Ana Belen Ospina

Birth: September 15, 1921
Profession: January 9, 1954
Death: January 19, 2007

Sister Ana Ospina, longtime pastoral minister at Holy Rosary and Sacred Heart Catholic churches in Manhattan (457 West 51st Street), died January 19 at Teresian House, a skilled care facility in Albany, New York. She was 85 and had been a member of the Society of the Sacred Heart since 1945.

Sister Ospina entered her religious order in Bogata, Colombia, her native country, and professed her final vows in Havana, Cuba, in 1954.

Before moving to the United States in 1961, Sister Ospina worked in Sacred Heart convents in Columbia, Puerto Rico and Cuba. She was a talented seamstress who often made liturgical vestments.

From 1961 to 1969, Sister Ospina served as a seamstress at Kenwood Convent of the Sacred Heart in Albany. In 1969, she moved to New York City, first working at a community center in Harlem teaching sewing and performing various other services for the poor.

She studied pastoral ministry at the Mexican-American Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas, and through courses offered by the Archdiocese of New York and became licensed as a catechist.

In 1973, she began working at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in New York City as a pastoral minister, preparing adults for Sacraments, coordinating Hispanic activities and directing base communities. Four years later, in 1977, she moved to Sacred Heart Church on West 51st Street, where she remained as for twenty-five years, continuing to perform the duties of a pastoral minister, but also working with a group of volunteers to run a range of social programs for the homeless and poor of the neighborhood.

She moved to Kenwood Convent in Albany in 2002, a retirement center for her religious order, where she was often visited by busloads of parishioners from the Sacred Heart parish in Manhattan. She moved to Teresian House in 2006.

Sister Ospina is survived by a sister, Sarita, and three brothers, Alfredo, Bernardo and Gustavo, all of Bogota.

A funeral Mass for Sister Ospina was celebrated on January 26 at Kenwood. She was buried in the Sacred Heart cemetery on the convent grounds.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Society of the Sacred Heart, 4100 Forest Park Avenue, Suite A, St. Louis, Missouri, 63108.