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Vale Sister Irma Lunghi (MSC)

Date: 31/01/2013

Sister Irma Lunghi (MSC), who made a lasting and positive impact on Cabrini in Australia, died peacefully in the company of Cabrini Sisters on 30 January at St Cabrini Nursing Home in New York aged 86 years.

During her time at Cabrini in Australia, she fulfilled many roles including Board member, nurse, pastoral care practitioner and patient advocate. “Sister Irma became well known among the staff at Cabrini and the local community and she touched many people in many different ways,” said Cath Garner, Executive Director Mission and Strategy.

“No matter how busy, she always had time to offer comfort, reassurance or praise to both staff and patients alike – she will be fondly remembered and missed by many.”

A life of service

Sister Irma was born on 4 April 1926 in northern Italy. In 1949, aged 23, she entered the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred of Heart of Jesus (the religious order that owns Cabrini Health in Australia) in Milan, Italy. Three years later, Sister Irma began her nursing career in Chicago, USA. From 1961 to 1966, she served as Assistant Administrator at New York Columbus Hospital. She went on become Chief Administrator of Cabrini’s three Chicago hospitals (with a total of 1000 beds) from 1967 until 1973 and at the same time, completed a Master degree at Loyola University, Chicago.

For a total of 25 years, Sister Irma served at Cabrini in Australia. Her many achievements during her time at Cabrini in Australia include establishment of the Governing Board in 1987, which she chaired for two years. In 1999, she celebrated her golden jubilee of religious life and the following year, an annual staff award was established in her name. She retired in 2008 and returned to USA.

About the Sister Irma Jubilee Award

The annual Sister Irma Jubilee Award is awarded each year to a staff member who has made a significant contribution to furthering Cabrini’s mission and values. In announcing Wendy Villella (Patient Flow Coordinator, Cabrini Malvern) as the recipient in 2012, Chief Executive Dr Michael Walsh said: “Sister Irma was known and loved by many of you here. It is great to have this continuing connection as a reminder of her selfless commitment and to have the opportunity to honour a long-standing staff member who demonstrates a similar commitment to service in their role”

Celebrating Sister Irma’s life

On Monday 4 February at 6 pm, the Cabrini Sisters will lead the rosary at the Cabrini Malvern Chapel, 183 Wattletree Road Malvern. On Wednesday 6 February at 2.30 pm, a memorial service will be held at the Cabrini Malvern Chapel. All are welcome.