Age 99, died at Caritas Christi, the motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill in Greensburg, on September 15, 2017. A Pittsburgh native, Sister Mary Janet entered the congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill on September 8, 1935, from Sacred Heart Parish, Shadyside. Preceded in death by her parents, Malachy A. (Alex) and Josephine (Dalton) Ryan; three brothers, Edward, Regis, John A.; six sisters, Catherine Curry, Ann Byrd, Josephine Malley, Minnie Osterle, Mary Potts, and Dorothy O'Connor. She is survived by nieces and nephews. She earned a Bachelor's degree in secondary education from Duquesne University and a Master's degree in geography and history from the University of Pittsburgh. Sister Mary Janet taught students of the elementary and secondary levels in schools of the Altoona-Johnstown and Pittsburgh dioceses. In 1965, she began a long tenure as an assistant, then Associate Professor at Seton Hill University until her retirement in 1990. From 1990 until 2004, Sister Mary Janet volunteered her services to the Westmoreland County court advocacy program in Greensburg. She then continued to volunteer in the Retired Senior Volunteer Program at Westmoreland County Community College. Sister Mary Janet received an honorary Seton Hill University Bachelor's degree and gained alumna status in 2005. In that same year, she was awarded the John J. McGrady award in recognition of her exemplary career and for her dedication to helping people in the “most despairing moments of their lives.” In 2006, Sister Mary Janet was recognized by the Westmoreland County Mental Health Association and received the Fred Funari Award of Distinction “for her ministry to those who needed help at the most difficult times in their lives.” In 2010, Sister Mary Janet was honored as a distinguished alumna of Sacred Heart Elementary School. A distinguished teacher, blessed with a keen sense of humor and a flair for entertaining others, Sister Mary Janet spoke of her life as a Sister of Charity, “For most of my years in religious life, I have said this daily prayer from Psalms, 'God created my inmost self; His right hand holds me. For the wonder of your works, I thank you. Guide me in the way that is everlasting.'” Visitation will be held Monday, September 18, 2017, from 2-7 p.m. with a Vigil to follow at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, September 19, 2017, from 1-4 p.m. with the Funeral Mass to follow at 4 p.m. at the Caritas Christi Motherhouse, Mt. Thor Rd., Greensburg, PA 15601. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Charity, De Paul Center, 144 DePaul Center Road, Greensburg, PA 15601. For more information visit the website, www.scsh.org.
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PostedSeptember 17, 2017