Springfield Dominican Sister Philip Neri Crawford, OP, died Feb. 26 at Sacred Heart Convent. She was born in Springfield, in 1931, and named Marilyn Marie by her parents, Louis and Florence (Christjansen) Crawford. She made her profession of vows in 1951 at Sacred Heart Convent.
Sister Philip Neri dedicated 62 years of religious life to Catholic education. From her first assignment at St. Thomas School, Newton, to her final 14-year teaching position at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, she never lagged in her commitment to or energy for encouraging students and teachers. She also taught at Catholic elementary schools in Evergreen Park, Chicago and Crystal Lake. Sister Philip Neri also taught at the religious education center in Carlinville before her first mission as elementary school principal at Our Saviour in Jacksonville. There and at St. Dominic School in Quincy, she taught eighth grade as well. After six years in the Springfield Diocesan Office of Education she was principal at St. Christina, Chicago, then Routt Catholic High School in Jacksonville, and St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Hammond, La., where she was a pioneer teacher and the school’s second principal.
Even in retirement she continued to teach, sharing her passion for current events with her sisters at Sacred Heart Convent by providing weekly dinnertime updates.
Sister Philip Neri was preceded in death by her parents, her sister LouAnn Ross, and brothers Robert and Richard Crawford. She is survived by her sister Barbara Fox, Wildwood, Mo., sisters-in-law Shirley Crawford, Harrisonville, Mo., and Katherine Maland, Sun City, Ariz.; nephews and nieces including Dominican Sister Kristin Crawford of Moweaqua, as well as by cousins and beloved friends.
A funeral Mass was held on Feb. 28, at Sacred Heart Convent Chapel with Father Peter Witchousky, OP, celebrant. Morning Prayer, Remembering, and Final Commendation were on March 1, also at Sacred Heart Convent Chapel. Burial followed at Roselawn Memorial Park.
Donations may be made to the Dominican Sisters Retirement Fund, 1237 W. Monroe St., Springfield, IL, 62704.
The Dominican Sisters and family of Sister Philip Neri were served by Staab Funeral Homes – Springfield.