Sister Alice Edward Strogen, a beloved Sister of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia for 46 years died suddenly at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia on November 27, 2012.
The oldest of four children born to Alice and Edward Strogen in 1947, she was baptized Eileen Marie and attended Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Roxborough and Archbishop Kennedy Catholic High School in Conshohocken. Eileen and her siblings Ed, Pat and Kathy grew up in a faith-filled home, and Eileen entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph in 1966. She received the name Sister Alice Edward and remained devoted to her family throughout her life.
Alice loved people and helped so many people feel connected with God and with one another. When asked to list her favorite hobbies, she wrote down talking first, then music and reading. She shared her talents freely and brought much joy to others with her stories and her laughter. A student from her first class wrote, “Her impact was tremendous on so many children. She taught us to laugh, sing and love life.”
Sister Alice’s ministry was rich and varied. She served in the archdioceses of Philadelphia and Newark as well as the dioceses of Allentown and Paterson. She taught in elementary and in secondary schools and loved parish ministry, but was drawn most especially to her ministry at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) where she served for a total of fifteen years. The numerous messages posted on the CHOP website attest to the warmth, compassion and kindness that her caring presence brought to so many families and colleagues.
In her own words Alice spoke of the presence of Jesus, “If you are willing to sit with people, you don’t need profound words. When I’m with them, I hope they realize that God is also with them in horrible times and in celebratory times, too.”
Reflecting on the life of Sister Alice Edward, Sister Anne Myers spoke of the shock and sadness felt by all at Alice’s sudden death, but also of the great gratitude with which we celebrate her life. “Sister Alice, thank you for being ‘the person God meant you to be—for you truly set the world on fire.’ Our hearts have been touched forever by the warmth of your love and your goodness. As you pass into the arms of your loving God for all eternity, may you also be welcomed into heaven by the many children who are there to greet you.”