Sister Mary Rosalma Pawlak, 98, a Felician Sister for 76 years, died in the Blessed Mary Angela Care Center in Buffalo on Nov. 28, 2018. The former Josephine Pawlak was born on Feb. 22, 1920, in Morris Run, Pa. She entered the Immaculate Heart of Mary Province of the Felician Sisters on Oct. 25, 1942, and professed perpetual vows on Aug. 6, 1950. She was a member of St. Casimir Parish in Elmira, and graduated from Elmira Free Academy. She earned a bachelor's degree from Mount St. Joseph Teachers (now Medaille) College in Buffalo. She also received a diploma from Rochester Dental Dispensary and a New York state license as a dental hygienist.
Sister Rosalma began her ministry at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Home for Children in Cheektowaga, serving the children as a dental hygienist. She served in this capacity for a total of 27 years while assisting as a chauffeur and directing a group of boys. She also spent an additional seven years at the home serving as the administrator.
Sandwiched between her years at the home, Sister Rosalma was a religious education coordinator at several parishes in Boonville. Her next mission was at Guardian Angel Day Care Center in Buffalo where she served as a part-time teacher, a part-time office aide, a social worker and an administrator. In 1989, Sister Rosalma began her special ministry to the sisters at Villa Maria Infirmary in Buffalo as a chauffeur. She spent 15 years as a full-time chauffeur and continued as a part-time chauffeur for a few more years.
In July of 2006, when several sisters from India came to live with the Felician Sisters, she helped them adapt to the American way of life. She continued to assist wherever she was needed until her health would not permit her to do so. Sister Rosalma became a patient in Blessed Mary Angela Care Center in 2011.
Sister Rosalma was predeceased by her parents, Frank and Josephine (Wosicka) Pawlak, her brothers, Leo, Alzy, Vincent and Joseph Pawlak, and her sisters, Sister M. Adorata Pawlak, CSSF, Louise Lepkowski, Martha Przygoda, Ann O'Herron Stella Bush and Lucy Pawlak.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Cheektowaga.