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Sr. Lelia Horkans

Dominican Sister of Peace Lelia Horkans (88) died at Mohun Health Care Center, Columbus, OH on October 10, 2016. She was born in 1928 in Philadelphia, PA. Her family later moved to Manhattan, where she attended St. Vincent Ferrer Elementary School and met the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs.

She continued her education and religious formation with the Sisters as a boarding student at Mary Immaculate School in Ossining, NY. In 1946, following her high school graduation, she entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

Sr. Lelia Horkans

Sr. Lelia earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from the College of St. Mary of the Springs, now Ohio Dominican University, and a Master of Science in Education and Speech Pathology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Sr. Lelia spent her many years of ministry as a teacher, meeting and forming students in elementary schools in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut.  She had a special love for students with special needs.  For a number of years she ministered as a speech pathologist in the Brooklyn/Queens Special Education Program.  In 1992 she became Director of the Speech and Hearing Clinic of City College of New York, ending her tenure on the CCNY faculty shortly before her golden jubilee in 2008.

Sr. Lelia recognized that her ministry was one of preaching.  "In working with children who find verbal communication so difficult, it seems that this work is a very basic step of Preaching," Sr. Lelia wrote.  "At a time when Right to Life is a prime issue, being able to offer parents of developmentally delayed children a program that will continue their social and academic growth is a concrete follow-up to the teaching of the Church."

Fr. Stanley Azaro, OP, in his homily, said:

I will remember greeting Sr. Lelia every day at the offertory of the daily Mass, as she presented the hosts to be consecrated that day. The Bread of Life sacramentalizes the continued presence among us of Jesus, the Wisdom of God, a Wisdom to be assimilated and internalized, a Wisdom to be communicated and shared, a practical Wisdom, Bread for seekers and wayfarers, which nourishes us and strengthens us to be able to meet all the challenges of life. As a caring and devoted teacher and wise mentor, as well as a faithful community-minded Dominican woman, Sr. Lelia shared all the love and goodness and wisdom that was within her with many others. She also gave a great example of fortitude and perseverance in the face of illness and infirmities. Nothing could separate her from the love of God that comes to us in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39). So she was able to give birth to God’s love every day of her long life, in her love and concern for others.

In 2010 Sr. Lelia moved to the motherhouse in Columbus, OH, and in 2011 to Mohun Health Care Center.

She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Anna Burns Horkans. She is survived by her sister, Eleanor Slattery.

 A Vigil of Remembrance and the Mass of Christian Burial were held at the Columbus Motherhouse on October 14 and 15, 2016. Burial followed at St. Joseph Cemetery.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Lelia’s memory may be submitted securely online or sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr. Columbus, OH 43219.

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