Mary Rose Romeo, SSJ, formerly Sister Mara Joseph, 73, of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania, died on January 19, 2022. She was born on March 10, 1948, in Erie, Pennsylvania, to the late Sarah and Joseph Romeo.
Sister Mary Rose attended Villa Maria Elementary School and graduated from Villa Maria Academy in 1965. She later received a BS in Science from Villa Maria College in 1975 and a master’s degree in Biology from Edinboro University in 1981. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on September 8, 1965, from St. Jude Parish in Erie and professed her final vows on August 26, 1973. On the occasion of her 50th anniversary in 2015, Sister Mary Rose reflected, “I truly believe that every day has been filled with countless blessings and opportunities. Returning those gifts back to God – the Giver of all gifts – is the only response I can make. By God’s grace, I have been able to do this with the support and guidance of so many people of faith and commitment.” She died during the 57th year of her religious life.
Sister Mary Rose taught science and English for 20 years at several Erie Diocesan schools, including Our Lady of Peace, St. Andrew, St. Peter Cathedral Center Schools in Erie, and Holy Rosary School in Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania. She also served as Director of the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) Region 10.
Sister Mary Rose was a consummate and creative music minister. She served as Coordinator of Liturgy and Music in three Diocesan parishes: St. Jude the Apostle, Blessed Sacrament, and Our Lady of Mercy, all in Erie. She felt privileged to mentor many young liturgical musicians and cantors throughout the years. She recently served her religious congregation’s prayer and worship needs through music, liturgical planning, and creative writing. In addition, she provided music programs to area nursing homes and retirement centers and generously accompanied the Saint Vincent Chorale at holiday time.
In addition to her parents, Sister Mary Rose was preceded in death by her sister, Theresa Romeo Verga. Survivors include her brother and sister-in-law, Carmen and Dottie Romeo; her sister’s children Tony, Jo Anne, and Mikey; her brother’s children Dan, Jim, Joe, Jeff, Patti, and Tom; the extended Romeo and Pedano families and her dear friend, Susan Herzing, SSJ. She is also survived by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no calling hours. However, a Mass of Christian Burial will be live-streamed on Monday, January 24, 2022, at 4:30 p.m. on the Sisters of St. Joseph Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SSJErie/ and the SSJ Erie YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/SSJErie/live. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania, 5031 West Ridge Road, Erie, PA, 16506-1249, or online at www.ssjerie.org. The Brugger Funeral Home, Erie, is handling arrangements.