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Virginia (Marie Amata) Celmer, IHM


Sister Virginia Celmer, IHM, died Nov. 26, 2020, at the IHM Motherhouse. She was 75 years old.

Virginia was born in Detroit on June 26, 1945, to Charles and Stella (Kopicko) Celmer. As a young student, Virginia attended St. Luke and Immaculata High School, where she came to know the IHM Sisters of Monroe. After graduation in 1963, she entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and received the name Sister Marie Amata. She was later known to many as Sister Ginny.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College, Sister Ginny instructed students in religious education, social studies and psychology at St. Mary, Monroe; Marian High School, Bloomfield Hills, Immaculate Heart of Mary High School, Westchester, Ill., and St. Thomas the Apostle High School, Aurora, Ill. During these years, she earned a master’s degree from St. Louis University, which led to her transition into health care services as a chaplain at Mercy Center for Health Care Services. This led her into graduate study of psychology at Texas Tech University. She earned her doctoral degree in 1986 and served for five years as a psychologist at the Consultation Center in San Antonio. Sister Ginny operated a private licensed clinical psychology practice for more than 20 years in San Antonio and was esteemed by her professional colleagues.

Health concerns led her to close the practice and return to the IHM Motherhouse as a resident of IHM Senior Living Community in 2014. She renewed many friendships within the community, maintained long-distance friendships and encountered new friendships with many of the staff on the Monroe Campus with her quick wit and wisdom.

Sister Ginny is survived by her sisters in community and many dear friends.

Read her Remembering.