Sister Terese Warganz lived a deeply spiritual life and was conscious that everything she did, no matter how big or small, had an impact on someone else.
“Once, in the dining room of the motherhouse, she told me: ‘Father. Don’t forget that everything counts,’ ” the Rev. Ron Henery recalled.
“She said that everything counts. Everything helps or hurts. Everything helps someone or takes away from someone,” the priest said.
Henery celebrated Mass for Warganz on April 19 after her death at age 90 on April 12, the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville said.
Warganz, who also used the name Sister Mary Matthew, had lived at the Amityville motherhouse since 2011 after her health began to diminish, her religious order said.
Since joining the order in 1945 she worked as a teacher and counselor at schools on Long Island and was a volunteer for many years at St. Rita’s Free Medical Clinic in Mamaroneck in Westchester County.
She was one of seven children born to Joseph and Mary Warganz. Warganz first encountered the Dominican Sisters at Incarnation Parish in Queens Village.
She entered the novitiate at Queen of the Rosary in Amityville on Sept. 9, 1945, received her habit and the name Sister Mary Matthew on Aug. 8, 1946, and pronounced her vows on Aug. 7, 1947.
She received her bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s degree in counseling/guidance from St. John’s University.
Between 1947 and 1970, she was a teacher at St. Pius V in Jamaica, Queens; St. Bartholomew in Elmhurst, Queens; Queen of the Most Holy Rosary in Roosevelt; St. Catherine of Sienna in Franklin Square; Our Holy Redeemer in Freeport; and Our Lady of Lourdes in Massapequa Park.
She was also a counselor at St. Michael’s High School in East New York, Brooklyn.
She took a year off from teaching to pray at the St. Elizabeth Seton House of Prayer in Scarsdale, from 1978 to 1979.
She was also an advocate for the Right to Life movement and participated in marches and protests that led to her being jailed, her order said.
From 1994 to 2011, she was a volunteer coordinator at St. Rita’s Free Medical Clinic, arranging medical services and organizing activities for patients.
Warganz was buried April 19 at the cemetery on the grounds of the motherhouse in Amityville.