Sister Anne Fiala, RSM
Sister Anne Fiala, RSM, 89, died Sunday, July 29, 2012, at Caritas Center in Dubuque after a lengthy illness. Services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, at Sacred Heart Convent Chapel in Cedar Rapids by Rev. David Ambrosy. Burial will follow the funeral service at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Cedar Rapids. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, at Sacred Heart Convent in Cedar Rapids with a wake service at 7 p.m. Arrangements are with Stewart Baxter Funeral and Memorial Services.
Sister Anne was born in Karlin, Mo., on Dec. 10, 1922, the daughter of Frank and Marie Herot Fiala. As an infant, Sister Anne’s family moved to the Czech Village in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, while her father worked on the Chicago Northwestern Railroad. She attended St. Wenceslaus School in Cedar Rapids and entered the Sisters of Mercy Community in Cedar Rapids just after her high school graduation in 1943.
Sister Anne earned her bachelor’s degree from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, Wis., majoring in history with a minor in English. For 10 years she taught grade school at St. Joseph, DeWitt, St. Patrick, Garryowen, Immaculate Conception, Cedar Rapids, and at St. Joseph, Marion. In 1958, Sister Anne earned a Master’s degree in Library Science at Rosary College in River Forest, Ill. and spent 13 years as the librarian at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids. In 1970, Sister Anne received an advanced certificate in Religious Education from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis. She went on to teach religious education at Immaculate Conception Parish, Cedar Rapids, and Sacred Heart Parish, Oelwein, and served as director of religious education at St. Mary Parish in Marshalltown. Sister Anne finished her active ministry as a pastoral associate at St. Nicholas Parish in Evansdale.
In 1999, Sister Anne retired and moved to Sacred Heart Convent in Cedar Rapids. She continued to provide service in the Cedar Rapids area for several years as a volunteer at the Catherine McAuley Center and religious education teacher at St. Matthew’s Parish. Sister Anne was passionate about justice issues and was a member of the Sisters of Mercy Justice Team and Eastern Iowa Women for Peace Group.
Sister Anne was preceded in death by her parents; four brothers, Dominic, Frank, Vincent and Wencil; and two sisters, Josie Mullaley and Mary Mraz.
Sister Anne is survived by her sister, Frances (Richard) Whitters; and a sister-in-law, Margaret Fiala, all of Cedar Rapids. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews, including Sister Annette Fiala, RSM, and other Sisters of Mercy.
Memorials may be made to the Sisters of Mercy at 1125 Prairie Drive NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402.
Published July 31, 2012 in The Gazette