As a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities for 74 years, Sister Elizabeth Zagar of Millvale, Pennsylvania says she feels blessed by the love of her sisters in community. Their support has been instrumental in helping her to live a long and healthy life.
On June 28, Sister Elizabeth will celebrate her 100th birthday at the Sisters of St. Francis’ Mount Alvernia convent in Millvale, Pennsylvania. The oldest of eight children, Sister Elizabeth grew up in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania where she entered the Sisters of St. Francis from St. Joseph’s Parish. After earning a master’s degree in education from Duquesne University in 1967, Sister Elizabeth began teaching in the fields of math and science.
Sister Elizabeth’s teaching career spanned more than 30 years at elementary, secondary and schools in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and 13 years in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. During her later years, she served as manager at the former St. Francis Plaza senior adult living community in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood, and in the business office at the former St. Francis Medical Center in Lawrenceville.
Today, Sister Elizabeth serves in prayer ministry. She prays regularly throughout the day and attends Mass each day. “I always include people I have met in my lifetime in my daily prayers,” she says.
Although she admits it took some nudging from her cousin, Sister Alma, who was a Sister of St. Francis at the time Sister Elizabeth entered the congregation, she says she has had a wonderfully rich life as a Sister of St. Francis. “I’m happy with my life and with what God gives me,” she says. “I’ve had a full 100 years!”