Sister M. Basil Anthony (O’Flynn), CSC
Sister Basil Anthony O'Flynn, CSC
(September 7, 1917 - December 16, 2011)
Word has been received of the death of Sister M. Basil Anthony (O’Flynn) who died at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, December 16, 2011, in Saint Mary’s Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana.
When speaking of Sister Basil Anthony one could say she was a giant of a woman and be referring to her tall and sophisticated stature or her impact as a strong community member or even as a pillar in the life of Saint Mary’s College. All of these would be true for she was a person who was “larger than life” during her many years of ministry. Her presence was always felt because she performed her assigned tasks with a zeal and dedication that could not go unnoticed. Though she never drew attention to herself, her accomplishments and efficiency demonstrated her skills and academic excellence.
Many in community will remember Sister Basil Anthony best as a member of the General Administration particularly as general secretary to Mother Rose Elizabeth and Mother Kathryn Marie. She was tapped for this role when Mother Gertrude, general secretary, became ill and needed an assistant. Though Sister Basil Anthony as a white veil novice was very young, her efficiency and integrity made her a perfect fit for this position. Her devotion to duty and her admiration of Mother Rose Elizabeth made this heavy responsibility a work of love. Over the years she matured into an effective elected member of the General Council, where she served with outstanding dedication for 17 years.
Sister Basil Anthony is remembered by the Saint Mary’s College community as the “go to Sister” for information, for help, for friendship and for empathy. On the occasion of her 90th birthday, Carol Ann Mooney, president of the college, said of her: “For generations of Saint Mary’s alumnae, she is Saint Mary’s,” and so she was. During her 40 years of service to the college she filled almost every role possible, and some even were invented just to retain her presence as a resource person. She was beloved by all.
One aspect of Sister Basil Anthony’s life is not commonly known. She always wanted to be a nurse but because of her complete acceptance of the full commitment and faithfulness to her vow of obedience, she willingly took on whatever tasks she was assigned. Besides the four short, fulfilling years in hospital pastoral care, her life was lived as an administrator in internal ministry in the congregation and in the halls of education at the college.
Her deep faith and subtle humor sustained her in times of turmoil and helped her meet any challenges she faced. This faith radiated through all of her actions and her relationships with everyone whether they were college presidents or homesick freshmen. She acted out of her faith-filled life as a religious. This prayerful approach gave her a profound personal peace that permeated throughout her life. May Sister Basil Anthony now rest in peace from her labors of love.
Funeral arrangements for Sister Basil Anthony are as follows: Reception of the body, wake and memento on Wednesday, December 21, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. with the Mass of Resurrection at 1:30 p.m. the same day. These ceremonies will take place in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto. May Sister rest in peace.