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SISTER MARIANNE ZADROZNY, TEACHER, ABBESS

Sister Marianne Zadrozny, a Buffalo native, began her work as a schoolteacher under the name of Sister Virgianna, but left the Buffalo area in the early 1960s to pursue a more contemplative life.

After leaving the Felician Sisters here and joining the Poor Clares order of nuns in New Orleans, Sister Zadrozny served two terms as the abbess of her monastery.

Her life was quiet, as she intended, but there was excitement, her relatives recalled.

On a few occasions, she met Pope John Paul II and attended a movie premiere with Sister Helen Prejean, the author of "Dead Man Walking," a critically acclaimed book about a convicted killer who is executed on death row.

"When I asked my aunt if she had seen 'Dead Man Walking,' she quietly admitted that she had seen the movie at the premiere with her friend Sister Helen Prejean. That was her way. She never bragged," said Mary Matecki, her niece.

Sister Zadrozny, 65, died Thursday (Nov. 21, 2002), after a long illness, in the New Orleans Monastery of St. Clare.

"Before her death, she made sure that her poor families that she visited weekly each had another person who would look in on them," Matecki said.

Sister Zadrozny was a graduate of Rosary Hill College and obtained a master's degree in Franciscan studies from St. Bonaventure University in Olean.

She is also survived by a brother, John of Cheektowaga.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted later this week in New Orleans. Entombment will be on the grounds of St. Clare Monastery.

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