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Sister Christine Diensberg, OSF 1940-2022

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Sister Christine Diensberg, OSF, the former Sister M. Chiara, died March 2, 2022, at Stella Niagara Health Center, Stella Niagara. She was 81.

The daughter of the late Robert and the late Rose Bilger Diensberg was born Oct. 27, 1940, in Buffalo.     

Sister Christine attended Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, followed by Rosary Hill College (now Daemen) in Amherst, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1964. Sister later earned a master’s in education from the University of Maine in Orono, another master’s in theology from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, and an AAS in Occupational Therapy from Erie Community College North in Williamsville.

She joined the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity on Aug. 30, 1959, at Stella Niagara. She professed perpetual vows three years later.

Her ministry took her throughout Erie County, where she served in a variety of roles, including teacher at Stella Niagara Seminary; parish ministry at St. Bridget Parish, Newfane; campus ministry at Daemen College, Amherst; a faculty position at Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora; parish ministry at St. Joseph Parish, Gowanda; tutor/bookkeeper at Bishop McMahon High School, Buffalo.

Sister’s put her occupational therapy degree to good use at Niagara Lutheran Delaware Home and Heathwood Nursing Home, Buffalo. This was followed by a role as activities coordinator at DeGraff Adult Day Care, North Tonawanda. Then she went back to campus ministry at Canisius College, Buffalo. She handled community mental health at Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo; more occupational therapy at Optimal Therapy Associates Services, Buffalo. She tutored at Plato Services, Buffalo. And finally served with the activities staff at Manhattan Nursing Home, Buffalo and Rosa Coplon Living Center, Weinberg Campus, Amherst.

Sister also taught in the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, and the Diocese of Wheeling/Charleston, West Virginia.

After her retirement in 2007, Sister Christine was a faithful volunteer for Heifer International, St. Benedict Parish, Eggerstville, St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room, Buffalo, and the Ladies of Charity Clothing Store, Buffalo.

A funeral Mass was held March 7 at Stella Niagara, with burial at the Sisters’ Cemetery in Stella Niagara.

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