Sister Mary Francisca (Rita) Thomas, RDC, a member of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion, a former faculty member of the Academy of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, died on August 19, 2002 at Good Counsel Convent. Sister Mary Francisca was 83. She was born April 8, 1919 in Pawling, NY, the daughter of Frank J. and Kathryn Flanigan Thomas. Sister Mary Francisca entered the Divine Compassion Congregation on September 8, 1942. She received a BA in English from Good Counsel College and continued her studies in Music at the Julliard School of Music, Nazareth College in Rochester, and Manhattanville College in Purchase. In 1970, she received a grant for further study at NYU. She also earned a certificate in Liturgical Studies from New York Archdiocese. Sister Mary Francisca enjoyed a long and fruitful teaching career at Good Counsel Academy, well known to alumnae for her expectations in grammar and composition in Writing courses. Later in her career, she assisted in the Library and was a member of the Westchester Library Association and the Catholic Library Association. Through the years, Sister gave private music lessons to dozens of students. Sister Alice Feeley, President of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion, said: "Sister Mary Francisca delighted in her many years of teaching and challenging high school students to excellence. We give thanks for her legacy of education, her faithful dedicated life among us, and for her gifts of language and music." Sister Mary Francisca is survived by her religious Sisters of the Divine Compassion and cousins in the Bronx, Pawling and Herkimer, NY; Mattoon, IL and Cincinnati, OH. Visiting was on Wednesday, August 21 at Good Counsel Convent, 52 North Broadway, White Plains, from 2-5 and 7-9 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Thursday, August 22, at 10 a.m. in Good Counsel Convent Chapel. Interment was in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in White Plains. Memorial donations may be made to the Sisters of the Divine Compassion, 52 North Broadway, White Plains, NY 10603 MCMAHON, LYON & HARTNETT FUNERAL HOME, INC 491 Mamaroneck Avenue White Plains (914) 949-7777.
Sr. M. Francisca at Good Counsel High School back in the day!