Biographies

Sister Mary Reginald Silva, MM

Born: September 17, 1892
Entered: December 7, 1921
Died: October 20, 1978

Monday, October 23rd, was a glorious fall day. As we gathered at the cemetery to bury Sisters Rose de Lourdes Loftus and Mary Reginald Silva, the sun was warm and the autumn leaves resplendent in brilliant golds and reds. As we sang “This is the day the Lord has made…” leaves here and there fell lightly to the ground – a gentle reminder that our Sisters were already being transformed to spring forth again to new life.

Philomena Josephine Silva (Sister Mary Reginald) was born on September 17, 1892 in Oakland, California, and entered Maryknoll on December 7, 1921. She made her first profession of vows on April 19, 1924 and her final commitment in Hong Kong three years later in 1927.

Sister Reginald went to South China in 1925 where she remained until she was repatriated to the United States in 1942. She arrived in New York on August 25 of that year on the M.S. Gripsholm following internment at Stanley Camp in Hong Kong. From 1942 until her death, Sister worked in the United States at Crichton House, Bethany, the Venard, and The Center. Throughout her life, Sister Reginald-who sewed with unusual skill, used her talent to create beautiful vestments and other items of singular beauty. She was gifted also with a “green thumb” which could gently coax any wilting plant into a healthy, hearty object of flowering beauty.

In 1971, Sister’s 50th year in Maryknoll, she wrote to the Central Governing Board requesting that Silver and Golden Jubilees be celebrated from the date of entrance, a suggestion that has since been implemented throughout our Community.

Sister had been in poor health for many years. Recently, after a stay at St. Agnes Hospital in White Plains, Sister went to Bethany where she died on the evening of October 20th. She had been in Maryknoll for more than 57 years.

Please remember Sister in your prayers and especially in the celebration of the Eucharist that God will grant her renewed life in His Kingdom of Joy and Peace.