S. Marie Vincentia Roney
Sister Marie Vincentia Roney died June 1, 2023 at the age of 90 in Mother Margaret Hall, the nursing facility for the Sisters of Charity, Cincinnati, Ohio. Sister Marie Vincentia was born on July 8, 1932 to Edward M. and Josephine (Lerch) Roney in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was one of 13 children, six girls and seven boys. She was a Sister of Charity for 71 years.
Sister Marie Vincentia grew up in Old Town Albuquerque, attending St. Mary grade school and graduating from St. Mary High School in 1950. She entered the Sisters of Charity in September 1951, saying she was first influenced by the faith and example of her father. She would say, “He was a man of prayer. He didn’t push his version on us; he simply lived it. He had a great concern for the poor and was a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.” When she received her religious name she was thrilled to always be connected to her father and his devotion to St. Vincent.
Sister Marie Vincentia earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1960. She received a master’s in religious education from Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1967 and completed a master’s in Christian spirituality in 1992 from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska.
Sister Marie Vincentia’s ministries spanned more than 60 years, 36 in elementary education, 25 in retreat ministry and spiritual direction. In 1954 she went to St. Albert School, Kettering, Ohio. Next she ministered at St. Therese, Pueblo, Colorado (1955-’58); St. Dominic, Cincinnati, Ohio (1958-’60); St. Rose, Lima, Ohio (1960-’66); and St. Francis Xavier, Santa Fe, New Mexico (1966-’69 and then as the principal 1969-’73). Sister remained in New Mexico at San Felipe, Old Town Albuquerque (1973-’79); San Miguel, Socorro, (1979-’82); and St. Mary, Albuquerque, (1982-’88).
At this time in her life Sister Marie Vincentia enrolled in a renewal program, IL Ritiro in St. Louis, Missouri, where she was encouraged by her peers to consider a ministry that would help people foster spiritual growth and wholeness. She followed this program with her graduate work at Creighton University in Nebraska. Both programs emphasized claiming one’s gifts and celebrating God’s goodness. It was an atmosphere she was ready to become part of. She referred to those years as “a powerful, wonderful experience of community.”
In her 25 years of ministry in spiritual direction, Sister Marie Vincentia began as a staff member at Madonna Retreat Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and also found space at the Christian Brothers College of Santa Fe to see directees; she served as a full-time staff member at Sangre de Cristo Center, an international renewal center in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. She was also involved with the Center for Action and Contemplation founded by Richard Rohr, OFM. There, Sister Marie Vincentia met with individuals for spiritual direction as well as the various groups of interns for group processing and group spiritual direction. She would say of these years, “To attend to the souls of these lay people from many different walks of life as well as men and women religious, I first of all had to attend to my own life. Receiving regular supervision from peers monthly with a group of five spiritual directors was appreciated and essential. May I be and remain a fit instrument.”
In July 2019 Sister Marie Vincentia returned to Ohio and the Motherhouse campus. In her retirement years she enjoyed reconnecting with her Sisters and corresponding with her many friends, near and far, sharing her welcome sense of humor.
Sister Noreen Ellison saw her friend exemplifying the virtue of simplicity wrapped in a great sense of humor and with a deep spirituality. She recalls, “I have fond memories of our Michigan summers of theology studies in the early years of Vatican II. I’m also grateful to have had many community experiences in her company when we gathered in regional meetings in Colorado and New Mexico in more recent years.”