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Williamsville nun who met Father Baker turns 104

Sister Mary Nelson Harlach

Sister Mary Nelson Harlach met Father Nelson Baker and considered him such "a real blessing" that she chose to make him her namesake in religious life.

The sister of the St. Francis of the Neumann Communities celebrated her 104th birthday Thursday at St. Mary of the Angels Convent in Williamsville.

Before becoming a Sister of St. Francis, she worked as a nurse at Our Lady of Victory in Lackawanna, an infant home, home for unwed mothers, boys' orphanage, hospital, nurses' home and school.  It was there she met Baker, founder of the “city of charity.”

Harlach went on to serve as a teacher and principal for more than 40 years in various schools throughout Western New York. She also served as an organist for many years.

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