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Sister Mary Thomas Frys CSSF 1931-2023


Sister Mary Thomas Frys, 91, a Felician Sister for 73 years, died in Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent in Buffalo on Aug. 10, 2023.

The former Delphine Frys was born on Nov. 17, 1931, in Buffalo, to Florence (Lesinska) and Bernard Frys and was a member of St. John Kanty Parish, Buffalo, and later, Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish, Cheektowaga. Sister Thomas entered the Buffalo Province of the Felician Sisters on July 16, 1950, and professed perpetual vows on Aug. 14, 1958. After graduating from Immaculate Heart of Mary Academy, Buffalo, she earned a bachelor of science degree at Rosary Hill College (now Daemen) and a master of science degree in Education at Mount St. Joseph College (now Medaille) in Buffalo.

Sister Mary Thomas began her teaching ministry as a Felician Sister at St. Stanislaus School in Buffalo. She was a primary grade teacher in various Catholic elementary schools in the Dioceses of Buffalo and Syracuse for nine years, before beginning a 22-year ministry in education in Ontario, Canada. After teaching at the elementary level for five years and earning a Canadian Elementary School Principal’s Certificate, Sister Thomas served as principal of St. Joseph School, Stevensville, for seven years and at St. Michael School, Dunville, for nine years. While at St. Michael School, Sister Thomas also directed the parish choir. She finished her ministry in Canada at St. Christopher School, Hamilton, as a fifth-grade teacher.

Returning to the United States in 1983, Sister Thomas taught the fifth grade at Ascension School in North Tonawanda, for two years before resuming the role of principal at St. Bernard School, Buffalo, and Queen of Martyrs and St. Josaphat Schools, Cheektowaga.

True to the Felician mission “to cooperate with Christ in the spiritual renewal of the world,” Sister Thomas was deeply involved in parish life wherever she ministered, coordinating sacramental programs, visiting the sick, serving as eucharistic minister, and at times, directing the parish choir and leading congregational singing. 

Completing her active role in education in 1999, Sister Thomas immediately applied her superb administrative skills to assisting in the internal offices of the provincial administration and Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent. She was always a ready volunteer whatever the need.  

Reflecting on her 60h anniversary of religious life, Sister Thomas acknowledged that the greatest gift she received was “that God called me to serve him and that he sustained me during these 60 years.”  

Sister Thomas is survived by her sister Bernadette (John) Modrzynski, her brother James Frys, and her cousin SM Nicolette Wichrowski, CSSF. She was predeceased by her sister Florence Bukowski, her brother Thomas Frys, her cousin SM Liliose Frys, CSSF, and great aunt Sister M. Paschasia Mocny, CSSF.

A wake for Sister Thomas will be held at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent (600 Doat St.) on Tuesday, Aug. 15, from 2 to 5 p.m., followed by an evening prayer service in the Convent Chapel. 

A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, Aug. 16, at 10:30 a.m. in the Convent Chapel.


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