Age 90

Sister Constance’s passions included peace, justice, and the care of the earth. She viewed the world and the cosmos with the mind of a philosopher and the eyes of a poet.

Born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, at the age of 23 she entered the Sisters of Mercy in Dallas, Pennsylvania. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from College Misericordia in Dallas, Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree in spirituality from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. She also taught at the collegiate level at College Misericordia and Salve Regina College in Newport, Rhode Island.

As she further developed her gifts in spirituality, she ministered at Genesis Farm in Caldwell, New Jersey and Pendle Hill, a Quaker study, retreat and conference center in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. Sister Constance was also a founding member of the Flowing River Sangha, an interfaith gathering of people who support one another in the practice of Zen meditation. She remained dedicated to that prayer commitment as part of her faith journey for 27 years.

She was one of the founding members of the Peace and Justice Center of Wilkes-Barre and served for five years as their first director. To this day the Peace and Justice Center grants an award annually, the Susan Merrill Constance Kozel Award, to an individual whose contribution to society reflects the principles of peace and justice.

More recently, she found solace in the vision of Pope Francis, believing that “the human and the divine meet in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of God’s creation, in the last speck of dust on our planet.” Her entire life truly reflected “God’s boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is a caress from God.” (Laudato Si, 84)