Dominican Sister of Peace Maria (Stella Levia) DeMonte, OP (91), died at Mohun Health Care Center, Columbus, OH on February 8, 2021.
Sister Maria grew up in a family of seven children born to Giovina Coccia and Antonio DeMonte in Martins Creek, PA.. She entered the Congregation in 1951 and served God and the Church as a consecrated religious Sister for nearly 70 years.
Sister Maria earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from the College of St. Rose, a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry and Counseling from Saint Joseph College, a Master of Arts in CCD Leadership from Catholic University /Siena College, and her Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry and Spirituality from Immaculate Conception Seminary. She also earned certificates in Religious Education and Spiritual Direction all with the goal of helping people better see, understand, and follow the voice of God in their own lives.
With her own deep commitment to spirituality, Sister Maria was a well-loved Candidate Director for Sisters entering religious life. She loved handing on our preaching mission to the newest members of the Congregation. Her extensive study of religion and spirituality were invaluable in her ministries in New York and Pennsylvania as a DRE and Pastoral Associate, as a high school director of Religious Education, and as a member of several Dominican retreat staffs.
Sister Maria took great joy in helping individuals develop a closer relationship with God. After moving to the Oxford Motherhouse in 2013, she gave a series of morning retreats at St. Mary’s Retreat House that became so popular that she published them in a booklet entitled “Pray -Reflect – Contemplate.”
Sr. Maria’s work ministered to the body as well as the soul. Over the years, she volunteered at the Latham, NY, Food Distribution Center, drove the elderly to Sunday Mass for several years, volunteered with North Colonie Ambulance service, served as a counselor for the Billy Graham Crusade, and assisted young women living at the Congregation’s residence house in Philadelphia.
The later years of her life required Sr. Maria to become more itinerant, moving from Danville, PA, to Oxford, MI, and finally to her ministry of prayer and presence at the Mohun Care Center. In true Dominican fashion, she made most of these experiences by immersing herself in ministry, community life and prayer.
She was preceded in death by her parents Antonio and Giovina Coccia DiMonte, her sisters Ilda DiFelice, Wilamina DeMonte, Lena DeMonte, Mary DeMonte, and Dora Lushis; her brother, Natale DeMonti. She is survived by nieces and nephews.
Sr. Maria was interred in a private graveside service on February 20, 2021, at the St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus, OH.
To view and download a PDF of Sr. Maria’s memorial, please click here.