January 4, 2015
Panhandle—School Sister of St. Francis Sister Mary Josita McKinnon, one of the three Sisters who established the foundation of the Texas region of the School Sisters of St. Francis Congregation in Panhandle, passed away Jan. 2. She was 90 years old.
Mass will be celebrated Tuesday, Jan. 6 at 3:30pm at Sancta Maria Convent, Father Tony Neusch, pastor, St. Anthony’s Church, Hereford, presiding. Burial will be in Panhandle Cemetery.
Her funeral will take place 61 years to the day of her arrival in Panhandle.
Mary Ann McKinnon was born on Aug. 21, 1924, in Bridgeport, Canada, one of 13 children born to Alex and Mary Jane McKinnon. On Oct. 29, 1946, at the age of 22, she entered the Congregation of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Youngstown, Ohio. Mary Ann received the name Sister Mary Josita, named after St. Joseph, at her reception into the novitiate on Aug. 9, 1947. Her first profession was on Aug. 15, 1949.
Sister Mary Josita made her perpetual profession on Aug. 12, 1954. Members of her community noted that she lived an amazing 65 years in the Consecrated Life.
Sister Mary Josita studied Education at Incarnate Word College in San Antonio early in her religious life. Her assignments over the years included teaching Faith Formation classes, working in the Catholic Children’s Home in Panhandle and teaching in Catholic schools in Dumas, Borger, Dalhart and Levelland.
After retiring from Catholic Schools in 1985, Sister Mary Josita returned to Panhandle to teach Religion classes in parishes. She enjoyed being a cook and seamstress for her Community. One of her favorite projects was working in the Food Pantry for the local poor.
Sister Mary Josita was preceded in death by her parents; Sander Farell; and Sister Mary Goretti McKinnon, who was also a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Panhandle, who passed away in 1998. Survivors include Teresa Tittley, Jessie Bennett, Margaret Somerton, Frances McDonald, Alexius McDonald, Valerie Gouthro, Fabian Farrell, Daniel Farrell, Kenny Farrell and Danny Farrell.