Sister Rose Ballantine, MFIC, was called home to God on May 20, 2014. She was born Kathleen Teresa (Catherine) Ballantine Aug. 24, 1925, to Michael and Margaret (Gillen) in Armagh, Northern Ireland. She and her sister May grew up in a loving home.
Sister Rose entered the Missionary Franciscan Sisters on Oct.11, 1945 in Bloomfield, Ireland. She made first profession of vows on April 17, 1948 in Bloomfield and professed final vows in the U.S. on May 8, 1953.
Her teaching career began in 1948 at Our Lady of Pompei in Chicago, Ill. She continued as a primary teacher at Our Lady of Pity in the Bronx, St. Charles and Our Lady of Lourdes in Syracuse, St. Francis Academy in Union City and St. Thomas Aquinas in Binghamton.
In 1968, Sister Rose was appointed principal of Cathedral School in Savannah, Ga. This was the beginning of a long and happy ministry for her in the South. She was catechetical director and pastoral assistant in several parishes including Immaculate Conception in Augusta, St. Matthew’s in Statesboro, St. John’s in Valdosta, St. Boniface in Springfield and Sacred Heart in Savannah.
Sister Rose ministered to the poor and needy in Georgia both as pastoral assistant and volunteer. No task was too small for her to perform in her service to others.
In 2005, Sister Rose retired from active ministry and lived in Newton, Mass. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and later moved to Tenafly, N.J., to be assisted in the infirmary for the Missionary Franciscan Sisters in 2007. During those seven years, Sister Rose formed community with her sisters in Tenafly and is remembered for being always gentle, grateful and gracious with everyone.
Sister Rose will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved her. She chose this quote as an expression of the way she viewed her life and her ministry: “An authentic missionary is never self-sufficient, but is well aware that she is just a mediator . . .just passing by . . .”