Sister Saint Rose Dwyer died at Saint Joseph Villa on May 17, 2023 and was buried on May 22, 2023. Mary Kane Dwyer, daughter of Walter and Anna Kane Dwyer, was the youngest and only daughter of their four children. She described her childhood as very happy and was always close to her parents and siblings. Although she denied her interest in religious life, she once told a date, “Don’t spend too much time on me because, after graduation, I may become a sister.”
Rose shared her love freely. With her love for music and song, she dedicated a favorite, “Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life at Last I’ve Found You,” to her one true love. Rose thoroughly enjoyed teaching elementary school and was somewhat hesitant when asked to go to St. Maria Goretti High School. The girls seemed so smart. Nonetheless, she adjusted to high school easily and found herself teaching English, doing plays, and eventually, theater. The love between Rose and her students flowed freely. From Goretti, to Hallahan, to West Catholic, to Bishop Hafey in Hazelton, to the Mount, to Cecilian, Rose could motivate her students to do almost anything. While she usually taught girls, she was able to get the boys into her plays in spite of their reluctance.
Her niece, Trisha shared with her husband that Rose “lived her vocation every minute.” Always humble, Rose shared that her biggest worry was that she did not love God enough. Of her name, she said, “I’ve always been fine with the Rose part, but I am still working on the saint part.” Rose was happiest when she was making others happy. This Sister of Saint Joseph believed in accepting that whatever came along, even the difficulties, knowing that we are embraced in God’s loving arms. Like the poet Mary Oliver, Rose believed in “keeping my mind on what matters, which is my work.” Loving the entire world, and all of us in it, was truly Rose’s life work, rooted and over flowing from her love for Jesus.
Rose’s legacy was her belief that she was blessed and happy in her life. Our Constitutions state, “Strengthened by the Eucharist, by prayer and by the bond of community, we respond with a joyful yes to this call of God….” This blessed and happy Sister of Saint Joseph, embodied the “joyful yes” daily. Continue to rejoice in Paradise.