In Memoriam

Sister Elizabeth Flaherty, OP (Stephen Marie)


I am told that when being carried home from my baptism, we passed the convent [at St. Brigid School, Detroit] and one of the sisters called out, “Is that the new Flaherty baby?” And she invited the group in, placed the baby (me) on the chapel altar and said, “Someday she will be one of us.”

Whoever that unidentified Adrian Dominican Sister was who made that prophetic statement about Betty Flaherty recounted in Sister Betty’s 2013 autobiography, she turned out to be correct.

Elizabeth Jane Flaherty was born on November 25, 1931, in Detroit to Stephen and Helen (Keeley) Flaherty. She was the seventh of eight children, her siblings being John, Gerald, Patrick, Rita, Marie, Margaret, and Kathleen.

Stephen, who worked for the Plymouth Motor Company, and Helen modeled a home life that revolved around family, school, and parish. Sister Betty recalled a childhood that included homework around the kitchen table under their mother’s supervision, cheering their father on at the parish softball games, regular trips to the library with Rita and Patrick, family and neighborhood sports and activities, “but most of all, music. We grew up around the piano as Dad played for family and neighborhood sing-a-longs.”

Betty’s elementary schooling at St. Brigid School brought her into contact with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Her high school years were spent at Immaculata High School, where she was taught by Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Sisters.

Read more about Sister Betty (PDF)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 



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Avatar  Renee Lapham Collins 12 months agoReply

I am so sad to hear of Sr. Betty's death. I did not know her all that well, but a few years ago, she helped out at St. Elizabeth's in Tecumseh, where Father Dan Wheeler is the pastor. Sr. Betty had Father Dan in elementary school back in the day. She was so smart and witty--we enjoyed the time we spent with her. She was a classmate of Sr. Mary Louise Hall, who was my mentor in my Siena years. Rest in His peace, Sr. Betty.

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