A funeral Mass for Sister Lee Anne Farrell, SSND, was celebrated March 26 at Theresa Center in St. Louis. Sister Lee Anne died March 21 at the age of 83.
The second child of Mae (McNellis) and James Farrell, she was born in Chicago. Lee Anne received the white bonnet of a candidate with the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1955, at her parish church, St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville, Illinois. She was received into the novitiate in 1956 and given the name Alonza Marie. She professed first vows in 1957 and final vows in 1963. She later returned to her baptismal name.
Sister Lee Anne taught elementary students for 20 years at St. Liborius School in St. Louis; and at schools in Illinois, Texas and Florida.
Sister Lee Anne earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the former Notre Dame College in St. Louis in 1966 and a master’s degree in elementary and secondary administration from Barry College (now University), in Miami in 1978.
Returning to the St. Louis Province, Sister Lee Anne realized that she needed assistance with a developing reliance on alcohol. She entered the Edgewood Program at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis. During this program, she was encouraged to take the counselor training program. She lived with the Religious of the Sacred Heart at Villa Duchesne in St. Louis. Having completed the certification program, she was a counselor at the Belleville Mental Health Clinic in Belleville for a year. She was an addiction counselor with the Paraclete Fathers at St. Michael’s with their residential program for priests and brothers in the St. Louis area. After nine years, she was elected a provincial councilor for the former St. Louis Province. Following two terms in this ministry and a sabbatical, she was a counselor at the St. Louis Consultation Center, an outpatient program for priests, men and women religious.
In 1996, she received a Master Addiction Counselor Certification from the National Association of Drug and Alcohol Counselors.
Starting in 2001, she was program director and then vice president of Guest House for Women Religious in Lake Orion, Michigan. In 2010, she was an educational consultant for Guest House and with another staff member gave presentations to women religious communities in Croatia and Hungary. The next year, she ministered as an educational/intervention consultant at various places in the St. Louis area. In 2012, she was appointed one of the community leaders at Theresa Center at Sancta Maria in Ripa for two years. She continued ministering part-time as an addiction counselor. From 2014-2019, she ministered as a consultant for St. John Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer.
Sister Lee Anne had been diagnosed with breast cancer three times, the latest in 2018. She was missioned to Mother of Perpetual Help Center in Shrewsbury in June. She was transferred to Mary Queen and Mother and placed on hospice in November.
Sister Lee Anne is survived by her sister, Mary Farrell (Marion) Reis of Lombard, Illinois. Burial was in Sancta Maria in Ripa Cemetery in St. Louis.