May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Mary Emelita (Agnes Makowski), CSSF

Sr. Mary Emelita (Agnes Makowski), CSSF, of Barnesboro, Pennsylvania, completed her life’s journey on August 8, 2021, in Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent, Livonia, Michigan.  Sister was 99 years old and 83 years in religious life.

Agnes was born December 21, 1921, the 5th of 7 children, and baptized in the church of St. Stanislaus in Barnesboro, PA. The family traveled to Detroit, Michigan, where the father and older brothers built a home, and the family became parishioners of Resurrection Parish.  

Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Thursday, Aug. 12, in the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Chapel in Livonia.
Sr. Mary Emelita (Agnes Makowski), CSSF

Agnes was taught by the Felician Sisters at Resurrection School.  Promoted from grade 3 to 5 and 7 to 9, she continued her education at the Seminary of the Felician Sisters at the age of 12, with the intention of becoming a religious. She was admitted to the postulancy in 1938 and during novitiate in 1939, received the name of Sister Mary Emelita.  Final vows were pronounced in 1947.

In preparation for a ministry in Education, Sister Mary Emelita earned a BA from Madonna University and a Master’s in Education from University of Detroit and pursued postgraduate studies at Notre Dame and Wayne State University.  

As teacher and principal for 34 years, Sister taught all grade levels, elementary through college, at Our Lady, Queen of Apostles and St. Florian, Hamtramck; St. Michael, Livonia; St. Anthony and St. Stanislaus, Toledo, Ohio; St. Jude, Grand Rapids; St. Casimir, Detroit; Our Lady of Refuge, Orchard Lake; St. Valentine, Redford.  

Sister was also involved in the Latino Religious Education Program to the Hispanic children at St. Anne’s in Detroit and shared her musical talents as organist in several parishes.   At St. Joseph Home, Jackson, Sister served as secretary for 11 years.  

Elected to the Provincial Council in 1971, Sister served as Secretary for two terms and during this time she wrote and published the provincial newsletter, “Flashes.”  

Sister Mary Emelita served as secretary to the Administrators at the Orchard Lake Schools and SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary (1989 to 2006).  She was involved in a myriad of activities as translations from Polish to English and English to Polish for Seminary publications, organizing celebrations, participating in hosting benefits and galas, which included cardinals, bishops and long-time benefactors of the Orchard Lake Schools.   For her dedicated service of 17 years, Sister Emelita was awarded the distinction of Honorary Alumnus!  

During the final assignment at Presentation Convent, Livonia, Sister was appointed Archivist and helped with translations from Polish to English, especially booklets related to Blessed Mary Angela, foundress of the Felician Sisters.  One of the wise women of our community, she shared facts and figures and could recall names, dates and places of importance in the history of the Felician Congregation.

Her eyesight gradually failed with the years, yet even in her 90’s she welcomed modern technology and followed the Christian Prayer on her I-pad.  Prayerful and dedicated to community needs, this serious-minded individual often interjected her witty responses with a sense of humor to bring a smile to many.   Recreation often included crocheting scarves and caps for needy families in Appalachia and water purifier protectors for the Haitian water supply.  

Sister Emelita returned from a brief stay in St. Mary Mercy Hospital on August 6, 2021.   Although very close to death, she was able to converse with the sisters. The wisdom of her early years remained throughout her life.   At 3:15 a.m., on August 8, she peacefully slipped into the arms of her beloved spouse.  Sister is survived by a sister, Angeline, nieces and nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews.

Morning Praise began at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 12, 2021. Fr. Walter Ptak, pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Farmington, Michigan, celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. in the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Chapel in Livonia. Burial was in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, Michigan.

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