Sister Alma Virginia Weber, MM
Born: November 3, 1922
Entered: December 8, 1940
Died: December 24, 2008
It was December 24, 2008, Christmas Eve, at about 7:30 p.m. when our God called Sr. Alma Virginia home from Residential Care for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Sisters had been watching in vigil through the afternoon and into the evening as the choir and community were singing carols before Mass, word arrived that Sister had gone to her God.
Virginia Marie Weber was born in Detroit, MI on November 3, 1922, the daughter of Raymond and Flora (McMillan) Weber. There were the two girls in the family, along with five brothers. Alma’s parents and two brothers, have predeceased her. She also had many loving sister-in-laws and many nieces and nephews. To all in the family we express our deepest sympathy. It was always clear that family meant a great deal to Sister. She counted as a blessing being able to help her father and mother in their later years.
In 1940 Virginia graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in Adrian, MI. Her later education included a Bachelor in Education degree from Maryknoll Teachers College in 1946, studies in music at the University of Hawaii in 1963, New Testament and Literature at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh in 1965, New and Old Testament studies at Chaminade College in Honolulu from 1976 – 1978, and a five month Mission Renewal Program at Bethany in 1980. She also studied Korean for a year at the University of Hawaii in 1978 and in Seoul, South Korea for five months in 1979 at the Myongdo Language School. This latter effort grew from her volunteer activity with the Korean Catholic Community of Sacred Heart Parish in Honolulu. Throughout her life Alma sought to learn and enjoyed being exposed to educational opportunities. The Maryknoll Mission Institute was always a highlight of her renewal periods. At one time she was able to make a study tour to the Holy Land.
Sr. Alma Virginia entered the Maryknoll Sisters on December 8, 1940, made her First Profession of Vows on June 30, 1943 and her Final Profession on the same date in 1946 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. She was assigned to Hawaii in 1946, and aside from furlough and renewal periods, Congregational Service and Family Ministry for a short time, she remained a member of that Region until 1994 when she returned to Maryknoll, NY. She was assigned to the Eden Community in 2004.
Elementary education was her forte and for many years in Hawaii she taught first through fifth grades in a number of schools operated by the Maryknoll Sisters. These included St. Michael’s in Waialua, St. Augustine’s in Waikiki, Maryknoll Grade and High Schools on Oahu and St. Anthony’s in Wailuku, Maui. One of her fifth grade students wrote in later years that Sr. Alma Virginia was the best teacher she ever had. She described her as caring, patient, good in helping students understand, willing to assist with homework, and one who was fair and a good disciplinarian.
While on Congregational Service from 1980 – 1983, Sister worked in Housekeeping and Hospitality and again for a year in 1989. She also was a driver for a year in Monrovia, CA. On returning to Hawaii, Sister lived at St. Catherine’s Convent and served as a receptionist at the Catholic Immigration Center where she had earlier given service. She also taught English as a Second Language to a number of immigrants seeking a home in Hawaii.
Sister always wanted to do what would help the Sisters and others. Her warm heart and love for her large family and our Sisters brought pain. At times she was fragile in this suffering, yet she would always seek to give of herself as much as she could. She maintained a large correspondence with our Sisters and with the leadership and talked of the Maryknoll community living as a loving, prayerful, supportive sharing of our lives as Maryknoll Sisters from which she gained great strength.
Until the time of her death, Sr. Alma Virginia’s prayer ministry was the Maryknoll Affiliates. We are very grateful to the Affiliates for their gratitude and to our Residential Care Staff for their loving service to her. We welcome today our Maryknoll Father Earnest Lukaschek who will preside at our Liturgy of Christian Burial.