Sister Angela Miller - North Providence

Sister Angela Miller - North Providence

Sister Angela Miller, 101, Franciscan Missionary of Mary, Ein Karim Community, died on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, at St. Antoine Residence, North Smithfield.

She was born in Baltimore, Md., the daughter of the late William and Sybil (Hunkl) Miller. Sister Angela was one of those rare persons born on Feb. 29th of a leap year, 1912. She worked for a few years in an office before entering the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary at Fruit Hill, North Providence, R.I., on June 12, 1932.

After pronouncing her first vows, Dec. 15, 1934, Sister Angela was sent in mission to Our Lady of Good Help in Orient Heights, East Boston, Mass. This community was one of the first started in the United States. During the “Spanish Influenza,” many young children were left homeless. It was then that an orphanage was opened for many of them. Sister Angela’s ministry there was that of a teacher to these children.

Her second mission-sending was to Divine Providence Shelter for children in New York, where she served as the assistant to the Superior. In 1936, Sister Angela was sent to Holy Family Community in North Providence, R.I. There she was a member of a team of sisters called “commissioners.” Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in different parts of the world established workrooms to help young girls and women earn a living. Angela and other FMM traveled to different parts of the United States selling the products of these workrooms.

In 1947, Sister Angela was missioned to Japan during the difficult post-war years. She served as an assistant in the Baby Home in Yokohama, then successively 10 years in Shukugawa, Hiroshima and Kobe. It was in Hiroshima that she spent eight years helping to care for the 160 orphans there, often working on adoption programs with American families.

A strong, gentle yet tenacious person, Angela often had to stand up for the rights of the vulnerable and when it came to children, she showed much courage in this regard. She also enjoyed teaching English and drama at the orphanage. Sister Angela used to relate the account of helping a non-Christian student who was thrilled to take the part of St. Elizabeth of Hungary during one of the plays. Angela said that it was a privilege to work with the Japanese people, who in most cases were not Catholic, but who had many virtues and Christian values.

Prior to her return to the United States in l972, Angela worked in the Business Office of Kaisei Hospital in Kobe. She served in the Fruit Hill Program for the Elderly and as a receptionist in Holy Family Community until her illness. She was sent in mission to St. Antoine Residence in 1994. Her ministry there was that of intercessory prayer for the Church and the world.

She remained a person very faithful to prayer and the sacraments, and though unable to hear or see well, would respond with a gentle smile to people who spoke to her. There are no immediate family survivors.

Visiting hours will be on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 from 4-8 p.m., with a Wake Service at 7 p.m. in the Holy Family Chapel, 399 Fruit Hill Ave., North Providence, with a Funeral Mass at Holy Family Chapel, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 at 11 a.m. Arrangements by Russell J. Boyle and Son. www.boyleandsonfuneralhome.com