May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Barbara Torzewski, IHM

Sr. Barbara Torzewski, IHM, 86, died of natural causes Sunday, May 10, at IHM Senior Living Community in Monroe.

One of six children of Casmir and Cecilia (Singer) Torzewski, Barbara Ann Torzewski was born June 30, 1933, in Detroit. Barbara attended Our Lady Queen of Heaven Elementary School in Detroit, and junior high and high school at St. Mary Academy, Monroe. In 1951, she entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe, and received the religious name Sister Therese Lisieux.

A memorial Mass will be held at a later date.
Sr. Barbara Torzewski, IHM

Sister Barbara earned a bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College, Detroit, and a master’s degree in education from Wayne State University, Detroit. As an elementary school teacher, her 20-year ministry included work at St. Michael and St. Joseph, Monroe; Holy Redeemer, Detroit; Holy Name, Birmingham; Sacred Heart, Dearborn; St. Joseph, Dexter; and St. Cyprian, Riverview. 

Sister Barbara’s ministry changed directions as she next served the congregation as a Motherhouse team member, and director of Kitchen, and at the Visitation House of Prayer, in Monroe. Sister Barbara then began a 19-year ministry as director of Crawfton, Kingsville, Ontario, Canada. A return to teaching brought her to St. Matthew School and St. Jude School, Detroit; and to St. Paul School, Grosse Pointe, where she delighted in working with the very young students. In 2012, she moved home to the IHM Motherhouse, and during her retirement continued to volunteer within the community, visiting sisters and leading small prayer groups.  

As one who loved being outdoors, Sister Barbara spoke of her work as director, caretaker and groundskeeper at the Crawfton vacation house as a blessing. It allowed time to contemplate, whether mowing the grounds, maintaining the property or preparing for guests’ arrival. In keeping with her love of nature and the outdoors, her travels often involved hiking in the mountains. 

Sister Barbara is survived by her sister, Gertrude Fisher, nephews and nieces, and her sisters in community. She was preceded in death by her brothers, Tommy and Eugene, and sisters, Mary Louise Irvine and Therese, IHM. 

A memorial Mass will be held at a later date. Arrangements were under the direction of the Rupp Funeral Home, Monroe. Memorials may be made to the IHM Retirement Fund, 610 W. Elm Ave., Monroe, MI 48162-7909. 

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