Biographies

Sister M. Majella Beck, MM

Born: December 21, 1895
Entered: September 22, 1921
Died: February 28, 1955

“Aloha means fond farewell (to earth), bright welcome (to heaven).”

It was Monday evening, 7:15. Most of us were filing into chapel and turned to catch anything new on the chapel bulletin board.  There was a small white note in Mother’s handwriting.

“Word has just come that Sister Majella died in Honolulu at 12:50 p.m. today.” Thus we at the Motherhouse had news of the passing of one of Maryknoll’s staunchest Sister, – someone who in the terms of the theater would be called “a grand trouper.” Her 24 years in Hawaii had made her a real Maryknoll foundation stone in the Paradise of the Pacific.  It is safe to say that she put more children through the elements of piano-playing than any other Maryknoll Sister.

Sister Majella was born Imelda Beck, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on December 21, 1985.  She went to St. Peter’s, parish school, and attended William Penn High School.  She worked for 10 years before she came to Maryknoll in 1921.  She was one of those famous blue postulants.

She was ten years at the Motherhouse as novice and Professed Sister.  She did just about everything – bookkeeping, switchboard, clerical work for Chinese vestments and worked in the art department.  One of those all-round people who can do everything.  May her tribe increase! In 1931, she went to Hawaii.  From 1931 to 1939, she was at Punshon; from 1939 to 1943, on Maui; and then at Kalihi.  In 1949 she came home for a short decennial, arriving July 3rd and leaving again on August 29th.