Sister Eleanor Volpe was born on October 15, 1934 in Bronxville, New York, the eighth and youngest child of Joseph and Josephine Volpe. Generous and ardent, she entered the Congregation of the Maryknoll Sisters of Saint Dominic, Maryknoll, New York, on September 2, 1957 and made Final Profession there on June 24, 1966. It was when she was serving as a missionary in South Korea that she felt deeply drawn to serve the Church through a hidden life of intercessory prayer and sacrifice. She asked to enter the cloister of Maryknoll and after five years there it became clear to Sister Eleanor and her Superiors that her call was a more monastic form of contemplative prayer. Thus she entered our community on May 19, 1977 and made Solemn Profession on April 14, 1982.
Sister Eleanor’s generous spirit was evident in many ways in hard and humble work, in her fine service as Guest Sister, in her extraordinary gift for cooking, and in her time at Matutum, Philippines, where she taught English as a second language and was greatly loved and appreciated. But there can be no doubt that her Cistercian vocation was largely defined by serious illness that began shortly after Solemn Profession and from which she suffered with ever increasing regularity and intensity throughout her life, particularly in her last ten years. She embraced her suffering with courage and without complaint. We trust that this was the path God gave her to quench her thirst for souls. On Friday, March 15, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. while Sisters were beginning to pray the Office of None around her bed, she completed her passion in union with Christ. May she rest forever in His presence in the fullness of joy and peace.