Sister Mary Poncilia, 96, a Felician Sister for 77 years, died in the Blessed Mary Angela Care Center, Buffalo, on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019.
The former Lucy Rogacki was born on June 3, 1923, in Depew, and was a member of St. Peter & Paul Parish. She entered the Buffalo Province of the Felician Sisters on July 9, 1942, and professed perpetual vows on Aug. 6, 1950. After graduating from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Academy, Buffalo, she furthered her education at Mount St. Joseph Teachers (now Medaille) College in Buffalo, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in education.
Sister Poncilia began her ministry teaching kindergarten at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Home for Children in Cheektowaga. She returned to the home several times ministering to the children where she spent a total of five years. She also assisted as a child care aide at St. Rita's Home for Children in Getzville.
In 1947, she began teaching children at the primary level at Holy Apostles Peter & Paul School in Buffalo. She continued teaching at many Catholic elementary schools primarily in the Diocese of Buffalo for 36 years. She had a special gift of working with children and enabling them to learn to read. She was called upon to serve in the Diocese of Syracuse in the same capacity for several years. She also found deep satisfaction in preparing her students for the sacraments of penance and Eucharist.
Since 1991, Sister Poncilia has been serving the infirmed and retired sisters in various ways. She assisted in the dining room and vestry, and was the director of the laundry. She continued being involved in other auxiliary services as well. She became a patient in the Blessed Mary Angela Care Center in Buffalo, on July 16, 2014. When celebrating her 75th year in religious life, Sister Poncilia wrote, "God gifted me with life and good health which offer me the opportunity to celebrate this jubilee. I am also able to enjoy it because I still have a sound mind, many memories and a loving family." During her stay in the care center, she spent much time doing what she did best, praying.
Sister Poncilia is survived by her sister, Cecelia Borcz. She was predeceased by her parents, John and Mary (Helak) Rogacki, her brother Thaddeus Rogacki, and her sister Jane Banas. She shared her religious life in community with her cousins, Sister M. Loriette Tokasz, Sister M. Angelette Helak and Sister Maureen Helak.
A funeral Mass was celebrated Oct. 9, in the Convent Chapel. Burial followed in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Cheektowaga.