Sister Ignatia Maria Smith died at Saint Joseph Villa on April 28, 2023. She was born June 2, 1923 to parents John A. and Annie C. Hufnagel who named their daughter Isabel. The Smiths were longtime McSherrystown residents and parishioners of Saint Mary’s Parish and School, known today as Annunciation. Isabel graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1940 and on September eleventh entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph, a desire she nurtured from her earliest years. On April 15, 1941 she received the habit and the name Sister Ignatia Maria.
Our Sister Ignatia was teacher and tutor to primary school children in the dioceses of Philadelphia and Harrisburg. Her innate kindness, seasoned by her expertise, rendered her efforts memorably cherished by her students and those with whom she shared the joy and rewards of education. Her associates attested to her “kindness, love, gentleness humility, prayer, patience, wisdom and peace.” The sisters with whom she lived in community echoed these same attributes. Sister Ignatia related to and served others “with the same care and concern with which Joseph served Jesus and Mary.” – Constitutions 3
Many of Ignatia’s leisure hours were spent in crocheting afghans for babies and for dogs. It was a pastime from which she never tired. It continued throughout her Villa residency which began in November, 2010. She was fond of other pastimes, among which was Bingo, played with a focused determination to win the candy prize. Sister Ignatia lauded the care, kindness and expertise she experienced at the Villa.
Sister Ignatia Maria’s life flowed “from the purpose for which the Congregation exists. We live and work so that all people may be united with God and with one another.” – Constitutions 16
She was faithful to deepening “a cordial and hospitable spirit, a willing heart ready for any and every good work, a quiet sense of hiddenness, coupled with a desire to serve to the best of our ability, which characterize our response to the needs of the people of God.” – Constitutions 14
May our loving God receive you, dear Ignatia, faithful servant, into His loving embrace for all eternity. May you pray for all of us the prayer of our Mother Saint John Fournier, foundress of the Philadelphia Congregation, “How the dear Lord showers us with graces. May we correspond to them.”