SISTER M. CONCETTA PETRAUSKAS, SSC
June 17, 1920 – March 14, 2022
Frank and Anna (Kwedder) Petrauskas welcomed Emily Ann (Sister Concetta) into their family on June 17, 1920, in Shenandoah, PA. She grew up in a very religious family in St. George Parish, Shenandoah, where she was baptized, made her first communion, and was confirmed. She grew up with a younger brother, Albin, and a younger sister, Veronica (Vera), who was born almost 10 years after Emily. Vera was 10 years old when Emily entered the convent.
Emily appreciated Vera’s beautiful voice (they sang together at weekly Masses.) Emily encouraged Vera to pursue her gift which she did – performing in operas and musicals, but eventually relinquished opera full-time when she began raising a family. Both Sister Concetta and Vera developed a very close relationship over the years. Family was always important to Sister M. Concetta.
Seeds of her vocation were sown early on and were nurtured by her family, especially her mother who taught Emily to pray and encouraged her to share her faith with children in the parish by teaching them their prayers in Sunday school. Sister Concetta recounted the story told to her by her godmother on her final profession day in 1949 – At her baptism, little Emily kicked off her crocheted booties and was returned home without them. Her legs were covered with her baptismal gown so her booties were never missed. The next day, her godmother reported the missing booties to the pastor, Rev. Joseph Karalius, and was told “whenever personal items of clothing remained in the church overnight, the owner of the clothing was destined to spend his or her life in God’s service.”
After viewing the movie The White Sister and hearing her pastor talk about the Lithuanian heritage and good works of the Sisters of St. Casimir, Emily knew that this was the community for her. She applied to enter the Congregation, but was not able to join because her father had died in a mining accident and she was the breadwinner for the family. After her mother had remarried, Emily entered the convent and was welcomed into the Congregation on August 14, 1940.
On August 15, 1943, Sister M. Concetta made her first vows. Thus began her life of ministry and service within the Church, which took her to four states – Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. She was well prepared for her ministries in education, having received her B.S. in Education and her M.S. in Counselor Education from Marywood College in Scranton, PA.
Sister M. Concetta was a gracious and creative teacher, well-liked by her students. Her beginning years were spent teaching first and second graders. She began teaching the primary grades at Providence of God School in the Pilsen area of Chicago then at St. Joseph School in Scranton, PA, then All Saints School in the Roseland area of Chicago. In 1956 she was assigned to teach business education classes at Maria High School in Chicago. She maintained relationships with former students from Maria High School throughout her life. After Maria, Sister Concetta had various assignments in Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, but she found a special place in her heart for the young women she taught and counseled at Villa Joseph Marie High School in Holland, PA, from 1974-2007. Here, too, she made lasting friendships with colleagues and was able to encourage her students to develop their gifts and talents.
Sister M. Concetta was a life-long learner—in her retirement years she learned new computer skills, communicated through emails, learned how to use facebook. She would have enjoyed all the positive facebook postings about her when people heard of her passing.
In 2003, Sister M. Concetta celebrated her 60th anniversary as a Sister of St. Casimir. In her reflection on that occasion, she wrote: “Whenever my own vocation/journey comes to an end, all I hope for is to hear God’s words, ‘Well done good and faithful servant’.”
In 2018, Sister M. Concetta celebrated her 75th anniversary she ended her reflection with these words: “I joyfully await God’s loving hand…I will be hopefully welcomed into God’s loving embrace.”
In 2020, Sister M. Concetta celebrated her 100th birthday “COVID-style” — she was in her room, but we greeted through her window.
After a life well-lived, Sister M. Concetta felt God’s loving embrace and heard God say to her: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Sister M. Concetta is survived by her sister, Veronica Suppa and her nieces Regina Grabey and Elizabeth DeStefano (all of Springfield, PA), her nephew, Carl Joseph Suppa, as well as grandnieces and grandnephews, and a great grandnephew.
Her father, Frank Petrauskas, step-father, Anthony Mazgelis, mother, Anna Petrauskas Mazgelis, and brothers, Joseph, John, Peter, and Albin Petrauskas, brother-in-law, Carl Suppa, preceded Sister M. Concetta in death.
Sister M. Concetta is also survived by the Sisters of St. Casimir.
Deceased members of Sister M. Concetta’s Profession Class of 1943:
Sister M. Philip Ramoska
Sister M. Clement Mazgelis
Sister M. Francetta Vendzelis
Sister M. Elizabeth Kerdokas
Sister M. Norbert Ginelevich
Sister M. Matthew Pauza
Sister M. Stella Stanevicius
Sister M. Callista Bublius
Sister M. Modesta Bugaila
Rites of Christian Burial
March 19, 2022
Franciscan Village Chapel
1270 Village Drive Lemont, IL Visitation: 9:00 a.m.
Wake Service: 9:30 A.M.
Mass of the Resurrection: 10:00 a.m. Celebrant: Rev. Bob Lucas, CM Organist: Gia Sokas
Flutist: Anna Belle O’Shea
Interment: Saint Casimir Cemetery Funeral Director: Lack and Sons