Sister Raphael Marie Batterton, MM

Born: March 8, 1914
Entered: September 7, 1942
Died: March 17, 1958

You will be shocked to hear that Sister Raphael Marie died at our Queen of the World Hospital at Kansas City this morning after a brief illness. While Sister’s health has not been robust for some years, there has been no evidence that anything was seriously wrong. And there was certainly no cause for any immediate concern, as recently Sister seemed to be very much better.

Yesterday, Sunday morning, just after completing her prayers for the morning, including the Stations of the Cross, Sister went to the Refectory about 10 o’clock, for a cup of coffee. It was at this time that she mentioned to Sister Mary Mercy that she “did not feel very well”. Sister Mary Mercy recommended that Sister lie down for awhile, Sister Raphael Marie did so, and soon called one of the Sisters to say that she felt very much worse and feared she was very ill. Sister Mary Mercy was called at once; and Sister Paula Therese was summoned shortly. They found that Sister was already sinking into a coma, evidently as a result of a mass hemorrhage at the base of the brain. The Chaplain was called and administered the last rites. Sister Raphael Marie never regained consciousness.

Last evening, Sister Mary Mercy phoned Mother the second time to report that Sister’s condition had not improved. After consultation with neurologists, the earlier diagnosis was confirmed, and Sister was not expected to live through the night. Sister Mary Mercy reported that word had been received that Sister Miriam William was already on her way from Monrovia.

This morning, as Mass was just beginning, Mother received a phone call from Sister Mary Mercy announcing that Sister Raphael Marie had gone to God at 5:25 a.m., Kansas City time. Sister Miriam William had reached her in time and was with her at the end. A Requiem Mass will be sung for Sister tomorrow at Queen of the World Hospital, after which Sisters Mary Mercy and Miriam William will accompany the remains to the Motherhouse where the funeral will take place on Thursday morning.

Sister Raphael Marie (Winifred Batterton) was born in San Francisco on March 8, 1914. She entered Maryknoll September 7, 1942. As so many of you know, Sister was a diligent worker and an excellent secretary. She was assigned first to Mother’s office and later to the Seminary Administration office. In 1953 Sister went to Valley Park to help organize the campaign for the Novitiate expansion building fund. Sister’s indefatigable efforts made an invaluable contribution to the success of the drive.

For the past two years Sister has been a member of the secretarial staff at Queen of the World Hospital, Kansas City, where her generous devoted services will be sorely missed.

Mother Mary Columba who left for Monrovia this morning to attend the ground breaking ceremony for the new building, asked me to send this message to you, to remind you of our suffrages for dear Sister Raphael Marie’s soul. I know that you will be generous in your prayers for her and that Sister Miriam William will be consoled in this sudden sorrow, by the warmth of our prayerful sympathy.