Sister Mary Hilary Bowen,
Sister Mary Hilary Bowen,
  • March 31, 1921 - November 15, 2017
  • Houston, Texas

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Sr. Mary Hilary Bowen, CCVI, a Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word, died at1:00 A.M. on November 15, 2017. She now enjoys the fullness of eternal life with God.
Sr. Hilary was born Hannah Bowen, daughter of John Francis Bowen and Hannah Murphy Bowen on March 31, 1921 in Cork City, County Cork, Ireland. She was the eldest of four sisters and five brothers. Hannah entered the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of Houston, TX on February 19, 1938 at St. Michael's Convent, County Clare, Ireland. Due to World War II, Sister made her novitiate in Ireland and then came to Texas and on June 6, 1951 she made her Perpetual Profession of religious vows to God at Villa de Matel in Houston, Texas.
Sr. Hilary's earliest mission assignments were St. Mary's Orphanage in Lafayette, LA and St. Mary's Orphanage, Galveston, TX. In 1948 Sr. Hilary entered the School of Nursing at St. Mary's Hospital in Galveston and graduated as a registered nurse in 1951. Following her Perpetual Profession, Sister ministered as a staff nurse at St. Therese Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital, both in Beaumont, TX and St. Mary's Hospital, Port Arthur, TX. For five years in the 1960's, Sr. Hilary ministered to the poor, mainly Hispanic children at San Jos Clinic in Downtown Houston. From there, she volunteered to go to Huehuetenango, Guatemala and spent some years nursing in the Hospital Nacional and in Hospital San Pedro Necta. Upon her return to the U.S., Sr. Hilary served as a nurse for fifteen years at St. Joseph Hospital, Houston and at T.E. Schumpert Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana for two years. She then served in ministry as a Patient Representative at St. Mary Hospital, Port Arthur, Texas, followed by a much enjoyed Sabbatical year. Afterwards, Sr. Hilary returned to minister as a Patient Representative at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont until her retirement to St. Placidus Convent in Houston in 2000. Sr. Hilary spent her life for God caring for the poor and ill in the U.S. and in overseas missions. Her love was caring especially for children and the vulnerable in our society, with an energy and joy that was inspired and strengthened by the Spirit of God within and around us in the Body of Christ.
Sr. M. Hilary is survived by her sisters: Mary Quilty, Elizabeth (Lia) McKeowen, and Stella Burke. She has several nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. Her life of dedicated service to others gives praise and thanks to God by sharing her talents generously with those in need. A special word of gratitude is extended to the staff at St. Placidus Convent who gave loving and compassionate care to Sister during the last years of her life.
Sr. Hilary's body will be received at the Immaculate Conception Chapel, Villa de Matel, 6510 Lawndale St., Houston, TX at 5:00 P.M. on Friday, November 17, 2017, followed by Evening Praise and a celebration of her life. Mass of Christian Burial will be held in the Immaculate Conception Chapel, Villa de Matel at 10:30 A.M. on Saturday, November 18, 2017. Rite of Committal will follow at Villa de Matel Cemetery.