Remain faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life. REV 2:10

In Memoriam: Sister DeSales Wisniewski, D.C.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Sister DeSales Wisniewski, D.C., was celebrated September 15, 2018, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Md. Burial followed at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Emmitsburg.  Sister DeSales died September 8, 2018, at Villa St. Michael in Emmitsburg. She was 88 years of age and 70 years vocation as a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.

Born in Baltimore Md., on November 19, 1929, Sister DeSales (baptized Rose Marie) was one of two daughters born to Francis Joseph and Anna Winifred (Herbert) Wisniewski.

A 1947 graduate of Seton High School, Baltimore, Sister DeSales entered the Community of the Daughters of Charity in December 1947 from Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Baltimore. Sister DeSales earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from St. Joseph College, Emmitsburg, in 1956; she earned her Master of Science Degree in Medical Surgical Nursing from Boston University, Boston, Mass., in 1963.

Following initial formation, Sister DeSales first served as a Teacher at St. Patrick School, Richmond, Va., (1949 to 1953). Following a period of study, Sister served as a Nurse at Providence Hospital, Washington, D.C., (1956 to 1957). Sister DeSales then served as a Nurse Supervisor at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Jacksonville, Fla., (1957 to 1960); Carney Hospital, Dorchester, Mass., (1960 to 1964); DePaul Hospital, Norfolk, Va., (1964 to 1968); and Providence Hospital, Washington, D.C., (1968 to 1974). Her next role was a Director of Education at St. Agnes Hospital, Baltimore, (1974 to 1979). Sister then served as the Respect Life Coordinator at Catholic Charities, Baltimore, (1977 to 1979).

Sister DeSales returned to Providence Hospital, Washington, D.C., to serve in three roles: Director of Volunteers, (1979 to 1980); Director of Hospital Education, (1980 to 1983); and in Nursing Quality Assurance, (1983 to 1985). While on mission at Providence Hospital, Sister DeSales served as Local Community Superior from 1979 to 1985.

Sister next was missioned to St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Jacksonville, where she served as a Hospital Education Instructor and Assistant Director of Education, (1985 to 1988). Sister served again at St. Vincent’s Health System, Jacksonville, as Mission Service Educator, (1989 to 1992); Vice President Organizational Development and Mission Integration, (1992 to 1995); Vice President of Baptist St. Vincent’s Health System, (1995 to 2000); and Mission Integration Specialist, (2000 to 2008). Sister DeSales is remembered very fondly at St. Vincent’s. “She was an icon at St. Vincent’s,” said Jane Lanier, President of St. Vincent’s Foundation, in a September 12 The Florida Times Union newspaper article. Sister was a 2002 Florida Times-Union EVE Award Winner in Volunteer service and in 2009, she was named the EVE of the Decade (the EVE awards are given to women who make Jacksonville a better community). These were two of many awards with which Sister was honored for her deep concern about health care accessibility for those who could not afford it.

During 1988 to 1989, Sister served in Maternity Services at St. Ann’s Infant Home, Hyattsville, Md. Sister DeSales’s last hospital mission was at St. Agnes in Baltimore where she served as Mission Integration Specialist, (2008 to 2016).

In October 2016, Sister DeSales entered the Ministry of Prayer at Villa St. Michael, Emmitsburg, where she served until the time of her death. Sister DeSales was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her sister, Miriam Ludwitzke of Emmitsburg; nieces and nephews; cousins; many friends; and her Sisters in Community.