Sister Mary Loyola, CIJ

ROCKVILLE CENTRE — Sister Mary Loyola, 103, of the Congregation of the Infant Jesus, Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor, died Jan. 2 at the motherhouse, Villa St. Joseph, here. She was in the 81st year of her religious life.

She graduated as a nurse from Mary Immaculate Hospital and provided home nursing to the sick poor from 1934 through 1944, when she was appointed novice mistress. She served in this capacity for 21 years, helping with the formation of young women attracted to the congregation, before being elected to major superior in 1965. She served as major superior until 1974.

Her devotion to the advancement of updating religious life and communities included her involvement in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, formerly the Conference of Major Superiors of Women. She served on the board of Mercy Medical Center here, which was originally founded by the congregation in 1913.

She authored two books: “Half a Hundred” in 2005 about the past 50 years of religious life and “More Than Meets the Eye,” anecdotal stories about her personal experience in the ministries of the congregation. She conducted pilgrimages to the Holy Land and taught Scripture classes from 1980-96. She was also involved in the congregation’s associate program for lay people.

She is survived by nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. Her funeral Mass was celebrated Jan. 9, followed by interment in Holy Rood Cemetery, Westbury.