May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Virginia Pfau, IHM

Sr. Virginia Pfau, IHM, 76, died Tuesday, October 18, at her home, the IHM Motherhouse in Monroe, Michigan.

Sister Virginia was the daughter of Gordon and Theresa (Chadwick) Pfau and was born in Philadelphia, Penn. on June 30, 1946. Her only sibling, Richard, joined the family six years later. Virginia’s studies included St. Joseph, graduation from Villa Maria Academy, Immaculata College and St. Charles Seminary, all in the Philadelphia area. After graduation from Villa Maria, she entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Immaculata Penn. Following her call to religious life, she transferred her religious commitment to the Sisters IHM Monroe in 1981. She considered being an IHM Sister (Monroe) a blessing.

Sr. Virginia Pfau, IHM
Sr. Virginia Pfau, IHM

Once established in Monroe, Sister Ginny, as she preferred, continued in education ministries as principal of St. Patrick, Carleton, and Our Lady of Mercy, Potomac, Maryland. It was through her missioning to Maryland, and later Delaware, that she was able to care for her mother.

In January 2000, she was elected President of the IHM Congregation, leading the Leadership Council and religious community through 2006. This Leadership Council oversaw the completion of the green renovation of the Motherhouse and attended to the community as a great change was being experienced on campus.

After serving in governance, she returned to education as principal of St. Ann School in Wilmington, Delaware. Near the end of her tenure there, Sister Ginny began experiencing symptoms of a neurological/muscular disorder. She returned to Monroe and focused on a new service to those in need through training in Clinical Pastoral Education. Her kind nature, generous spirit, and faith grounded her in service to the residents and staff of the IHM Senior Living Community.

She persevered, taking much in stride, and moved to the Motherhouse in the fall of 2018, living in the sisters’ community of Liguori. As the disorder progressed, she experienced the care of the health care center and the compassion of her sisters in community.

Sister Virginia is survived by brother Richard (Mary) Pfau of Baltimore, Maryland, niece Gabrielle, and nephews Joseph and Nicholas, and her IHM Sisters.

Services will be held at the IHM Motherhouse Chapel, 610 W. Elm Avenue, Monroe, on Monday, Oct. 24. Facial masks are required while in the building. Welcoming of the body begins at 9 a.m. with a Remembering and Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Livestreaming begins at 10 a.m. and may be viewed until Nov.14, 2022. Green Burial will immediately follow in St. Mary Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Rupp Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to the IHM Retirement Fund, 610 W. Elm Avenue, Monroe, MI 48162-7909.

Obituaries for clergy and religious who have lived or served in the Archdiocese of Detroit may be emailed to [email protected]. Obituaries are printed as they are submitted, but may be edited for grammar and style. Detroit Catholic reserves the right to refuse or edit any submissions.


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