Biographies

Sister Virginia Marie Lynn, MM

Born: November 29, 1886
Entered: October 15, 1925
Died: January 25, 1975

Sister Virginia Marie Lynn died at Bethany on Saturday, January 25 about 12:35 P.M.

Sister Virginia Marie (Helen Marie) Lynn was born November 29, 1886 in Burlington, New Jersey, and entered Maryknoll on October 15, 1925. She would have celebrated her Golden Anniversary this year.

In early 1925 she wrote to Mother Mary Joseph: “Please pardon my presumption in writing you at this time and also my  anxiousness in receiving an application. I should be untruthful if I say that I have not been more than anxious to receive it. It reminds me so much of waiting to hear of my acceptance into the Nursing School – there I was under age and lived in dread of not being accepted – now I am over age and live in the same dread of not being accepted.”

Sister Virginia Marie was 38 years old at the time, superintendent of nurses at Misericordia Hospital in Philadelphia and presented a remarkable background of training and experience. She had received her RN in 1908, worked and pursued in-service nursing studies not only in the usual lines but also in that of contagious and tropical diseases.

In the same letter quoted above she shows the same forthrightness and simplicity in explaining her ‘late’ decision: “…but, Mother, it was not because I hated to give up the world that kept me back, but I can truthfully say I never met an Order that appealed to me, until I met Sister Andrew, and it was as though an electric shock had passed through me for I seemed then and there to know in a way I cannot explain.”

She was accepted and was professed in 1928, and was assigned to the Philippines that same year. Four years later she became Superior at St. Paul’s Hospital there and in 1935 was assigned as Superior at the Mental Hospital we were staffing in Shanghai. She returned to the U.S. in 1937 serving at various times as Infirmarian as well as Community Councilor at Monrovia, Bethany and St. Teresa’s until severe illness in 1961 when she became a resident at Bethany.

We thank God today as we pray the Office of the Resurrection for her life of faithfulness in accepting responsibility and in the use of her nursing talent – a faithfulness rooted and grounded in prayer. The Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated tomorrow at 11:00 A.M. at Bethany.