Sister Elizabeth Ahrens died July 6 at Nazareth Living Center in St. Louis. She was 88 and a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 69 years.
Sister Elizabeth was born on May 20, 1932, in St. Louis to Frank W. and Lucille Mary (Rogers) Ahrens. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on Sept. 15, 1950, was received as Sister Robert Francis, and made her final profession on Aug. 15, 1958. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Fontbonne College in 1959 and a master’s degree in history from Saint Louis University in 1964.
For nearly 30 years, Sister Elizabeth served in education as teacher and administrator. In the 1950s to early 1960s, she taught at Nativity of Our Lord School, St. Margaret of Scotland School, St. Roch School, Immacolata School and Providence Junior High School.
She taught at Sacred Heart Central High School in Indianapolis from 1964-65 and at St. Rose of Lima School in Houston, Texas, the following two years.
Returning to St. Louis in 1966, Sister Elizabeth taught at Holy Name School two years before serving as principal and teacher at St. Edward School from 1968-71. She was principal at Bishop Healy School the following year.
From 1972-73, she taught at Holy Angels Grade School in Indianapolis. Back in St. Louis, she served as principal at St. Margaret of Scotland School from 1973-76 and then taught the following year at Most Holy Rosary School.
Sister Elizabeth transitioned to parish work in 1977 and served as parish minister at St. Elizabeth Parish in Kansas City, Missouri, for two years. After a year of study at the Jesuit School of Theology in Chicago, Sister Elizabeth was the religious education director at Holy Trinity School in Honolulu, Hawaii, from 1981-84.
In 1984, she served as an education coordinator at Villa Maria Center. In 1987, she served as pastoral minister at St. Mark Evangelist Parish. Then, in 1988, she was the director of religious education for Sacred Heart Parish in Festus, where she remained for the next 12 years.
Beginning in 2000, Sister Elizabeth began her service to her community as a member of the Community Life Staff at Nazareth Living Center.
Sister Elizabeth retired in 2013, and since 2015, she resided at Nazareth Living Center carrying out her mission of prayer and presence.
Burial was in Resurrection Cemetery. Memorial arrangements are pending.