Sister Mary Francelette Smigielski died Dec. 5, 2015, in the Blessed Mary Angela Care Center in Buffalo, at the age of 78.
She was born Theresa Smigielski on March 22, 1937, in Buffalo, and was the daughter of Vincent and Frances (Glowzcak) Smigielski. She joined the Felician Sisters in 1954, professing perpetual vows in 1962.
Sister Francelette earned a bachelor's degree from Mount St. Joseph College, now Medaille College in Buffalo, and a certificate in clinical pastoral education from St. Jude Center, also in Buffalo.
She went on to serve at a daycare center at St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Hamilton, Ontario; after returning to the United States, she taught elementary school in the Diocese of Buffalo for 24 years, also serving as principal of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Batavia and SS. Peter and Paul in Depew.
Sister Francelette also prepared students to receive the sacraments and taught religious education. She was briefly a reading coordinator at St. Casimir School in Buffalo, and later participated in parish ministry at St. Luke Parish in Buffalo, where she also directed a folk group.
In 1989, Sister Francelette was the recipient of the Diocesan Union of Holy Name Societies' Patriot Award, given to a Catholic who has demonstrated exemplary service to the community. The following year, she began serving as a chaplain at St. Joseph Intercommunity Hospital in Cheektowaga, later transferring to Syracuse to serve in the same capacity at the State of New York Health Center.
She suffered a stroke in 2000, after which she entered Villa Maria Infirmary, now the Blessed Mary Angela Care Center. She served on the pastoral care team until her health declined further.
A funeral Mass was held in the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Villa Maria) Convent Chapel in Buffalo, with burial in St. Stanislaus Cemetery in Cheektowaga.