Sister Juanita Parra dies at age 92
COLORADO SPRINGS. Sister of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration Juanita Parra died Nov. 16 at age 92 due to complications from pneumonia. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Nov. 23 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Colorado Springs, followed by burial in Mount St. Francis Cemetery.
Sister Juanita was born Sept. 23, 1928, in Grants, New Mexico, the third of eight children born to Nicolas and Celsa (Medina) Parra. Five brothers and two sisters were the joy of her life.
Sister Juanita received the Franciscan habit on August 12, 1948, and professed final vows on August 12, 1955. Sister Juanita was skilled in culinary arts and served as a cook for hospitals and schools in Kansas, Nebraska and New Mexico. She was assigned to the motherhouse kitchen at Mount St. Francis from 1963-2012, working with Sister Martinia in the kitchen for 45 years. Her favorite part in the kitchen was baking, especially pies, treating the sisters to freshly baked pies every Friday.
In 2019, Sister Juanita was selected by the Provincial Council as the honoree at the annual Franciscan Federation Assembly. The recognition theme was “A Call to be Saints, Founders and Prophets.” Sister Juanita’s humble, prayerful attitude, her spirit of gratitude and joyful heart, all radiated in and through her persona. She satisfied the palate of her sisters in her baking of cakes, pies and cookies. The aroma of her homemade chili would draw anyone to her table, spoon and bowl in hand.
Sister Juanita moved to the St. Francis Nursing Center in April of 2018. She was deeply devoted to eucharistic adoration. Having a room across from the chapel gave her the opportunity to pray, which she said was not always possible in the days of her culinary commitments. She enjoyed reading and was a welcome visitor to residents at the nursing center. Speaking Spanish was a gift to the residents. She played a great game of Scrabble and a “hands down” card game of Sheepshead .
Sister Juanita is survived by a brother Bernardino and sisters Carmelita and Sylvia.