mary Joseph Calore, SSCJ, the order's provincial superior in the United States, told CNA in a phone interview.
Calore said that Sister Augustine Marie also worked at the community's personal care home for the elderly, the John Paul II Manor, as a physical therapist.
Calore said Sister Augustine Marie was very talented, especially as a musician, playing the piano, organ, and trumpet. Sister Augustine Marie used that musical talent in her vocation work leading music ministry at Fiat events, Calore said.
Sister Augustine Marie also had a skill for helping young people, Calore said, organizing a team of young girls who helped to serve at John Paul II Manor.
"She was such a hidden soul," Calore said. "She was hidden in life, but in death, everyone is giving glory to the Sacred Heart for everything she was doing."
Calore said that Sister Augustine Marie had just finished a private retreat four days before her passing saying that "she was in a very peaceful and good place spiritually."
"So I think that Our Lord took her at a time in her spiritual life when she was very ready to meet him," she said.
Calore said that Gregorian Masses are being prayed for the repose of Sister Augustine Marie's soul. Gregorian Masses are 30 consecutive days of Masses offered for the deceased right after their death.
The two passengers in the other vehicle survived and only had minor injuries, George Holmes, the chief deputy coroner for Berks County, told CNA Monday.
Sister Augustine Marie had taken temporary vows with the community and possibly would have made her perpetual profession of vows as early as March of next year.
"She was a wonderful, sacrificial, and prayerful holy sister, and we're really going to miss her terribly," Calore told CNA.
Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on May 12, 1980, Sister Augustine Marie entered the Congregation of the Servants of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on Sept. 8, 2013.
She made her first profession of vows in 2017 at St. Francis Xavier Church in Cresson, Pennsylvania.
She served in the sisters' local community of St. Maximilian Kolbe, which is located at the congregation's provincial house in Cresson.
A public viewing will take place at St. Francis Xavier Church in Cresson on Nov. 26 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the morning of Nov. 27 from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
A funeral Mass will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 27. She will be buried at St. Francis Xavier Parish Cemetery in Cresson.
"It's just such a heartbreaking loss to lose such a young sister with so much promise and so much joy," Calore said.
"But she wanted to be the spouse of Christ forever. And so I wrote to our mother general yesterday in Poland: 'It appears that the heart of Jesus will give the profession ring to Sister himself, since the bishop will not be putting that on her finger here.'"