Geraldine Cregg- a Sister of St. Joseph- a woman of joy, a woman of God. We pay tribute to you today, Gerry, for living a life that is simple, prayerful, courageous and compassionate.
Geraldine was born to a large Irish family. She was the seventh child of Elizabeth and Patrick Cregg and sister to John, Mary, Thomas, Bobbie, Ann, Elizabeth, Loretta and Bernard. She had a very large extended family. When she would speak of them, people would ask – how do you remember all of their names- but she did because each had a special place in her heart.
Gerry went to school in Holy Name, Brooklyn; she graduated from Bay Ridge High School and then she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Gerry was born on May 1- the feast of St. Joseph the Worker- so it seemed destined that she would enter the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Gerry’s teaching ministry in St. Rita’s, St. Pascal Baylon and St. Ann’s was to first graders. How important it is to have children from a young age learn from a kind and loving presence such as S. Geraldine. To learn that God loves them, that they are good and as the catechism which she taught them says, they were created to know, love and serve God. S. Geraldine set a good example for them to do that.
1969 was a big year in Queens- the Mets won the World Series and S. Geraldine arrived in St, Ann’s where she would spend the rest of her ministry. I mention the Mets because of Gerry’s love of sports: she was even a coach and manager of a softball league. An article about her in the Brooklyn Tablet described her as bleeding blue and orange- the colors of the Mets. I can say with certainty that she is the only Sister of St. Joseph that had a softball league named after her.
While at St. Ann’s, Gerry served as CCD Principal, Eucharistic minister at both St. Ann’s and the hospital, as lector and most recently she was a volunteer at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Academy.
Those were all things Gerry did, but they give us some insight to who she was. She was always of service looking for opportunities to help others. Even when faced with some physical setbacks, she continued to serve. She was actually due to go to our vacation home today to be of service there.
Sisters of St. Joseph are known as Sisters of the neighborhood. I would say that the neighborhood came to honor S. Geraldine Cregg today.
And so, I can readily imagine that Gerry passed into the arms of her loving God who said, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Sister Geraldine Cregg, CSJ died on July 18, 2017 in the 58th year of her religious life.