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Sister Flavia Dampf, SSS 1924-2020


Sister Flavia Dampf, former pastoral associate for Blessed Trinity Parish, died Oct. 24, 2020, at the Clarence residence of the Sisters of St. Joseph. She died 96.

Born Angelina Dampf to Michael and Augusta (Schneflok) Dampf in Szentgotthard/Rabakethely, northwest of Hungary, in 1924.

While she was still a little child, her family immigrated to Toronto. From a young age, Sister Flavia learned from her parents to be community conscious and lend a helping hand to the poor, lonely and handicapped.

Although she encountered various religious congregations and had a relationship of helping in their projects, she was not attracted to them. She felt a call to a missionary order to help the needs of the poor. Her spiritual director called her attention to the Sisters of Social Service who taught summer school at parishes in Toronto. Sister Flavia went with them to Stockholm, Saskatchewan to learn about their community. After just one month with the sisters, she asked for admission to the order. Sister Flavia made her first vows in 1944.

After earning a degree of teacher certificate in Saskatchewan, Sister Flavia began teaching in elementary schools in Preston and Hamilton, Ontario.

 In 1953, Sister Flavia came to Buffalo, returning to Toronto to study social work and earn a degree in 1956.

Sister Flavia served at the parish of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Blasdell, and then St. Anthony, Lackawanna. She spent some years in Syracuse when a group of Sisters of Social Service novices staffed the House of Providence, a home for children from troubled families. As a companion to foundress Sister Margaret Slachta, she spent some time in Tuxedo Park, where Queen Zita, the widow of the last Austro-Hungarian king, resided. During that time, she taught catechesis in the local parish.

Upon returning to Buffalo, Sister Flavia became a religious education teacher at St. Mary Parish in Buffalo.

Her last ministry was at Blessed Trinity Parish in Buffalo, where she served as pastoral associate. Besides her ministry at the parish, she visited the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation to minister those who belonged to the Catholic faith.

Although Sister Flavia retired in 2008, she continued to attend the parish daily until her deteriorating health prevented her.

In the Sisters of Social Service community, Sister Flavia served in the district council three different times. She was a delegate to the general chapter in 1979 and 1985. She also served as delegate of the Buffalo sisters to the Federation of the Sisters of Social Service.

During Pentecost 2019, she celebrated 75 years of jubilee.

She is survived by her siblings Francis, Joseph and Irene Sernari. She is predeceased by her brother Robert.

A funeral Mass was held Oct. 28 at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Buffalo. Burial followed at Holy Cross Cemetery, Lackawanna.