Born June 7,
1930 in Falmouth, Kentucky
Philomena Rarreick was born on June 6, 1930 to Sidney and Laura
McElfresh Rarreick near Falmouth, KY. Named Sarretta, she was the
youngest of four children. Lavonne and Eupha, her sisters, and Vincent,
her brother, are deceased. Sarretta’s mother Laura died in 1935, and all
four children lived and were educated at St. John’s Orphanage. Sarretta
was baptized there in 1937.
She entered St. Walburg Monastery in 1949 and received the name Sister Philomena when she became a novice in 1950. First profession followed in 1951, and perpetual profession in 1954. Sr. Philomena celebrated her silver jubilee in 1976, her golden in 2001, and diamond in 2011.
Sister Philomena taught primary grades in La Junta, CO; Danville, Manchester and Georgetown KY, and at St. Paul’s and St. Henry’s in Northern KY. From 1981 to 1991 she worked at the Cathedral Child Development Center, now Children, Inc.
Sister Philomena was no stranger to a sewing machine. As a seamstress she made and repaired quite a number of daily use items for sisters. She enjoyed working with her hands, making and fixing rosaries. She did needlework and knitted hats for a hospital’s newborn babies and for agencies who distributed them to those in need of a warm hat.
Sister Philomena died peacefully on January 16, 2018. Her parents, sisters, brother, and one nephew have gone before her in death; she is survived by many nieces and nephews.
Vigil service was held the evening of Sunday, January 21 with. The Mass of Christian Burial at 5:00 pm, Monday, January 22 at St. Walburg Monastery. Sr. Philomena was interred in St. Walburg Monastery Cemetery.