Sister Ann Schwarz, 82, an educator and a sister of the Holy Child Jesus for 61 years, died of cardiac failure Monday, Dec. 14, at Holy Child Center in Rosemont.

Sister Ann's relationship with the Society of the Holy Child Jesus was close and enduring.

She was related to Cornelia Connelly, a native Philadelphian and founder of the society, according to the order. Sister Ann's father was a direct descendant of Connelly's oldest sister.

Sister Ann cherished the memories of the loving care she received at the School of the Holy Child in Suffern, N.Y., where she was a boarding student after her mother died when she was 3.

Upon graduation, Sister Ann entered the society in 1951. She professed her final vows in 1959 and was also known by the religious name Mother Mary Theophila.

After the Second Vatican Council, sisters were allowed to use their given name instead of their religious name.

Sister Ann received a bachelor's of science degree in elementary education from Villanova University in 1959 and a master's degree in education from Loyola University in Los Angeles in 1967.

A gifted teacher who connected with students, she taught for 25 years in schools on both coasts. Among her assignments were Holy Child Academy in Drexel Hill; St. Leonard's Academy in Philadelphia; Rosemont School of the Holy Child in Rosemont; Holy Family and St. Charles Schools in Portland, Ore.; and Mayfield Junior School in Pasadena, Calif. She also taught at St. Anastasia School in Waukegan, Ill.

Starting in 1981, Sister Ann devoted herself to religious education at parishes in Cape Coral, Fla.; Bayonne, N.J.; Philadelphia; Washington; Littleton, Colo.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Bryn Mawr. She retired in 2000.

A creative, lively person, Sister Ann brought inspiration to religious instruction through the use of music and dance, her fellow nuns said.

She was an expert in tai chi, which she practiced and taught before and after she retired. She lived her final years at Holy Child Center.

Sister Ann is survived by a sister and two brothers.

Services were Friday, Dec. 18.

Donations may be made to the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, 1341 Montgomery Ave., Rosemont, Pa. 19010.

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