Sister Mary Anastasia Skwara was a Sister of Mercy for 75 years. Sister Anastasia graduated from Farmington High School before entering the Sisters of Mercy, Portland, from St. Joseph’s Parish, Farmington. She began her religious formation studies upon entrance while taking college classes at Our Lady of Mercy College, now known as St. Joseph’s College of Maine., Standish. Sister Anastasia spent several years in elementary education in the parochial schools before being assigned to Mercy Hospital to assist in the EKG and Pharmacy. She continued her education at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, Boston, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and as Valedictorian of her class. While there, she made many lifelong friends.
Sister Anastasia ministered at Mercy Hospital, Portland, as a Pharmacist for almost 40 years. During that time, she mentored several young employees. Her quiet presence and generous spirit endeared her to many.
She had a particular love for those with the disease of alcoholism. She demonstrated this in her work on the Maine Council on Alcohol and Drug Prevention and Treatment. Sister Anastasia graduated from Rutgers University School, New Jersey, with an emphasis on Addiction. Her compassionate understanding of this disease frequently compelled her to reach out to those in need. Whether it was a listening ear or assisting with a plan of action, she was there! Sister Anastasia once said, “One of the gratifying things in my life is to know people who gain sobriety and live full lives.”
After Sister Anastasia completed her ministry at Mercy Hospital, she went to Deering Pavilion, Portland, as Coordinator of Resident Services, for over twenty years before she retired. She enjoyed her time with the residents, lending a helping hand when needed. During that time, she had the opportunity to vacation in Ireland and visit Poland, her father’s home.