Sister Mary Amadea Collins, Age 90

West Midwest

Monday, June 22, 2020

A teacher, religious education coordinator, bookstore manager, volunteer and a Sister of Mercy for 74 years.

At eight-years-old, Sister Amadea (born Florence Rose) and her family moved to a farm in West Chicago, Illinois, where she attended a country school. When her mother died before Sister Amadea started high school, she took over the cooking for her family, which included six older siblings.

She became acquainted with the Sisters of Mercy when she worked in the kitchen at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital on the weekends while attending school at Madonna in Aurora, Illinois. She knew she wanted to join the community after her freshman year but was encouraged to wait. She did not wait long, though, before entering the Sisters of Mercy a few months after she turned 16.

Sister Amadea began teaching in 1948. Over the next 25 years, she taught at many schools, mostly in Illinois, with a few years in Wisconsin.

In 1973, she began working as the religious coordinator for Our Lady of the Ridge Parish in Chicago. She held this position until 1985 when she became the bookstore manager at Saint Xavier College (now University). Later, she volunteered with the elderly, transporting them wherever they needed to go.

Sister Amadea once said, “The most important things in my life are Mass, the Holy Eucharist, prayer and laughs.” She lived her motto, “All for thee my Jesus,” with grace and faithfulness.

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