A Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Sheila O’Friel, D.C., was celebrated May 4, 2019, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Md. Burial followed at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Emmitsburg. Sister Sheila died April 28, 2019, at Villa St. Michael in Emmitsburg. She was 89 years of age and 65 years vocation as a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.
Born in Altoona, Pa., on October 9, 1929, Sister Sheila (baptized Patricia Sheila) was the youngest child and only daughter of six children born to Chester and Ruth (Ryder) O’Friel. A 1947 graduate of St. Paul’s Cathedral High School in Pittsburgh, Pa., Sister Sheila entered the Community of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul from St. Joseph Parish in Emmitsburg, Md., in December 1953. Sister earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics Education from Margaret Morrison College of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1951, and her Master’s Degree in Home Economics from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., in 1952.
Following initial formation, Sister Sheila served as a Teacher at Holy Cross Academy in Lynchburg, Va., (1955 to 1959); St. Joseph College, Emmitsburg, Md., (1959 to 1964); and Elizabeth Seton High School, Bladensburg, Md., (1964 to 1969). Sister Sheila then served as an Administrator at Labouré Center, South Boston, Mass., (1969 to 1976); Astor Home for Children, Rhinebeck, N.Y., (1976 to 1979; she also served as Local Community Superior during this time); and Kennedy Child Study Center, New York, N.Y., (1979 to 1981). In 1981, Sister Sheila was missioned to Nazareth Child Care Center in South Boston, Mass., where she served as an Assistant Administrator (1981 to 1982). Sister Sheila returned to Labouré Center in South Boston, where she served as Administrator (1982 to 1984); then, she was missioned to Maryvale in Rosemead, Calif., where she served as an Assistant Administrator (1984 to 1986). In 1986, Sister Sheila returned to Kennedy Child Study in New York, N.Y., where she served as Executive Director (1986 to 1992; she also served as Local Community Superior during this time). Sister Sheila was then missioned to Carney Hospital in Boston, Mass., where she served as a Pastoral Care Associate (1992 to 1993), and as Vice President of Mission Services (1993 to 1997). In 1997, Sister Sheila was missioned to the Archdiocese of New York, where she served at Catholic Charities (1997 to 2001). Beginning in 2001, Sister Sheila served three times as a Parish Visitor at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Bayside, N.Y., (2001 to 2015; she also served as Local Community Superior from 2006 to 2009). During the 14 years she served as Parish Visitor in Bayside, N.Y., Sister Sheila was missioned twice to serve as Docent at the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Md., (2004 to 2005, and 2011). In 2015, Sister Sheila joined the Ministry of Prayer at Villa St. Michael in Emmitsburg, Md.; where she served until the time of her death.
Sister Sheila was preceded in death by her parents; four brothers, three of whom were Franciscan priests, Lawrence (Reverend LaSalle), George (Reverend Demetrius), and Michael (Reverend Zachary), and Paul O’Friel. She is survived by her brother, Mark (Margaret) O’Friel; nieces and nephews; many friends; and her Sisters in Community.