Sister Anne Marie of the Cross Liston (Ellen Marie Liston), 84, went home to God on Friday, February 4, 2022, at Newport Hospital.

Ellen Liston was born to Richard I. Liston and Ida E. Morrison on August 15, 1937 in Brooklyn, NY. Perhaps because she was an only child, she became a lifelong avid reader and lover of mysteries. Growing up she also greatly enjoyed high jinks with her Aunt Catherine, who was the same age, and the other neighborhood children.

As a child, and then as a young adult, Ellen suffered from serious illnesses and was told she would never be able for religious life. But since sixth grade, she had wanted to be a missionary sister. As a member of the Legion of Mary, she volunteered at a foundling home. After of refusals from other congregations, her dream was realized when she was welcomed into the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny in 1960.

Sister Anne Marie held a bachelor’s degree from Chestnut Hill College and a master’s from Salve Regina. She also pursued studies in psychology. As a teacher, she was creative and injected her classes with her inimitable sense of humor. She taught at Cluny School, Newport and St. Catherine Laboure, Torrance, CA, where she later became principal. She then served as Cluny Vocation Director until she became chaplain at St. Jean de Brebeuf High School in Hamilton, ON, Canada, before returning to teach at Cluny School. Her next assignment was as pastoral associate at St. Joseph the Worker Church, Whitesville, WV. Over the years, she would share fond memories of all her assignments and kept in touch with many past students, their families, and parishioners.

After seven years in Whitesville, Sister Anne Marie returned to Newport, first to Cluny Convent on Brenton Road and then to Javouhey House on Carroll Avenue. She not only gave of herself generously in all these ministries, she also served as Provincial Councilor, and later as archivist for the province, and as local community leader.

Sister Anne Marie’s missionary spirit never flagged. Despite a near death experience in 2009 and declining health, she remained engaged in a variety of activities, volunteering at the Potter Shelter, and spending time with the Cluny Sisters and local friends.

Born on the Feast of the Assumption, Sister Anne Marie had great devotion to Our Lady, and could frequently be found with one of her several rosaries in hand, praying fervently.

Sister Anne Marie was pre-deceased by her parents and her aunt, Catherine LaDisa. She is survived by her cousins Cathy Albergo, Tom LaDisa, and Rosemary, Gail and Page Morrison.

A wake will be held at St. Augustin Church Monday, February 7, 2022, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM with a prayer service at 6:30. On Tuesday, February 8, at 10:00, a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Augustin Church.  The pastor, Father Mark Sauriol, will officiate. Burial will follow at St. Columba Cemetery, Brown’s Lane, Middletown. A reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny, PO Box 66, Newport, RI 02840 or www.clunyusandcanada.org/share-in-our-mission/ – make-a-donation. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny and the LaDisa/Morrison family wish to extend their gratitude to all who have supported Sister Anne Marie and all of us, especially during her final illness.

Community Submission

This content has been contributed to What's Up Newp. The views and opinions included within are not necessarily those of What's Up Newp, our contributors, or our advertisers.

We welcome letters to the editor on current local topics. Email them to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.