The founder of a religious order suffered a heart attack and died during a Mass celebrating 75 years since she first made her vows.
Mother Rosemae Pender, FSE, Mother Foundress of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, had received the renewal of her vows during her jubilee Mass on Sunday at the Franciscan Sisters’ Chapel of St John in Meriden, Connecticut.
She then presented the Constitutions of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist to Archbishop Emeritus Henry J Mansell, the principal celebrant, during the offertory procession before she collapsed.
Two hundred and sixty congregants, many of whom friends and family, were present at the Mass.
Born in September 1921 in Elgin, Illinois, she entered the the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, La Crosse, Wisconsin, and professed first vows in 1941.
During the 1960s when the Second Vatican Council called for renewal throughout the Church, Sister Rosemae helped to form the order, which later became the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, gaining official recognition from the Vatican in 1973.
Mother Rosemae was named as the superior and was later elected as the Mother General of the order and served in this role until 2005.
Mother Rosemae was 94 years of age when she died.
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