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Obituary: Ursuline Sr. Laurence Montgomery, Wilmington native, teacher, literacy volunteer and minister to migrants

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Sister Laurence Montgomery, OSU

Ursuline Sr. Laurence Montgomery, OSU died July 27, 2020, in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., her home since 2016. She was 99.

A native of Wilmington, the former Ann Montgomery was the daughter of Leo and Margaret Mulrooney Montgomery. She is a 1938 graduate of Ursuline Academy and attended the University of Delaware for three years before entering the Ursuline Order in 1941 in Beacon, N.Y., where she professed vows in 1943.

Sr. Laurence earned a B.A. in social sciences from the College of New Rochelle and a Master’s degree in elementary education from The Catholic University of America. She also studied Spanish at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce, P.R.

An elementary school teacher for over 45 years in parochial and private Ursuline schools in The Bronx, New Rochelle and Middletown, N.Y., and Bethesda, Md., Sr. Laurence taught at the local Ursuline Academy, her alma mater, from 1948 to 1951 and again from 1986 to 1993. She also taught from 1980 to 1986 at St. Paul School in the Diocese of Wilmington. For several years, Sr. Laurence ministered as parish religious education coordinator and CCD teacher in Middletown, N.Y., and also served her Ursuline Community as assistant superior in several of the Order’s convents.

In her most recent time at the Wilmington Ursuline Convent, 1980 -2011, while teaching throughout the school year, Sr. Laurence continued in summer the ministry she had begun in the 1960’s in The Bronx: working with migrants and others in disenfranchised areas. Over the course of many summers, she packed a small bag and moved to Sussex County where she volunteered her efforts at the Casa San Francisco in Milton, serving wherever needed but mainly as an interpreter for members of the Hispanic population helping them access medical, legal and other needed social services.

In retirement, Sr. Laurence generously gave her time as part of the Literacy Volunteers of America, teaching ESL in several venues in Wilmington; she was recognized by the State of Delaware for her work in LVA’s Family Literacy Program. One of her greatest joys was in working with the Capuchin Poor Clare Nuns at St. Veronica Giuliani Monastery, part of the Ministry of Caring in Wilmington, teaching English and preparing the sisters for U.S. citizenship.

Predeceased by her parents and her brothers, Rev. Leo Montgomery, and James and his wife Mary, Sr. Laurence is survived by her Ursuline Community and her loving niece, Mary Catherine Gorman Hoelen and her husband, John.

Because of the current COVID-19 restrictions, there were no services. Sr. Laurence was buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, N.Y., with a memorial service to be scheduled at a future date.

Those who wish may make donations in memory of Sr. Laurence Montgomery to Casa San Francisco, 127 Broad Street, Milton, DE 19968, to Ursuline Academy, 1106 Pennsylvania Avenue, Wilmington, DE 19806, or to the Ursuline Sisters Retirement Fund, 1338 North Avenue, New Rochelle, N.Y. 10804.