Mary Albert Thompson was a Sister of St. Joseph for seventy five years but Mary was the Mayor and perhaps President of Cedarhurst and probably of all of the Five Towns. I can attest to it as Mary not only blessed the new fire engine for the Lawrence/Cedarhurst Fire house and led the American Legion Memorial Day Parade and Prayer Service. One is not chosen to do these things unless she is recognized for her dedication, generosity and presence to the people. In the tradition of our congregation, it is described as going out into the neighborhood, seeing the needs and doing everything necessary to meet them. In the words of today’s gospel: Blessed are the merciful; Blessed are the single-hearted for they shall see God. We celebrate Mary’s life of selfless-giving, because we are confident that she now sees her loving God.
Born in Brooklyn to Mary and Albert, Mary was one of ten children and attended St. Francis Xavier Elementary School and Bishop McDonnell High School. She entered the congregation and became a teacher ministering at Holy Cross, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Rose of Lima, all in Brooklyn and Our Lady of Victory in Floral Park and St. Martha’s in Uniondale. She taught elementary grades in St Joachim’s in Cedarhurst for 13 years and would return there to begin her thirty-two year presence to the people of Cedarhurst. Teaching in the Learning Center, ministering to the sick, elderly and grieving, Mary did what needed to be done with a spirit of determination and joy, with the emphasis on Joy.
Through all of these years Mary’s family, with her sisters Winnie and Frances and their children, was so important to her holding the joys and struggles of all in her heart. In her later years she was attentive to her sister Frances in Mary’s Manor and there, too, she became the Mayor of the Manor being a caring presence to all of the residents.
When Mary came to Brentwood she would continue her attention to her family and so many others she remembered. Determined to be present to her community and loving a good time, especially if it included dancing she participated to the full. When anyone did something for her and expressed that they “loved her,”she would respond: “I love you more.” Well Mary, we are all here today to tell you we love you more, we thank you and we will carry on your ministry of care and concern wherever we are. We are confident, as you were, that nothing can separate us from the love of God and rejoice that you now share in the fullness of that love.
Sister Mary Albert Thompson, CSJ died on June 6, 2019 in the 76th year of her religious life.