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Sister Mary Anthony Mathews

 Adorers of the Blood of Christ1 Comment

Mary Anthony Mathews, Adorer of the Blood of ChristSister Mary Anthony Mathews, ASC, a longtime educator and missionary in China, died Tuesday, May 8, 2018, at the Ruma Center, Ruma, Illinois. She was 102 years old and had been a professed member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ for 84 years.
Born on May 1, 1916, in Coulterville, Ill., she was the oldest of 12 children in the family of John and Teresa (Peters) Mathews. She made her first vows on July 2, 1933, and her final profession on July 1, 1938.
In 1940, she and several other sisters were missioned to teach in China, and within a few months were caught in the conflict that escalated into World War II.
The sisters were held in a concentration camp, then lived under house arrest at a Franciscan convent until 1946. They were kept isolated and were not allowed to send or receive letters.
Once back in the states, Sister Mary Anthony studied at Saint Louis University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1948 and a master’s degree in education in 1960.
She taught for 35 years, and for 24 of those years, did double duty as school principal.
She taught at the Catholic Children’s Home in Alton, Ill., and the following elementary schools in Illinois: St. Mary in Taylorville, St. John the Baptist in Smithton, St. Elizabeth in East St. Louis, St. Lawrence in Lawrenceville, St. Albert the Great in Fairview Heights, Immaculate Conception in Columbia, St. Joseph in Prairie du Rocher, Holy Family in Cahokia and Immaculate Conception in Centreville. In Missouri, she taught at Our Lady in Festus.
She later taught Adult Basic Education, and GED, and remedial instruction.
She also was certified in Clinical Pastoral Education from Saint Louis University.
She became active in the Sanctuary Movement in the 1980s, and cared for refugees housed at Ruma and Assumption Convent in Fairview Heights. She volunteered at La Labor, the Adorers’ mission in Guatemala as a tutor and pastoral minister.
She is buried at the Ruma Center Cemetery.

1 thought on “Sister Mary Anthony Mathews”

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    Stephen M. McMullen

    Sister was my 8th Grade Teacher and Principal at St. Albert the Great in Fairview. Even the Brothers of Mary at Assumption High had heard of the legendary grammar and English regimen of Sr Mary Anthony! Bro Arthur Schilhab, S.M. told me to not bother answering grammar questions he was putting to the whole class because as he said, “I know who your teacher was…” Quite a testament!!!

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