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Dec. 5, 1924 – Oct. 30, 2013

Sister Mary Monica Riordan, a longtime elementary and high school educator, died Wednesday in the Mercy Health Care Unit. She was 88.

Born Julia “Jewel” Agnes Riordan, she was a Sister of Mercy for more than 70 years. She entered the order in September 1943 and made her perpetual profession in August 1950.

Born in Lackawanna, Sister Monica attended St. Teresa and St. Martin elementary schools and Mount Mercy Academy.

She attended D’Youville College for a year before entering the Sisters of Mercy. She later earned a bachelor’ degree in English from Canisius College, a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in religious education from St. Meinrad School of Theology. She also received a grant for further study in physics in 1975.

Sister Monica taught in elementary and high school for more than 60 years, including an 18-year stint as principal of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School in Orchard Park.

She was selected as the National Distinguished Principal in 1988.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 7 p.m. Monday in the Mercy Center Chapel, 625 Abbott Road.