Mary Teresine Haban, OSF
January 15, 1914 – April 9, 2010
January 15, 1914 – April 9, 2010
On Friday, April 9, 2010, toward the end of Easter Week, our Sister Teresine Haban slipped quietly into eternity to meet her risen Lord. Her passing from this earthly life into everlasting life was surely an “Alleluia” moment – the culmination of a life of loving commitment and service to God and others.
Teresine was born as the seventh of twelve children on January 15, 1914, in Columbus, OH, to Stephen and Anna (Kollar) Haban. At her Baptism, she received the name of Eva Rosella.
Musically gifted, Teresine began playing the piano at the age of eight. She probably inherited this gift of music from her father who used some of his earnings to buy various musical instruments for his children. When he purchased a piano at an auction, he learned that his little daughter, Eva, could play it. From that time her parents gave her piano lessons as a birthday gift each year until she graduated from high school.
Teresine attended Saint Mary’s Grade School and High School. On September 8, 1930, she applied for admission into the postulancy of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Mary Immaculate and was accepted. She became a novice on August 12, 1931, and was given her religious name of Teresine. Her religious vocation was a gift from God for her, one that she would cherish her whole life.
In 1942, Teresine received her Bachelor’s Degree from the College of Saint Francis. She went on to earn a Master’s in Music from the Chicago Music College. She pursued her studies in music at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where she was awarded her Doctoral Degree in Music.
Teresine’s first ministry was at Saint Clement School in Chicago. Later she was assigned to teach music at the College of St. Francis where she remained for 35 years, eleven of which she served as Chair of the Department of Music.
After leaving the College of Saint Francis, Teresine felt called to expand her music ministry. She accepted a position in the Music Department at West Chester State College. Because she would live at Immaculata College some eight miles away, she knew she would have to learn to drive. Her determination saw her through the achievement of this goal, and she enjoyed many side trips to the local parks and sites in Pennsylvania.
Teresine’s new position at West Chester State was both challenging and rewarding. She wrote: “The challenge became a wonderful source of satisfaction and a very real apostolate, transcending the teaching of music to a witnessing of Catholicity and religious life.”
Not only was Teresine a consummate teacher and instructor, she was also the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a scholarship award for piano study, an appointment as an associate of the American Guild of Organists and Outstanding Educator of America Award. She was active in liturgical education for over sixty years and served as lecturer, consultant and editor in the field of Catholic hymnody. [Teresine was a major contributor to the popular hymnal series Our Parish Prays and Sings, published by Liturgical Press prior to and immediately following the second Vatican Council.] During her ministry she became known as a composer, arranger, performer and adjudicator. To quote one news article: “She reads difficult music on sight much like the ease with which most adults read a newspaper, and transposes with accuracy and speed.” Teresine’s greatest priority, though, was her life as a Joliet Franciscan. Despite many of life’s challenges, changes, and struggles, she loved this Congregation. She loved and cherished what her vocation called her to be and to become. Her example of fidelity and loyalty will remain with us always.
Sister Teresine, as we leave OLA for your final resting place, we take with us our memories of you. We thank you for the gift you have been and are to your Joliet Franciscan Community. May your voice and your music echo through eternity. Amen. Alleluia.
Tribute prepared by the Sisters of Saint Francis of Mary Immaculate.