Sister Irene Elizabeth Riley, 86, a retired teacher and nurse, died of heart failure Saturday at McAuley Convent in Merion.
Sister Irene Elizabeth entered the convent of the Sisters of Mercy in Merion after graduating from West Philadelphia Catholic High School. She professed her vows in 1942 and took the religious name Sister Mary Philip.
In the 1940s, she taught at Our Mother of Good Counsel School in Bryn Mawr; Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary School in Havertown, and Waldron Academy in Merion. In 1950, she graduated from Misericordia Hospital Nursing School, and served on the hospital staff for three years before returning to teaching at Walsingham Academy in Virginia. She later taught for nine years at St. Denis School in Havertown.
From 1974 to 1989, she assisted the pastor of St. Thomas of Villanova Church in Rosemont, visiting the sick and homebound, and bringing them Communion. She retired to a ministry of prayer at McAuley Convent in 1989. She enjoyed classical music and keeping up with current events.
Sister Irene Elizabeth is survived by nieces Teresa Spears, Teddy Clemens and Jolene Radivan.
A Funeral Mass will be at 7 p.m. today at the convent, 515 Montgomery Ave., Merion. Friends may call at 6. Burial will be in the convent cemetery.