S. Florence “Rose” Izzo
Florence “Rose” Izzo died July 11, 2020, at the age of 85 in Mother Margaret Hall. S. Rose was born Florence J. Izzo on Jan. 15, 1935 to Italian immigrants, Francesco and Teresa (Sorbo) Izzo in Lansing, Michigan. She was one of four children. She was a Sister of Charity for 66 years. At the time of her vows she chose the name Rose Teresa.
Rose enjoyed her growing up years in Lansing, Michigan, where she attended St. Mary’s grade school and St. Mary’s Cathedral High School, graduating in 1953. She was taught by the Sisters of Charity for all 12 years and made the decision to enter the Community the following September 1953. She believed Sisters Margaret Elizabeth Donnelly, Mary Rumler, Dorothy Marie Kremer and Alice Mary Roddy to be especially instrumental in her call to religious life.
Rose’s ministries span nearly 50 years, 20 in educational school settings as teacher and counselor and 28 more as therapist and counselor. In her early years she taught in Cincinnati and Detroit before moving to St. Joseph Hospital (Mount Clemens) as therapist and medical liaison for patients with addictions (1972-’80) while she was earning her master’s in counseling. In 1980 S. Rose was hired as an instructor of pastoral theology and provided counseling for the adult students, priests and lay persons, attending classes at St. John Seminary, Plymouth, Michigan, an opportunity she loved. In 1987 she accepted a position at the Franciscan School of Theology, Berkley, California, directing field education for master of divinity students. She felt she was being fed and ministered to, even as she worked and learned with them. In 1990 she served in a Renew program developing small Christian communities out of the Covington, Kentucky diocese, grounded in the essentials of spirituality with lay groups. Returning to Lansing in 1996, S. Rose provided private counseling services until her retirement in 2002. She moved to the Motherhouse in 2013.
Prior to her retirement S. Rose had the opportunity to travel to Romania to help women religious formerly working underground during the Cold War to integrate with the modern world. She traveled alone in the countryside giving talks to the Romanian Sisters about all aspects of modern living together in Community; this was a desperate need for their wellbeing, emotionally and spiritually. She would speak of it as being her second favorite ministry after the time serving at the seminary.