Whenever anyone mentions Anne Sheehan’s name it is always with the comment: “What a lovely sister.” So we come together with our sisters, associates and Anne’s loving family to celebrate her life as a Sister of St. Joseph for seventy five years. Anne’s loveliness stems from her deep faith and dependence on God whose love companioned her throughout her life.
Anne was born in Brooklyn to Mary Margaret and James and attended St. Rose of Lima elementary school and Bay Ridge High School. Soon after graduation, Anne entered the congregation and earned a degree in English from Manhattan College and a Master’s in Special Education from Cardinal Stritch College in Milwaukee. She taught elementary grades in a number of parish schools in Brooklyn and Queens and was principal of St. Robert Bellarmine in Bayside before teaching reading in the Brentwood Education Center. This was followed with Parish Work with Senior Citizens in Our Lady of Grace in West Babylon. During that time Anne discerned her desire to pursue a ministry in pastoral care. She received a certificate in Pastoral Care from Methodist Hospital and earned certification in the Psychology of Geriatrics from Central Islip Psychiatric Center.
Fully qualified and passionate about care for the vulnerable, Anne served as Chaplain in St. John’s Hospital in Queens. Anne was a loving presence to patients and families. She brought her compassion and lovely presence to Holy Family Home for the Aged where she served as Chaplain and Director of Pastoral Care. Many of our Sisters, co-ministers and friends had relatives residing there and all experienced the compassion of Anne’s presence. She mentored many in the chaplaincy program at Methodist Hospital to do the same. Her compassion, presence and attentive listening encouraged the aged and infirmed assuring them that they were not alone, God is with them. Families always felt confident that Anne would be there, attentive to the needs of a loved one. Anne was the face of a loving God who would never abandon them. She was that face of love to family and friends of all who were entrusted to her care.
So we honor and thank Anne for her presence, her calm, dignified and caring ways that encouraged, calmed and inspired so many on their life’s journey. We are confident that she knows the way described in John’s gospel and she has prepared a place for those who entrust their lives to the God of unconditional love. We are confident that she enjoys eternal peace with all in her family who preceded her and that she has inspired us all to be a lovely, loving presence wherever we are.
Sister Anne Sheehan, CSJ died on March 2o, 2019 in the 76th year of her religious life.