Sister Anthony, a member of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary for fifty-eight years, died peacefully on Saturday, May 19, 2012, after living courageously with cancer for over five years. She was preceded in death by her parents, Rose Benedict and Peter Poerio, Sr., and her brothers Joseph and Peter, Jr. She is survived by her brother, Rev. John Poerio, her sisters-in-law Shirley and Adeline, her many nieces and nephews, and her religious community of Loreto Sisters, especially Sister Miriam Scanlon, IBVM. For the first twenty years of ministry, Sister Anthony served in the field of elementary education in Chicago, IL, Sacramento and Carmichael, CA, and St. Gregory Catholic School in Phoenix. In 1977 she became the Director of the Office of Worship for the Diocese of Phoenix and remained in this position until 2005 when she joined the pastoral staff of St. Mary’s Basilica as Adult Formation/RCIA Director. In each of her ministries she attended to every detail with her unique creativity, artistic gifts and organizational ability. Crowning her many achievements was the planning and coordination of the liturgy celebrated at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe when Pope John Paul II visited our diocese in September 1987. For thirty-five years our diocese has been blessed with her liturgical expertise, her desire to uplift us in prayerful worship and her generous spirit. A viewing will be held on Wednesday, May 23, at 6:00 pm followed by the rosary at 7:00 pm at the St. Mary’s Basilica. On Thursday, a funeral liturgy at St. Mary’s will be celebrated at 9:30 am followed by the interment at St. Francis Cemetery. Donations may be given to the Loreto Sisters’ Retirement Fund in care of the IBVM Office of Development, P. O. Box 508, Wheaton, IL, 60187. The Loreto Sisters (IBVM) wish to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Hospice of the Valley, the staff and parishioners of the St. Mary’s Basilica, and the neighbors and many friends who supported and lovingly cared for Sister Anthony throughout her illness.
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