Sister Mary Francis Dabrowski, MFIC, 95, died peacefully Dec. 28, 2019, in Our Lady of Angels Infirmary in Tenafly, N.J.
A native of Syracuse/Solvay, she was born Rose Gertrude to Anthony Dabrowski and Stella Lasinski on Nov. 15, 1924. Sister Francis was proud of her Polish heritage and customs. She loved gardening and cooking.
She began her ministry of parish and catechetical work at St. Mary of the Assumption in Binghamton from 1946 to 1955. She taught primary grades in St. Mary School in Little Falls, Minn., from ’55 to ’61.
She then began a lifetime commitment to religious education in Binghamton; Syracuse; Richboro, Pa.; and back to Binghamton from ’81 to ’91 at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.
Sister Francis spent a year in England as chaplain in St. Francis Nursing Home. She continued her chaplaincy work at University Hospital in Syracuse from 1998 to 2004. She retired to Our Lady of Pompei/St. Peter’s Parish but was very much active in outreach, especially to refugees; Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults; and religious education.
In 2013, Sister Francis moved to the congregation’s Retirement Home and Infirmary in Tenafly. She remained active and interested in reading and hearing about all the places where she was involved in ministry.
Sister Francis shared that the ministry she was the proudest of was working with the refugees from Burundi who settled on the North Side of Syracuse near Our Lady of Pompei Church. She became a friend, a mentor, an advocate, and a “grandmother” to so many of the children and young people who gravitated toward her for help.
Sister is survived by her sister Theresa Zera of Syracuse, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and cousins. She is predeceased by her parents, her brother Anthony, and her sisters Celia Smura and Jane Babinski.
Her Community of Missionary Franciscan Sisters will miss her, yet they thank God that she is at home with the Lord to enjoy her eternal reward.
Donations in memory of Sister Francis may be made to the Retirement Fund/Missionary Franciscan Sisters, 253 Knickerbocker Road, Tenafly, N.J., 07670.