Sister Teresa Marie Sweeney, OSF, of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, died May 11, 2017, in the Santa Casa Hospital, Anápolis, Goias, Brazil. She was 86.
The former Agnes Marie Sweeney was born Dec. 13, 1930, in Lowell, Mass., to James and Agnes (Blanchard) Sweeney. She joined the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in 1949, and professed final vows in 1956.
Sister Teresa received a bachelor's degree in mathematics, with a minor in chemistry, from St. Bonaventure University, and taught at St. Elizabeth Academy and Archbishop Walsh High School, both in Olean, and at St. Bonaventure University. She also taught in Florida and New Jersey.
In 1962, Sister Teresa volunteered to serve in Brazil, where she began as an elementary and secondary teacher before becoming administrator at Santa Casa Hospital, Anápolis, in 1970.
From 1976-1984, Sister Teresa was a regional minister to her order in Brazil. She returned to the United States in 1984 upon her election as general minister of the congregation, a position she held until 1988.
Sister Teresa returned to Brazil in 1990, where she was instrumental in the formation of many institutions and programs to help at-risk populations in the Brazilian state of Goias. She performed this ministry until she retired in October of 2016, and continued to live in Brazil until her death.
She is survived by many nieces and nephews.
A funeral liturgy was held at Mãe Admirável Convent in Anápolis, Goias, after which Sister Teresa was buried in a cemetery in Brazil.