Regan touched many people in her long life as a nun
Updated 6:24 pm, Thursday, June 22, 2017
Sister Josepha Regan, a longtime teacher who taught in schools throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, didn’t stop touching the lives of others once she left the classroom.
Even long after she’d left teaching and entered the Sisters of Divine Providence Our Lady of the Lake Convent in San Antonio, about 10 years ago, she continued to be a galvanizing presence, organizing plays and other lively events with other sisters in the center.
“She was a woman who lived fully, and poured her whole self into whatever she was doing,” said Sister Frances Lorene Lange, who is the community coordinator at the convent.
Regan passed away Tuesday at the age of 101 from natural causes.
Sister Josepha Regan
Born: Oct. 29, 1915, Iota, Louisiana
Died: June 20, 2017, San Antonio
Preceded by: Parents Patrick and Amelia Regan; four brothers; two sisters
Survived by: Numerous nieces and nephews and her sisters at Sisters of Divine Providence
Services: 11 a.m. Saturday at Annunciation Chapel at Our Lady of the Lake Convent Center, 515 S.W. 24th St.
Born in Iota, a small town in Louisiana, Regan was given the name Lily Mae by parents Patrick and Amelia Regan. She professed her first vows in 1934 and began her ministerial life as a teacher at St. Mary Academy in Palestine.
Regan earned a Bachelor of Arts at Our Lady of the Lake College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and spent much of her formative years as a candidate for the religious order in San Antonio.
For almost 60 years, she taught first- and second-grade students, as well as courses in English, Latin and French in high school. Lange said Regan frequently received emails and letters from former students, who “had just the highest praise for her, telling it was her way of teaching — being so loving and being such a good mentor — that got them started on the rest of their lives. They were just wonderful tributes.”
Regan was also devoted to her many nieces and nephews, organizing a host of games, sports and other activities whenever they spent time together. “She had all kinds of tricks up her sleeve to keep them entertained, and she loved those little kids,” Lange said.
After she left the classroom, she spent many years caring for her aging mother and her elder sister, Mamie Duplechin, providing nursing care for them before they died.
Once Regan entered the convent, she didn’t slow down, organizing plays based on children’s folklore and other stories, writing scripts and creating costumes for her fellow nuns to use in performances before the whole convent. Another hobby was decorating her sisters’ dorm doors on their birthdays.
Even in the last couple of weeks of her life, when she became largely unresponsive, Regan’s face would light up “with a gorgeous, radiant smile” whenever anyone touched her arm, Lange said.
“She was just a happy, God-centered person,” she said. “She served God all her life. She was just a happy, short, chubby French lady with a wonderful smile.”