Sister Marie Theresa Scanlon was a Sister of St. Joseph for nearly 64 years. Marie was a Brooklyn girl from Our Lady of Perpetual Health Parish where the faith instilled in her by her parents, Mary and Denis, was nurtured and grew stronger in her high school days at Fontbonne Hall Academy. After entering the congregation, Marie taught elementary school and obtained a degree in Social Studies from St. Francis College.
A true Brooklyn girl, Marie served the Brooklyn Diocese teaching in Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Ambrose, St. Vincent de Paul, Holy Ghost, Queen of Peace and eventually in our Academy, Fontbonne Hall and she served as a librarian in her home parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. She loved history and she passed that on to her students. But more than the academic subject, Marie passed on what she held so dear in her own life, love of God and neighbor without distinction.
Marie was a teacher and we know that all good teachers are learners first. Marie learned what was most important in life from the greatest teacher, Jesus, who instructed his followers through his words and deeds. Memorable for all of us is the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus taught what Marie would live out in her own life. Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, the humble, the gentle. Blessed are the merciful, those who prophetically perform the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Blessed are the peacemakers, those who imitate God’s love of all creation. Blessed are those who are persecuted, those who suffer for the sake of Justice. All of these blessed will be richly rewarded and possess the fullness of God’s love for all eternity.
Marie knew this and throughout her life she shared the love of God with her family, her students, her community and in her final days with all who cared for her. All who knew Marie knew she was more precious than any valued jewel or gem. She was truly a diamond in the sky, radiating God’s all-inclusive love to all who came into contact with her. We can now say with confidence, Marie enjoys the promises of her beloved teacher for now the kingdom of heaven is hers for all eternity.
Sister Marie Theresa Scanlon, CSJ died on January 19, 2017 in the 64th year of her religious life.