Sister Mary Michael Burns, SC
July 18, 1930 – October 17, 2022
SISTER MARY MICHAEL BURNS, SC, 92, entered eternal life on October 17, 2022 at Caritas Christi, the motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill in Greensburg, in the 74th year of her religious life.
Born in Chicora, PA, Sister Mary Michael entered the congregation of the Sisters of Charity on September 8, 1948, from Mater Dolorosa Parish in Chicora. Preceded in death by her parents, John A. and Stella G. (Blatt) Burns, eight brothers, Charles W., James F., Thomas D., Rev. John A. CSSp, Philip J., Bernard L., Regis P., Robert L., four sisters, Mrs. Agnes L. (William) Maloney, Mary E. Burns, Catherine E. Burns, Sister Therese Burns, SC., a niece, Sister Margaret Burns, SC. She is survived by one sister, Mrs. Patricia (John) Bogniak, and nieces and nephews.
Sister Mary Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Seton Hill University and a master’s degree in education from the University of Arizona. She taught students of the kindergarten and primary levels in schools of the Greensburg, Lafayette, LA, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Tucson dioceses and the Archdioceses of Baltimore and Los Angeles.
Sister was a gifted educator with many worldly experiences. In 1970-1971, she participated in a teacher exchange program between the Sisters of Charity and the Holy Family Sisters of New Orleans. Her longest tenure teaching was at Resurrection School for 26 years until her retirement from the classroom in 2009. (In 1996, the school underwent a transition and was known as Brookline Regional Catholic School.) During that time, she also volunteered to teach English conversation to students at Saint Joseph School, Jeollanam do, South Korea for one year.
It has been said of Sister Mary Michael that she brought infectious zest and energy to all her students and everyone she met. There was something contagious about the happiness she showed.
In 1973, Sister Mary Michael received the Teacher of the Year Award sponsored by the University of Arizona. In 1995, she was the recipient of the Pittsburgh Diocese’s Golden Apple Award, an annual recognition of outstanding performance in education. When she retired from the classroom in 2009, Sister Mary Michael became the caretaker of her elderly sister, Kate.
In reflecting on her life as a Sister of Charity, Sister Mary Michael stated, “The message of my life as a religious is one of gratitude and commitment. I cannot thank God enough for directing me to the Seton Hill Sisters of Charity. Only through the community, could I have had the opportunity of instructing children across the nation in the love of God. My life has been enriched through these experiences.”
The Sisters of Charity are grateful for the caring staff who attended Sister Mary Michael during the past two years when extra care was needed.
Rest in peace Sister Mary Michael as you join with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and all the Company of Charity.
The funeral liturgy will be live-streamed; access through the link: https://venue.streamspot.com/2af9e1eb