We are her to celebrate the life of Sister Margaret Mary McMahon, a Sister of St. Joseph for 76 years. Margaret was born in Brooklyn to her loving parents, Michael and Mary. Their strong Irish heritage nurtured a deep faith in the family of eight children. For Margaret and her sister Jean it has been a gift that accompanied them through all of life’s joys and challenges. In the same spirit of her Irish ancestors and the founding sisters of our congregation Margaret was willing to let go of the familiar and set out into the unknown. After graduating from high school, Margaret entered the congregation and began her ministry of teaching. She earned a Bachelors Degree in mathematics from Manhattan College and a Master’s Degree in Education and Reading from the University of Chicago.
A dedicated and skilled teacher Margaret taught the early elementary grades in St. Patrick’s, Long Island City, St. Agnes Seminary, Epiphany, Holy Child Jesus, Sacred Heart and our Academy here in Brentwood where she was a reading specialist. From Brentwood, she began her long time ministry in St. Robert Belarmine as a Reading Teacher. A skilled professional, Margaret’s love of her students and her willingness to do whatever needed to be done to help them was an outstanding gift to thousands of children and their families. In addition to her teaching, Margaret volunteered at St. Michael’s parish and our Maria Regina Residence. Her care and dedication was shared selflessly with the students and also with her family.
Margaret loved being part of the lives of her nieces and nephews and you see her in the many pictures here at all of their significant moments in life. She had a special bond with her sister Jean. Not too many siblings can rely on a daily phone call. But more than that Margaret and Jean shared their deep faith and the nightly rosary together on the phone. All of you here can share stories of Margaret and they would reveal the same basic truth: She cared about people, encouraged them and widened their perspective in a difficult situation. Margaret lived our congregation’s charism of love of God and neighbor without distinction and everyone here has been a recipient of that love.
So Margaret, as teacher, would probably tell all of us to go and do the same. I have taught you by my life and now you must bring that same unconditional love where there is the greatest need. We celebrate her, we thank her and we honor Margaret’s dedication to our congregation’s mission.
Sister Margaret Mary McMahon, CSJ died on November 16, 2017 in the 76th year of her religious life.