Sister Mary Thomas Dean F.D.C. went home to the Lord on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, Feast of All Saints. Sister professed her Vows on August 16, 1951. In August 1956 she professed her Final vows, on the day of the Feast of the Assumption to honor her special devotion to Our Lady.
Sister Thomas taught mostly third grade from 1949 to 1975. In her dedication to educating primary students, she moved several times. This gave her the opportunity to serve in almost all the states where the Daughters of Divine Charity taught in parish schools, including New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.
Regardless of where Sister was teaching, students and parents often expressed their appreciation for her attentiveness, love and understanding. She had a unique ability both to challenge her students and reassure them, instilling a lasting confidence.
Sister said she owed in part her religious vocation to her dear parents who provided her and her brother and sister with love and good example. She also credited her cousin, Sister M. Kornelijz F.D.C., as an inspiration.
Those that had the privilege of knowing Sister Thomas knew her to be a gracious and grateful woman. During her illness, whenever anyone did anything to help her or make her comfortable, she always said, “Thank you” with a true gratitude and a warmth that made her caretakers all the more attentive.
Throughout her religious life as a member of the Daughters of Divine Charity, Sister Thomas gave as much as she could. Generous with her time and talents, she sought opportunities to meet the needs of her Sisters. Many recall that despite the responsibilities she took on, Sister always had a calm and pleasant demeanor.