Biographies

Sister Ephrem Griffin, MM

Born: February 18, 1891
Entered: October 15, 1926
Died: May 7, 1968

A phone call from Sister Helen Scheel brought the news of Sister Mary Ephrem (Katherine Marie Griffin’s) unexpected death this morning.

Like several other Sisters at Monrovia, Sister Mary Ephrem had a severe cold, and had gone to the hospital section, not as a hospital patient, but for the convenience of her doctor. She felt better in the evening of May 6, and planned to return to the Convent area. This morning, she felt sudden severe pain in her chest and asked to be anointed. Sister’s premonition was true – and she quietly slipped off to God as Father pronounced the words of the anointing of the sick. It was the quiet unobtrusive peaceful way that Sister would have wanted to die.

Sister Mary Ephrem, Katherine Marie Griffin, was born at Bremer County, Iowa, on February 18, 1891. In her childhood, Sister was baptized in the Lutheran Church, but Joined the Advent Christian Church at the age of fifteen. She became a Catholic, June 1918 – the year she graduated from Iowa State Teachers College. Later, Sister studied nursing and was graduated from Mercy Hospital in Chicago in 1924. She entered Maryknoll, October 15, 1926 and was professed on April 30, 1929. Sister was assigned to Hawaii that same year and taught at Punahou and Kalihi Kai, until her return to the Mainland in 1941. Excepting for a year at St. Ann’s, the remaining year were devoted to nursing our own Sisters either at Bethany or Monrovia.

The last years of Sister’s life were marked by illness but her indomitable spirit in helping our Sisters never failed.

A requiem Mass for the repose of Sister’s soul will be said at Monrovia Chapel on Thursday, May 9, and she will be buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Los Angeles.