Sister Hripsime Tcheftelian (1926-2016)

RADNOR, Pa.—It is with profound sorrow that the Armenian Sisters’ Academy of Radnor mourns the passing of one of its founders, Sister Hripsime (nee Marie) Tcheftelian.

Sister Hripsime Tcheftelian
Sister Hripsime Tcheftelian

At an early age, Sister Hripsime answered God’s call to be religious. She became a Sister of the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception. She responded to any assignment with a smile and the fiat “Yes, I will.”

Born in Jounieh, Lebanon, on Oct. 17, 1926, to Arshalouys and Bedros Chiftelian, Sister Hripsime left Beirut in 1943 for the Mother House in Rome. Upon completing her religious training, she became a member of the Order in 1946. Later, she found herself back in Beirut at the Hripsimiantz Varjaran where she would remain for 13 years, teaching religion, French, and mathematics. During the course of her stay, Sister Hripsime worked at the Bzommar Vank Orphanage for one year as the director.

Heeding the call of obedience, in 1963 Sister Hripsime departed for the United States. She was among the first three Sisters to accept the assignment and challenge to start a school in the Philadelphia area. After studying English and mastering the language at Cabrini College, Sister Hripsime, along with Sister Arousiag and Sister Valentine, founded the Armenian Sisters’ Academy.

For 14 years, Sister Hripsime committed her life to educating Armenian-American children with unending patience, love, and compassion. Much to the Philadelphia community’s dismay, she was called to Rome to be assigned as “Mistress of Novices” and to train the postulants and novices for religious life. After four years, she returned to the United States to establish a new school in the Los Angeles area, where she remained for nine years.

Elected as vicar general, Sister Hripsime returned to Rome and served in that capacity until 2006. At the same time, she resumed her role as “Mistress of Novices.” In 2007, a glorious homecoming brought Sister Hripsime back to Philadelphia where she was a beacon of hope, love, and inspiration to all who knew her.

Sister Hripsime was surrounded by her loving Sisters and family members when God called upon his faithful servant on Feb. 9, 2016.

She was a shining example of peace and love to so many. Her constant smile, love of God, and prayerful presence remind us that all things are possible with God’s help. Thank you, Sister Hripsime, for the vision you had for the Armenian Sisters’ Academy in Radnor. The school will continue to serve our community and honor your legacy forever.

In lieu of flower, donations may be made to the Armenian Sisters’ Academy in Radnor, PA or St. Mark’s Armenian Catholic Church in Wynnewood, Pa.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

1 Comment

  1. My name is Marie Tchakerian Sister Hripsime was my teacher in Lebanon,Beirut.She would like to see me when I call her .Then lost her phone number. She will be always in my prayers.

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