Born: Magdalene Mary Schafer on May 13, 1923 in Utica, NY.
Died: Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in Allegany, NY.
Daughter of Henry and Nora Schenete Schafer of Utica, NY.
Sister Ellen Michael was received into the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, NY at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse on August 15, 1945, and professed her final religious vows on August 16, 1952. Sister devoted herself to the life and mission of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany for more than 70 years.
She graduated from Blessed Sacrament School in 1937 and Boonville High School in 1941. Prior to entering the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany in 1944, Sister began her college education and completed her B.S. in Education at St. Elizabeth Teacher College in Allegany, NY, (now part of St. Bonaventure University) in 1963. She completed graduate work at St Michael College in Winooski, VT, earning an M.A. in Theology in 1979.
Sr. Ellen Michael began her ministry in the field of education in congregational schools in Florida, Virginia and NY. In 1969, she accepted a position at St. Pius X Catechetical Center in Delevan, NY where she assisted neighboring parishes with religious education and home visitation. In 1981, she became the Assistant Director of Religious Education for the Southern Tier, as well as Coordinator of the Justice and Peace Commission for the Diocese of Buffalo. Three years later (1984) Sister became the Director of this ministry and remained in this position for the next 20 years before retiring to St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in 2002. Sister creatively used the loveable movie alien “E.T.” to teach students the power of relationships and sharing by turning on their “heart lights”.
In August, 1994, Sister was recognized for her distinguished service to the Church of Buffalo and was awarded the Pontifical Cross from Bishop Edward D. Head.
Sister Ellen Michael is predeceased by her parents and a sister, Margaret and husband, Earl Palo. She is survived by several nieces and nephews.
A Wake Service is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, 2017 in the Chapel at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse, Allegany, New York. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 12, 2017 in the Chapel of St. Elizabeth Motherhouse, followed by burial in St. Bonaventure Cemetery, Allegany, New York.
The funeral arrangements are under the direction of Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, Inc. 646 East State Street, Olean, New York.