Sister Mary Thaddeus, 89, a Felician Sister for 66 years, died in the Blessed Mary Angela Care Center, Buffalo, on May 7, 2019. The former Esther Pogorzala was born on Dec. 15, 1929, in Buffalo, and was a member of Queen of Martyrs Parish in Cheektowaga. She entered the Buffalo Province of the Felician Sisters on Oct. 10, 1952, and professed perpetual vows on Aug. 6, 1960. After graduating from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Academy (later Villa Maria Academy), she furthered her education at Medaille College in Buffalo, with a bachelor's degree in Education.
Initially, Sister Thaddeus began her teaching ministry in Toronto, Ontario, for a year and cared for children at St. Rita's Home for Children in Getzville. She then began her ministry as an elementary school teacher at Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Buffalo. She spent six years teaching at Queen of Martyrs School. At St. Adalbert School in Buffalo, she served as principal.
At most parishes where she ministered, Sister Thaddeus also taught in the Religious Education Programs. At Holy Spirit Parish, North Collins; St. Gabriel Parish, Elma; St. Bernard Parish, Buffalo; and SS. Peter & Paul Parish, Depew; she served as the religious education coordinator.
Sister Thaddeus also ministered to the sisters in her community in various ways. In addition to other local leadership positions, she served at Villa Angela Convent, Elma, maintaining the convent for the recreational use of the sisters in the province for six years. She was summoned to local leadership at Our Lady Mediatrix of Graces Generalate in Rome from 1984 to 1987. Her last service in this capacity was at St. Felix Convent, Buffalo, where the sisters ministered to the special education students who attended the Cantalician Center for Learning.
In January 2008, Sister Thaddeus became a member of St. Francis Residence Convent in Buffalo. On Aug. 1, 2011, because of poor health, she became a patient in the Blessed Mary Angela Care Center in Buffalo. Sister Thaddeus had a deep devotion to the Merciful Christ. She would often be seen praying the Stations of the Cross in the Convent Chapel. She enjoyed her sisters in community.
Sister Thaddeus is survived by her brother Leonard (Frances) Pogorzala. She was predeceased by her parents, John and Rose (Olszewski) Pogorzala and her brothers, Richard, Thaddeus, Alfred, Daniel, John Jr., and Harold Pogorzala.
A funeral Mass celebrated in the Convent Chapel. Burial followed in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Cheektowaga.