Sr. Mary Louise Warbans
February 2, 1919 – February 26, 2008
Sr. Mary Louise Warbans (Sr. Theodore Mary) was the sixth child of eight children born to Nicolas and Agnes Warbanski on February 2, 1919.
Polish was the language spoken in the family. Sr. Mary Louise’s father supported his family by working in construction and then moving to a farm in Carey, Manitoba. Attending school in St. Pierre, the children learned to speak French and English. Sr. Mary Louise completed her high school education at the convent in St. Jean-Baptiste. She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and pronounced her final vows in 1946.
Sister Mary Louise graduated from Manitoba Normal School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education from the University of Manitoba. She also qualified to teach in Ontario schools. For more than 30 years, Sister Mary Louise taught in Catholics schools in Winnipeg and in Kenora, Ontario.
After retiring from teaching, Sister Mary Louise found other ways to minister to God’s people.
When she became sacristan at St. Mary’s Cathedral, she used her talent for sewing, her love of flowers, and her respect for priests to enhance the life and liturgy at St. Mary’s Cathedral. When she retired, the parish bulletin noted: “We do want to thank Sister Mary Louise for her constancy in working so faithfully, taking such excellent care of the sanctuary and all that entails.
Sister Mary Louise next moved to pastoral care at Misericordia Hospital. To better serve the patients Sister Mary Louise studied and was awarded a certificate in gerontology. At the hospital her capabilities in three languages made her ministry as evening chaplain very valuable.
With more free time during retirement, Sister Mary Louise was able to return to one of her early interests – music. She quickly grew to love the violin which she played at every opportunity – in chapel, for celebrations or simply because she loved it. She took lessons at the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Art and sought out other violinists with whom she shared her interest, her skill and her desire to improve.
Sister’s final years in active ministry were spent tutoring and serving as convent sacristan. Sister’s last years were spent in the Infirmary at Résidence Jesus-Marie and at Taché Centre. She died peacefully on February 26, 2008.