Sister Mary Stanislaus Surgoft, 101, taught at Morris Catholic

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on May 11 in the Chapel of Mary Immaculate in the Sister of Christian Charity’s motherhouse in Mendham for Sister Mary Stanislaus Surgoft, who died on May 8 at Mallinckrodt Convent. She was 101. She served as a religious for 85 years.

Alice Frances Surgoft was born in Philadelphia, Penn., on Oct. 27, 1922, to Benjamin and Alice (Zukowski) Surgoft. She entered the Sisters of Christian Charity in 1938, and began her novitiate the next year, receiving the name Sister Stanislaus. She added “Mary” to her religious name later. Sister Surgoft professed her first vows in 1941 and her perpetual vows in 1947.

Sister Surgoft earned a bachelor’s degree in French and master’s degree in French from Seton Hall University in South Orange. She also studied French at the American Institute for Foreign Study in Greenwich, Conn., and home economics at Rivier College in Nashua, N.H.

Sister’s Surgoft’s ministry was dedicated to elementary and secondary schools. In Pennsylvania, she taught in East Mauch Chunk, Allentown, Williamsport, Wilkes-Barre, Reading, Jim Thorpe, and Hazleton. In New York, Sister Surgoft taught in Brooklyn.

In New Jersey, Sister Surgoft taught for a 36 combined years at Morris Catholic High School in Denville. There, she was a French and Latin teacher, World Language Department chair and moderator of the French and Latin clubs and the French and Latin National honor societies.

While teaching at Morris Catholic and Bishop Hafey High School in Hazleton, Sister Surgoft made many trips to France and other European countries with her students for their cultural enrichment. Also, students from both schools consistently scored well in the National French Language Contests through the years. After her retirement from Morris Catholic, the school named a portion of its campus driveway in her honor.

In 2012, Sister Surgoft ministered at the newly established Blessed Pauline House of Prayer in Jim Thorpe, Penn. In 2013, she joined the community at Holy Family Convent, Danville, Penn. In 2018, Sister retired to the motherhouse in Mendham, where she participated in a ministry of prayer and presence until her death. 

Sister Surgoft is survived by the Sisters of Christian Charity; her brother and sister-in-law, Martin and Bernadette Surgoft of Langhorne, Penn; and her nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was predeceased by her parents; her brothers, Edmond and Joseph; and her sister, Theresa Monroe.

Donations can be made in Sister Surgoft’s memory to the Sisters of Christian Charity, 350 Bernardsville Rd., Mendham, N.J., 07945, or at

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