Sister Barbara Ann Walenty, Maryknoll Member For 61 Years, Dies

Sister Barbara Ann Walenty died on Oct. 24 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll. She was 90 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 61 years.

Sister Barbara Ann Walenty
Sister Barbara Ann Walenty Photo Credit: Contributed

Barbara Ann was born in Detroit, MI on May 26, 1928 to Anna (Starr) Walenty and Anthony Walenty and was baptized in St. Ladislaus Parish in Hamtramck, MI. 

She had three brothers John, Patrick, Donald, Tom and two sisters Gloria and Colleen. Barbara Ann graduated from Mackenzie High School in Detroit, MI in 1946. 

She then attended Providence Hospital School of Nursing in Detroit, MI, where she earned a nurses degree. She then worked as a nurse at Detroit Memorial Hospital for two years and at Highland Park Hospital for three years.

Barbara Ann entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Valley Park, MO on Dec. 30, 1956, from St. Brigid’s Parish in Detroit, MI. 

At her reception she received the religious name Sister Rose Barbara. She made her First Profession of Vows on Aug. 22, 1959, in Valley Park, MO, and her Final Profession of Vows on Aug. 22, 1965, in Hong Kong.

After her First Profession of Vows, Sister Barbara was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll. There she worked as Guest Mistress and in the laundry room until her assignment to Kansas City, Queen of the World Hospital where she worked as Operating Room Supervisor until 1963. 

That same year, she received her first overseas assignment to Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong. There she studied Cantonese and served at Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital as Operating Room Supervisor until 1970. 

From 1970 through 1972, Sister Barbara continued to serve at the hospital as the Clinical Instructor and Supervisor of the Student Nurse Hostel, and established the Student Nursing Program. 

In 1973, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York and worked in the Supportive Services Department before joining the Maryknoll Sisters Eastern United States Region in 1974. She was first assigned to Boston, Chinatown where she taught English as a Second Language and worked at the Chinatown Clinic and Tufts Medical Center from 1974 to 1975.

From 1976 through 1978, she lived in Transfiguration Parish in New York Chinatown, and worked in Cabrini Hospital Nursing Home, and at the Maryknoll Center Health Services. In 1979, she was assigned to St. Theresa School in Chicago, Chinatown, where she served as School Nurse, Teachers Aid and taught “Alcohol & Drug Education” (ADE) until 1986. That same year she returned to Hamtramck, MI to care for her elderly parents.

From 1995 to 1997, Sister Barbara worked in the Maryknoll Sisters Development Departments Mid-West Education/Promotion Office.

 In 1999, she returned to Chicago, IL to retire, but continued to volunteer as a part-time CCD Teacher and Art Teacher with children at St. Theresa's School. In 2008, she moved to Fraser, MI and continued to volunteer doing family ministry and pastoral work. In 2014, Sister Barbara returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, where she remained until her death.

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Barbara Ann on Monday, Nov. 12, at 4:15 p.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll.

A Mass of Resurrection will follow on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. also at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll.

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