The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Sister Monica Swirczynski worked in schools for 48 years

Published: April 23, 2021   

Sister M. Monica Swirczynski, OSB, who taught 48 years and spent 72 years as a sister of Holy Angels Convent in Jonesboro, died April 12. She was 88. 

She was born Josephine “Joan” Antoinette in Muenster, Texas, to Herman and Catherine

Swirczynski. She graduated from Holy Angels Academy and entered Holy Angels Convent as a teenager in 1948, following in the footsteps of her aunts, Sister Helen Swirczynski and Sister Agatha Knaupf. 

Sister Monica made her first vows in 1950 and began teaching at Our Lady of the Holy Souls School in Little Rock. She made her perpetual vows in 1954. Sister Monica received her bachelor’s degree in education from Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kan., and also studied at Arkansas State University. In her 48-year teaching career, she primarily taught upper grades in Catholic schools in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. 

After teaching, she spent 20 years as community secretary at Holy Angels and secretary to St. Bernards Healthcare and Medical Center governing boards. Sister Monica served as subprioress from 2009-2011 under Sister Mary Anne Nuce. In retirement, she “supported the community with her prayers and shared her happy memories of teaching and religious life,” her obituary stated. 

She is survived by three brothers, John Swirczynski, Virgil Swirczynski and Ricky Swirczynski; and two sisters, Edna Swirczynski and Mary Swirczynski. 

A rosary and visitation was held at Holy Angels Convent April 14. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated April 15, with interment at Mount Olivet Cemetery. Memorials can be made to Holy Angels Convent Retirement Fund, 1699 CR 766, Jonesboro, AR, 72405.

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